Carlos Pardo is CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF

For BlastingTalks – Blasting News’ exclusive interviews with business and cultural leaders – Carlos Pardo has given an interview about KDPOF’s alternative to traditional fiber optics that allows for use in harsh environments and requires no technical expertise to install:

Carlos Pardo, CEO of KDPOF: Government support for entrepreneurs must be strong and sustained

The original interview is in Spanish: Carlos Pardo CEO de KDPOF – ‘el apoyo del Gobierno a los emprendedores debe ser firme y sostenido’. Following is an excerpt.

BlastingTalks: KDPOF’s technology enables an innovative and cost-effective high-speed optical network for harsh environments. What was the reason for setting up your company?

The historical reason arose when my partner was preparing a doctoral thesis on this technology, and we discussed the fact that there was room to establish a business for its exploitation. At the beginning, we were giving it a lot of thought, both commercially and technically; it took us a year to decide, and in the end we decided to start. That was 11 years ago.

What are the applications of the technology that KDPOF provides to its clients?

Right now, we are focused on three markets. The biggest one is automotive, which allows us to connect different parts of the vehicle with high-speed optical networks, which are becoming more and more numerous. Looking at the evolution of the vehicle, it’s now almost a big computer with huge capabilities, connected to the Internet, with cameras everywhere, that can drive itself, and so on. All of that brings with it tremendous data transfer requirements, and the optical networks that use our technology are optimal for that.

Another market is the home, to simplify backbone installation. Today, many of us are teleworking and the children are studying at home, and it is proving that the network in our homes is not up to the task. The access is very good because the fiber is deployed to the home, but the Wi-Fi does not meet the needs of applications such as teleworking. When plastic fiber is installed inside the home, the differences from the previous situation based on WiFi alone are enormous, such as being able to have 600 MB in any corner of the house. I still have access to WiFi, but as if I were next to the operator’s router.

The third market is the industrial market, which is made up of a variety of smaller, more horizontal markets, in very disparate applications, such as medical, rail, printing, etc.

KDPOF works with a wide range of low-cost, large-core plastic optical fibers. What other benefits do your customers get?

Using fibers that are plastic and very thick allows several things, such as very simple manipulation that can be done by anyone; they are fibers that don’t need any knowledge to manipulate them. This simplifies the installation process a lot and also gives a great robustness to the links. Traditional fibers may be affected by vibrations or a connector that’s in bad condition. These factors don’t affect plastic fiber, since the core is very thick and the material is flexible. This is what we are successful with: when people see how simple to install and robust it is, they lose their fear of optical communications.

The world has suffered a major health crisis that has affected all economic sectors; how did it affect your company? How did you live through the months of confinement?

The R&D part didn’t change much because people worked from home, and those who had to go to the laboratory came since there were only one or two people at any given time. What has changed the most is the outside world: the automotive market stopped manufacturing integrated circuits and cars during the pandemic. That caused the world’s semiconductor manufacturers to allocate production capacity to large companies like Apple or Huawei. Now, the semiconductor industry is in crisis because it doesn’t have the capacity to manufacture all the pent-up demand in both the automotive and commercial industries. There is a deficit in chip production, and that has affected us quite a lot. Now, in addition, we’re facing a shortage crisis with the deployment of 5G technology and it is something that has aggravated the pandemic even more because many more computers are needed than before, for example.

How would you like to see your company evolve, and what challenges do you see in the short and medium term?

Right now, we’re getting more car manufacturers to adopt our technology; this is a great achievement in the medium and long term. From an R&D point of view, we’re developing the technology of the future, a technology that enables speeds of up to 50-100 Gb/s. To be a world leader, we would like to have more support from companies such as Telefónica; to have them adopt our technology for the home network as a complement to their WiFi. In the long term, I would like KDPOF not to be sold to a foreign company and for the knowledge and industry creation to disappear, but to be supported by Spanish or, failing that, European capital, so that the positive externalities of all this effort would remain in our country or in Europe. That would be my wish in the long term.

TV Report by RTVE: Spanish company KDPOF has created a new technology to transmit data at high speed over plastic optical fiber.

TV Report by RTVE: We visited the Digital Enterprise Show 2021, a very special edition that addresses digital and technological transformation. Spanish company KDPOF has created a new technology to transmit data at high speed over plastic optical fiber.
(The part with KDPOF starts at app. 4:15)

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That is what’s proposed by KDPOF, a Spanish company capable of solving the problems of low quality, which until now this type of fiber had.

César Esteban, Applications & Support Manager of KDPOF: “The signal is digitally processed to adapt the signal to the characteristics of this fiber, which is not glass. It is plastic and has much worse characteristics as a means of communication than glass fiber.”

Plastic fiber is not new. Its great advantage over glass is its robustness. It can be bent, it can get wet, and it doesn’t interfere with other electrical signals, which is very good when there is a lack of space, for example as in cars.

César Esteban, Applications & Support Manager of KDPOF: “That it is much more robust in terms of folding, but also dynamic stresses. It can withstand bending up to five millimeters in diameter, right? In applications we can submerge the connectors, but even if water gets in the transmission, you see that it continues. It’s a really robust technology. The low weight, the low cost, the low power consumption of the technology.”

TV Report by RTVE: Spanish company KDPOF has created a new technology to transmit data at high speed over plastic optical fiber.

The problem with plastic fiber was, in the past, its low quality. What they do at KDPOF that is changing the uses of this technology is to process and adapt the transmitted signal thanks to their own microelectronic technology, despite the noise and distortions. Thanks to this chip they are able to transmit data at one gigabit speed and increasing.

TV Report by RTVE: Spanish company KDPOF has created a new technology to transmit data at high speed over plastic optical fiber.

Rubén Pérez de Aranda, CTO and Co-founder of KDPOF: “So we said, ‘Hey, this fiber is very bad and these light sources that are used to transmit the data are bad in terms of bandwidth and noise, but we know all the algorithmics that can be built.’ And, in fact, we are the first company in the world to have developed advanced systems for fiber optic communications. No one before had ever used such spectrally efficient modulations or such advanced decoding systems as we use in fiber optics. And, in fact, this has been the basis of what will be the future, because we are already developing the next generation for multi-gigabit that will allow cars to drive themselves. Because what we are is the nervous system of a car.”

From there, the uses of plastic fiber are unimaginable. In connected vehicles, they manage to solve the problem of signal interference on the one hand, and on the other they help to reduce the weight of cars.

Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF: “You have, in addition, several computers in parallel. Because for redundancy issues and as it is a safety issue you need to connect the two computers, the amount of information that is moving in cars is rising exponentially and we are offering a very robust solution and, as I said, it is very light, at a very competitive price that really, well, is opening up the market for us in a tremendous way.”

Plastic fiber also solves a domestic problem for demanding users: high speed and low latency in all rooms.

Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF: “The difference between always being dependent on, ‘I have coverage here. Wait for me to move half a meter,’ and when someone passes in front of me I lose the connection; to having a reliable connection where I can play games, where I can watch videos, where I can have meetings without any problems. It’s really life-changing.”

The possibilities offered by this technology, both in vehicles and in homes, offer a more than promising future to connect to every last corner at full speed.

KDPOF has conducted a study examining the influence of home networking on online gaming and video streaming. For online gaming, the delay between an action the player intends to perform in the game and its actual effect on the screen can totally ruin the experience. Among gamers, this latency is known as ping or lag. The action issued by the player has to go through different network segments until it reaches the game server; it is then processed and the response travels back to the gamer. Numbers over 150 ms are a total no-go experience while being under 20 ms is considered a very good behavior.

KDPOF Study Reports Significant Effect of Home Networking on Online Gaming Experience

“There are three main segments that can influence the latency level: online game servers, access network, and home networking,” explained Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF. “Our study showed that the home network plays a key role in the whole experience. Average values as low as 1 ms and up to 30 ms could be found.” A good solution is wired connectivity over plastic optical fiber (POF). It provides very low latency and jitter, just like Ethernet wiring but without visible cabling installed.

The Importance of Low Latency for Home Networks

The number one home network technology used nowadays in any home is Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, it provides little control over when each node has access to the air. Any packet loss is not noticeable for services such as web browsing, but when delivering video related services, these crashes generate peaks of latency. Those packets need to be retransmitted, extending the time required to reach the other end. If a device in the same environment is connected over Ethernet directly to the access router, the picture changes significantly. “It is not surprising that gamers prefer to connect over wires rather than Wi-Fi due to these effects,” added Carlos Pardo. “Delays are getting even worse with the rapid increase of multiple Wi-Fi access points of Wi-Fi mesh in the home.”

Plastic Optical Fiber Combined with Wi-Fi

Since wired connectivity adds only negligible latency to the path, it is recommended over wireless for the in-home portion. With its ease of installation, lack of aesthetic impact, robustness, and stability, plastic optical fiber is the ideal solution to contribute to a perfect online gaming experience. The ultimate home network solution is one that combines the advantages of a POF backbone with Wi-Fi access points throughout the home. It secures 1 Gb/s speed to each access point, avoiding any loss inherently present with wireless due to distance, walls or interference. While Wi-Fi links provide latencies on the level of milliseconds, POF is on the level of microseconds, i.e. 1000 times better.

POF can easily be installed in any duct throughout the home: power, coaxial, or telephone conduits, or easily hidden on walls, under carpets or through false ceilings. Devices that connect to the network via Wi-Fi will continue to use that connection, but will enjoy the dedicated 1 Gb/s speed of the POF network. This way, Wi-Fi speed experienced anywhere in the home is the same as next to the router.

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Installing POF in the home is very fast and simple but, like other communication installations, it should be verified. The typical way to confirm that the installation is working is to check the link LED indicators. But this provides no indication of how well or how badly the POF link is working. It makes a difference because optical communication suffers attenuations from the fiber length, bending, a bad cut or bad insertion. An installation working close to the sensitivity limit may fail in the future due to small extra attenuations (aging, thermal changes, equipment is hit, etc.)

In order to ensure that the installation has been done properly and is operating with a sufficient margin, checking the link quality is recommended. This video demonstrates the KDPOF debugging tool. It allows monitoring of the POF links in an installation where a KDPOF daisy-chain outlet is used. The monitor application will give information about the outlet ID, operating time, connected ports speed and, of course, the link margin of the optical ports.

List of materials used in the video:

  • 2x POF media converters + PSUs
  • 1x POF daisy chain outlet + PSU
  • POF cable
  • 2x laptop
  • 1x STB
  • 3x UTP cable
  • KDPOF monitoring tool
Video: Point-to-point Link with POF Media Converters
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Installing POF will help to improve the Internet connectivity in the home. A POF link can cover up to 50 m, giving 1 Gb/s performance. The installation does not require high-level skills and can be done with simple tools. POF cable is typically installed through the existing conduits in the house, so it’s easy to reach any room and keep the cable hidden.

This video shows how to connect and check a point-to-point (P2P) POF link by using commercial media converters. Key points are the simplicity and quickness of the cut and connect. The media converter consists of one RJ45 copper port and one optical POF port. It allows the implementation of a P2P link which can cover, for example:

  • Improve wireless connectivity of the furthest room: [Router] <-> POF <-> [WiFi Access Point]
  • Move the router to the optimum place: [ONT] <-> POF <-> [Router]

List of materials used in the video:

  • 2x POF media converters + PSUs
  • POF cable
  • POF cutter
  • 2x laptops
  • 2x UTP cable
Home Network: Point-to-point Link with POF Media Converters
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Installing POF will help to improve the Internet connectivity in the home. A POF link can cover up to 50 m, giving 1 Gb/s performance. The installation does not require high level skills and can be done with simple tools. POF cable is typically installed through the existing conduits in the house, so it’s easy to reach any room and keep the cable hidden.

This video shows how to connect and check a daisy-chain (DC) POF installation by using commercial equipment. Key points are the simplicity and quickness of the cut and connect. The daisy chain POF outlet consists of two RJ45 copper ports and two optical POF ports. It allows installations in DC topology, which can cover multiple rooms.

List of materials used in the video:

  • 2x POF media converters + PSUs
  • 1x POF daisy chain outlet + PSU
  • POF cable
  • 2x laptop
  • 1x STB
  • 3x UTP cable
  • KDPOF monitoring tool

We are proud that Actelser has implemented our optical connectivity technology in their new Snap Data Duplex Kit for home networks. With the Snap Data Duplex Kit, Actelser enables Ethernet over Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) at two additional points. The system allows multiple access ports all around the home in high optical fiber quality.

This means users may enjoy 100 percent of the bandwidth they have signed up for with their service providers. Optical backbones for home networks are the ideal means to leave behind the speed losses of Wi-Fi Repeaters or PLC, since POF systems are completely lossless.

We’re up and running to serve you

Dear clients and partners,

We’re reaching out to inform you that in view of the world situation with COVID-19, we’re continuing our activities without disruption. The commercial, administrative support and development teams are carrying on their efforts, aiming to give you the best service. Of course, we’re also working to ensure the health of all our employees and partners.

If you have any questions, please contact our team members through their individual emails; alternatively, if you have their individual phone numbers, please don’t hesitate to use them. Due to limited physical attendance at the office, the corporate switchboard number may not be operative.

We would like to take this opportunity to send our best wishes to you and your family.

Cordially,
Your KDPOF team

Broadband World Forum: KDPOF Presented Guaranteed Wi-Fi Mesh up to 1 Gbps

At the recent Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam, KDPOF generated great interest for their presenting how the POF backbone complements Wi-Fi Mesh for guaranteed gigabit performance. For customers that demand assured performance, POF is the preferred option. POF cables are practically invisible since installers can reuse any existing conduits or install in a very unnoticeable way in the home. Plastic Optical Fiber is cost-efficient, robust, and much easier and quicker to install than Cat 6 cables. Service Providers worldwide will benefit from being able to deliver guaranteed 1 Gigabit connectivity into homes by combining the POF backbone with Wi-Fi Mesh. Ramón Garcia, Business Development Manager with KDPOF, discussed in his presentation ”Gbps: Do Customers Care?” how to satisfy Gbps customers and thereby increase the number of subscribers willing to pay for qualified bandwidth instead of sole connectivity.

KDPOF robust, low latency POF backbone provides guaranteed Gigabit Wi-Fi mesh
KDPOF robust, low latency POF backbone provides guaranteed Gigabit Wi-Fi mesh
KDPOF robust, low latency POF backbone provides guaranteed Gigabit Wi-Fi mesh

KDPOF proudly announces that Comtrend has implemented their Gigabit Ethernet POF (GEPOF) technology in order to provide guaranteed connectivity within home networks. “Comtrend have preferred our POF optical transceiver KD1001 for their new device since more and more Service Providers require a way to secure robust connectivity with very low latency, reduced jitter, fast download speeds, and flawless connectivity for video,” stated Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF. Comtrend’s new product provides two POF and two Ethernet ports in order to allow daisy chain topologies. “Service Providers worldwide will benefit from being able to deliver guaranteed 1 Gigabit connectivity into homes by combining the POF backbone with Wi-Fi Mesh.” 

Plastic Optical Fiber Backbone Complements Wi-Fi Mesh for Guaranteed Gigabit Performance

For customers that demand assured performance, POF is the preferred option. POF cables are practically invisible since installers can reuse any existing conduits or install in a very unnoticeable way in the home. Plastic Optical Fiber is cost-efficient, robust, and much easier and quicker to install than Cat 6 cables. 

KDPOF will present their in-home robust optical backbone connectivity at stand B40 at the Broadband World Forum on October 15 to 17, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In his presentation ”Gbps: Do Customers Care?” on October 16, 2019 at 10:05, Ramón Garcia, Business Development Manager with KDPOF, will discuss how to satisfy Gbps customers and thereby increase the number of subscribers willing to pay for qualified bandwidth instead of sole connectivity. 

About Comtrend
Founded in 1990, Comtrend Corporation has established itself as one of the leading suppliers of Broadband Networking equipment in the world. An ISO-9001/14001 certified company, Comtrend designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of advanced networking equipment integrating ADSL, ADSL2+, Bonded ADSL2+, VDSL2, VoIP, Residential Wi-Fi, Auto Configuration Systems, GPON ONT, and High-Speed PLC technology. The company’s greatest triumph has been its ability to attract, retain, and develop talented professionals from all around the world. Comtrend is committed to a vision of bringing people together through technology and continues to realize this vision through a focus on innovation and superior service. For more information, including Comtrend’s full lineup of Broadband Networking solutions, please visit www.comtrend.com