The Definitive Guide to Fiber Optic PLC Splitter in 2024

With the rise of 5G and other new technologies, fiber optic networking is becoming increasingly important. And with that comes the need for PLC splitters. PLC splitters play a crucial role in fiber optic networks by splitting light signals into multiple channels. This article will discuss PLC splitters’ essential functions and some of their most common applications. We’ll also answer some common questions about PLC splitters to help you understand them better.


PLC Splitter Basics

PLC splitter stands for Planar Waveguide Circuit fiber optic splitter. PLC splitters are devices that use a waveguide to split an optical signal into multiple channels. PLC splitters are made out of two materials: a substrate and a cladding. The substrate is typically silica, while the cladding is made of a material with a lower refractive index, such as fluoride.


The primary function of a fiber optic splitter is to divide the one or two light beams that enter it into multiple beams. PLC splitters can be used to either distribute light signals evenly among various channels or to send different light signals to different channels. 


Fiber Optic Splitter principle

For example, a 1×4 fiber optical splitter can equally divide one input optical signal into four output optical signals and transmit them in four different channels. Optical splitters are widely used in passive optical networks (such as EPON, GPON, BPON, FTTX, FTTH, etc.) and play an important role.


The principle of PLC splitter is based on the difference in refractive index between the core and cladding layer of the optical waveguide.


PLC Splitter Types

PLC splitters can be classified into eight types based on the different packages.


Bare Fiber PLC Splitter

This type of PLC splitter uses a bare fiber to guide light, which makes it more flexible than other types of PLC splitters. The bare fiber splitter is the most straightforward and commonly used PLC optical splitter in FTTX projects. Since Bare fiber PLC splitter leaves fiber on all ends, network engineers can freely splice them according to the application. At the same time, bare fiber PLC taps only take up a small amount of space during the cabling process. Thus, they can be installed in fiber fusion boxes to provide distribution signals for FTTH.


Micro Type PLC Splitter


A micro-type PLC splitter is similar to a bare fiber splitter. A micro-type PLC splitter differs from a bare fiber splitter because it uses a small stainless steel tube packaging that often ends with a fiber optic connector.


ABS Module Fiber PLC Splitter


This type of PLC splitter is placed in an ABS plastic box. The ABS box protects the internal optical components and connections. The ABS splitter is simple and compact and can be tailored to various installation circumstances and requirements. It is commonly used in outdoor fiber distribution boxes for FTTH, FTTX, and EPON, GPON networks.


LGX Cassette Fiber PLC Splitter

The LGX cassette Fiber Splitter is a PLC splitter with an LGX-type housing. It is used in both fiber optic patch panels or fiber optic chassis for PON, FTTH, FTTX networks. The PLC splitter is placed in the LGX cassette for protection. Various PLC splitters can be placed in an LGX box. The PLC splitter is connected to an adapter via pigtail or jumper cables.


Rack-Mount PLC Splitter

Rack-mount PLC splitters are PLC splitters that can be placed in a 19″ cabinet. Rack-Mount PLC splitters often use an LC or SC connector. Rack-mount PLC splitters take up less space than LGX cassette splitters. It is suitable for today’s high-port count applications that require the most satisfactory performance and reliability in the harshest environments. 


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