Fiber optic arrays (aka fiber arrays) are assemblies that include fiber optic waveguides (fibers) and other optical or electrical components on a substrate.
Fiber optic arrays provide solutions for many applications, from packaging and interconnecting fiber optic cables to sensing and high-speed data transmission.
A fiber-optic array consists of an input, output, and a number of channels in between. The channels are established by waveguides that transfer light between the input and output.
Each waveguide has a core (light guide) and cladding (light barrier). The core of each channel is typically made of plastic or glass. The cladding surrounds the core at a lower refractive index.
Light will travel through the core due to the refractive index difference between the core and cladding. As long as there is sufficient optical power at the input, the light will be transmitted through each channel without significant loss to the output end.
There are two types of fiber optic arrays: planar lightwave circuit (PLC) array and micro-optic array.
Fiber optic array technology allows for direct light emission from an end-face of a fiber array. Fiber optic arrays are made up of individual fibers that are precisely aligned and fusion spliced to create a seamless, high-performance optical interface.
The same technology is used in other applications as well. The end face of the fiber array can be polished and coated to match any specific application.
Fiber optic arrays are commonly used in data centers because of the many benefits they provide. They are scalable, easy to install, and can be quickly reconfigured for future expansion.