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Board Level Fiber Connectivity

“Inside the Box” fiber connectivity solutions for ultrafast networking and high performance computing equipment

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Board Level Fiber Connectivity Featured Products


Internet traffic continues to rise at rates of greater than 20% annually, driving growth in optical transceiver port counts and data rates. Forecasts predict 100 GBPS will be the dominant transceiver speed by 2019, and OEM equipment manufacturers are racing toward future generations of 200 GB, 400 GB and Terabit per second solutions. Likewise, the growing number of required ports and rising costs to increase data center capacity are triggering equipment vendors to pack more fiber ports into the same footprint and thereby increasing faceplate density on switches and routers to the point where transceivers cannot be located at the front panel.

These market shifts and trends increase the need for fiber optic assemblies within switching, routing and high performance computing equipment. AFL’s board level fiber connectivity products link embedded optical modules to the card edge, blind-mate mid-plane connectors and backplane solutions.

Fiber optic transceiver technology is also in flux due to rapidly increasing data rates. Light source technology is shifting from vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) to silicon photonics. Physical layer connectivity is shifting from copper to fiber. Fiber requirements are shifting from multimode to single-mode solutions and requiring higher lane counts and tighter tolerances.

AFL’s “inside the box” fiber optic solutions are designed to tackle the wide range of challenges presented by the changes introduced by new technology.

Card Edge Assemblies

Standard MT ferrules and expanded beam ferrules are available in MPO connectors and ganged MT connector systems as well as the US Conec MXC style connector. These solutions are frequently used to connect directly to the front card edge, backplane and mid-plane applications.

On-card Assemblies

AFL offers a variety of fiber arrays and V-groove assemblies to be directly embedded on the card in the server, router and switch. These assemblies allow for excellent core position accuracy and are customizable for customer specific applications.

AFL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd of Japan, is vertically integrated to supply the critical components for manufacturing board level optical assemblies: fiber, ferrules, connectors, cable, fusion splicers and couplers. Our U.S.-based engineering team and low volume production facility in Duncan, SC, provide resources to interact with and assist OEMs in designing, prototyping and qualifying new optical components for their equipment. Fiber optic assembly manufacturing facilities in Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam allow AFL to seamlessly transition OEM production requirements from low volume development work to low cost, high volume manufacturing. These production facilities are owned and managed within Fujikura which ensures that the highest standards of quality are maintained.

AFL’s OEM sales team and applications engineers are industry recognized as fiber optic experts who can help OEM customers with a wide assortment of needs ranging from customization of manufacturing tools and processes to design components and assemblies which help solve difficult board level problems.