Demand is on the rise for more powerful networks, especially Ethernet. It is expected that 20.8 billion connected devices will be in use around the world by 2020. In 2016, that figure was only 6.4 billion. At the same time, data transmission demands are disproportionately expanding. Information must be available on a constant basis, and the amount of material traveling along in the digital journey is also constantly rising. “Rampant video sharing more than anything else is driving demand for technological leaps,” says Robert Hettler, Head of Optoelectronic Component Development at SCHOTT.
Hettler and his team recently launched the 50G transistor outline housing (TO), a packaging solution for fiber-optic data transmission components that enables unprecedented transmission speeds. “The decisive question in wired data transfer is how much can you transport over a single fiber,” explains Hettler. As the name suggests, the new TO from SCHOTT enables 50 gigabits per second, twice as much as before.
Fiber optic high-frequency data transmission uses a transmitter (laser) on one side of the line and a receiver (photodiode) on the other (see graphic). Both components are packaged with a TO, which protects them from external influences – primarily humidity. The electronic packaging expert explains that a data line can, of course, achieve significantly higher transmission rates, but the problem is signal transitions, such as connections to the circuit board and chip. All transitions must be optimally designed to achieve a performance of 50 gigabits per second.