FBT vs. PLC splitter

FBT vs. PLC Splitter

Fiber optic splitter has two different types: FBT vs. PLC splitter. FBT splitter is cheaper, but PLC splitter has better performance and fewer limitations. Are you curious about the key distinctions between FBT (Fused Biconical Taper) and PLC (Planar Lightwave Circuit) optical splitters? Let’s explore the features that set them apart!

FBT Splitter

FBT splitter, or fused biconical taper uses the traditional fusion splicing technology to combine and split optical signals. It can split an input signal into unequal signals at a specific percentage. FBT splitters are available in various configurations, such as 1×2, 1×4, 1×8, and 1×16. However, it is not recommended for ratios greater than 1X4. In addition, the FBT splitter is customizable, and the special types are 1:3, 1:5, 1:7, etc. Employ a protective covering comprising epoxy resin, silica glass tube, and stainless steel tube. Compared to the PLC splitter, the FBT splitter is cheaper. It is a cost-effective option for simple applications. Suitable for scenarios where robustness is a priority.

PLC Splitter

PLC splitter, Planar Lightwave Circuit, is a newer type of splitter. It uses an optical chip to split the input signal into various outputs. PLC splitter typically utilizes photolithographic techniques to fabricate waveguides on a quartz glass substrate. PLC splitter has various splitting ratios, such as 1:2, 1:4, 1:8, 1:16, etc. The maximum is up to 1:64. It can handle high-power signals compared to the FBT splitter. In addition, it is also available in a range of split ratios, such as 50/50, 70/30, and 80/20, among others. PLC splitters are commonly used in single-mode fiber optic systems. PLC splitters have several types, such as bare fiber, miniature steel tube, ABS box-type, tray-type, rack-mounted, LGX, and micro plug-in.

Differences Between FBT vs. PLC Splitter

Wavelength

FBT splitter only to be used for 850nm, 1310nm, and 1550nm wavelengths. So, it doesn’t work on other wavelengths. On the contrary, the PLC splitter can support wavelengths from 1260 to 1650nm. It is suitable for most of the applications in FTTx and PON networks.

FBT vs. PLC Splitter Wavelength

Splitting Ratio

The maximum splitting ratio of the FBT splitter is up to 1:32. However, when its splitting ratio is larger than 1:8, more errors will occur and cause a higher failure rate. In addition, its splitting ratio can be customized, such as 1:3, 1:5, 1:7, etc. PLC splitter has various splitting ratios, such as 1:2, 1:4, 1:8, 1:16, etc. The maximum is up to 1:64. However, the PLC splitter is non-customizable and cannot be easily adjusted after production.

FBT vs. PLC Splitter Splitting Ratio

Spectral Uniformity

FBT splitter cannot be evenly distributed due to the lack of signal management. The PLC splitter can support the splitting ratio of all branches to be equal.

Temperature

FBT splitter can only operate at temperatures from -5 to 75 degrees Celsius, while PLC splitter can work at temperatures from -40 to 85 degrees Celsius. PLC splitter can provide relatively good performance in extreme climate areas.

Insertion Loss

Compared to the PLC splitter, the FBT splitter has higher insertion loss. PLC splitter is designed to minimize signal loss, resulting in better performance compared to FBT splitters.

Failure Rate

FBT splitters typically require a splitter configuration with a network of less than 4 taps. The larger the split, the higher the failure rate. When its split ratio is greater than 1:8, more errors will occur, resulting in a higher failure rate. Therefore, FBT splitters are more limited by the number of splits in one coupling. However, the failure rate of the PLC splitter is much smaller.

Size

PLC splitter boasts a compact form factor. Compared to the FBT splitter, it typically has a smaller and lighter design. PLC splitter don’t take up too much space.

Price

Compared to the PLC splitter, the FBT splitter is cheaper. It is a cost-effective option for simple applications. Owing to the complicated manufacturing technology of the PLC splitter, its cost is generally higher than the FBT splitter.

Conclusion

FBT vs. PLC splitter. Although the FBT splitter is a more traditional and cheaper technology, the PLC splitter has significant advantages in wavelength, splitting ratio, uniformity, insertion loss, etc. As PLC splitter technology advances, it has proven to be a more reliable type of device. However, if you want to save more budget, the FBT splitter is still a good choice.

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