Skip to Content

Filling the Fiber

September 1, 1998

Imagine an interstate highway that was permanently hampered by an undriveable ridge running along one or two high-speed lanes. Traffic would suffer, to say the least. That’s roughly the situation facing designers of the world’s fiber-optic information thorough-fares. The manufacturing process that leads to the production of optical fiber has inevitably introduced hydroxyl ions into the ultrapure glass; these absorb light strongly at certain infrared wavelengths, rendering the fibers unacceptably opaque across a big chunk of the spectrum centered at about 1,400 nanometers. Lucent Technologies says it has solved the problem, purging most of the nasty hydroxyl from its fiber-making process. The resulting “AllWave” fiber, due on the market late this year, can boost capacity by carrying optical signals at some 150 individual wavelengths that the older fibers rendered unusable, says Lucent.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Large language models can do jaw-dropping things. But nobody knows exactly why.

And that's a problem. Figuring it out is one of the biggest scientific puzzles of our time and a crucial step towards controlling more powerful future models.

The problem with plug-in hybrids? Their drivers.

Plug-in hybrids are often sold as a transition to EVs, but new data from Europe shows we’re still underestimating the emissions they produce.

Google DeepMind’s new generative model makes Super Mario–like games from scratch

Genie learns how to control games by watching hours and hours of video. It could help train next-gen robots too.

How scientists traced a mysterious covid case back to six toilets

When wastewater surveillance turns into a hunt for a single infected individual, the ethics get tricky.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.