Why aren't fibre-optics used more?

DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
521
For instance why don't more peripheral things on computer use it, like instead of HDMI, DP, or USB ? Is it still just cheaper to use copper wire and off the shelf parts ?

Joined Feb 20, 2016
4,219
I doubt it is just the wires.
If you want to use fiber optics, the signals have to be converted to light and back again. That is where the cost will be.
It is getting cheaper though.

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
4,409
Plus the termination price is higher for fiber than copper.

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
19,319
For instance why don't more peripheral things on computer use it, like instead of HDMI, DP, or USB ? Is it still just cheaper to use copper wire and off the shelf parts ?
It has very few intrinsic advantage for short distances. It is used in high end audio equipment, especially at higher sample rates like 32 Bits @ 384 kHz.

Audioguru again

Joined Oct 21, 2019
5,194
All the streets and homes in my city are getting fiber-optic cable for internet and TV.

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
30,814
It is likely used in audio equipment to minimize ground loop noise.

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
4,409
Fiber is also unique in an unexpected way. When run in an electrically classified hazardous area it is intrinsically safe and does not have to be encased in sealed conduit as CAT5 has to be. Very cost-effective there.

DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
521
I have a modem type thing here with what I think is TOSlink fibre-op. 1 of these day's I'll have to pull it apart

kubeek

Joined Sep 20, 2005
5,776

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
8,577
Verizon FIOS was founded in 2005, bringing internet and cable over fiber optic cable to homes in America. It is now available pretty much everywhere.

About 5-10 years ago, I installed a home theater system. The audio was carried over fiber optic cable between the Home Theater System and the TV. At that time, I could go into an electronics, TV or audio store and have my pick of fiber optic audio cables.

It was also used at work. Our storage systems connected the controller to the massive disk arrays via fiber optics. This was mainly to optimize data transfers.

Fiber Optic network cables could function over long distances. It was used as a backbone to connect buildings in a campus. I also used it at a client, which was a golf course. They had a pavilion on the course, quite a distance from the club house. We ran fiber to local switches so the POS terminals could operate reliably and added a WiFi router.

So there are many uses and the technology has been around nigh to 20 years. There’s just a time and place.

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wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,175
There’s just a time and place.
Bingo. Every technology finds its niche. TOSLINK made sense in the CD era but is impractical against HDMI, Thunderbolt and such.

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
13,167
Verizon FIOS was founded in 2005, bringing internet and cable over fiber optic cable to homes in America. It is now available pretty much everywhere.

About 5-10 years ago, I installed a home theater system. The audio was carried over fiber optic cable between the Home Theater System and the TV. At that time, I could go into an electronics, TV or audio store and have my pick of fiber optic audio cables.

It was also used at work. Our storage systems connected the controller to the massive disk arrays via fiber optics. This was mainly to optimize data transfers.

Fiber Optic network cables could function over long distances. It was used as a backbone to connect buildings in a campus. I also used it at a client, which was a golf course. They had a pavilion on the course, quite a distance from the club house. We ran fiber to local switches so the POS terminals could operate reliably and added a WiFi router.

So there are many uses and the technology has been around nigh to 20 years. There’s just a time and place.
EVERY use described in this post is high speed data, some speeds much faster than others, but all of them high speed. THAT is where fiber makes sense. Or else, in the areas with HIGH electrical noise levels where adequate shielding may not be possible. That is the one other application that makes sense.