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In-car comms: Will fibre optic replace copper?

Posted: 19 Jun 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:copper cables  Fibre optic cabling  electro-magnetic interference 

Traditionally, the physical medium used to carry data in a car has been shielded copper lines for both the power supply and communication. If car designers could easily rid cars of copper cables, however, they would. Copper cables are heavy, and their weight impairs fuel efficiency. At the same time, the cabling's bulky connectors can be difficult to accommodate inside the body shell, and this reduces the designer's flexibility.

Fibre optic cabling would appear to be the answer to the car designer's wish: it is light and compact, and it also offers the benefits of supporting very high data rates and of immunity from electro-magnetic interference. In reality, however, the adoption of fibre optic communications in vehicles has been limited to date. The reasons for this are explained in this article, along with a view about the prospects for more widespread adoption of fibre optics in the automotive sector in the future.

View the PDF document for more information.

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