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.

Interview: Multi-gigabit Calls for Optical Connectivity in Vehicles

Carlos Pardo speaks to Sanjay Gangal of edacafe.com. Key questions have been: What are the key challenges for connectivity in electric vehicles? How can the cost issue be met? With autonomous driving ahead, the bandwidth required will speed up beyond one gigabit. How will the upcoming automotive network be able to meet speed and cost requirements?

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Connection and Traffic Testing with the KDPOF Automotive Evaluation Kit
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The video demonstrates the connection and traffic test for the KD1053 evaluation boards included in the automotive evaluation kit.  Connecting gigabit Ethernet over fiber optics, the automotive kit supports OEMs and Tier1 suppliers in technology evaluations. The kit is self-contained and includes all the necessary components to establish 100 and 1000 Mbps links over Plastic Optical Fibers (POF). The boards are versatile, auto-grade for SFP-POF. They are optimized for lab measurements in extreme operating temperatures, radiation, and voltage supply corners.

The automotive evaluation kit contains:

  • 2 SFP-POF media converter boards
  • 15 meters/4 in-line connectors POF harness or 40 meters/0 in-line connectors POF harness
  • 1000BASE-T SFP modules/UTP & SFP twinax cables
  • USB2ALL POF link
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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
Wire Harness Congress: EMC, Weight Reduction, and Multi-Gigabit Call for Optical Harness
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At the virtual WEKA Bordnetz-Kongress 2020 (Wire Harness Congress) on September 22, 2020, KDPOF displayed insights and update on Optical Multi-Gigabit Connectivity. Juergen Schachtschneider, Automotive Manager Central Europe & Greater China, and César Esteban, Applications & Support Manager, presented how automotive networks profit from optical technology. Electric and autonomous driving architectures are substantially pushing the challenges for wiring systems. Issues include electromagnetic interference (EMI), electromagnetic susceptibility (EMS), and weight reduction. On top, automotive applications, utilization, and safety requirements are boosting the necessary network speed tremendously. The new 48-volt electrical architecture in cars additionally pushes the envelope in terms of cross-domain isolation requirements. Copper links for communication rates above 100 Mb/s need heavy and expensive solutions to comply with the stringent OEM’s EMC specs, resulting in high cost and very difficult engineering. Moreover, the weight of the ever-growing diameter of the required cables plays against the race for range increase of electrical powertrains.

Optical network technology overcomes these trends thanks to its inherent galvanic isolation, robustness, low cost, and low weight. Carmakers will benefit from optical links for communications between the 48-volt and the 12-volt domains. For weight, the optical network will save more than 30 percent of the equivalent copper-based harness weight. Optical Ethernet provides 100 Mb/s and 1 Gb/s network solutions today, and multi-gigabit Ethernet is the significant upcoming breakthrough for in-vehicle networks. The standardization effort for optical multi-gigabit is already in progress within the IEEE as an amendment to the Ethernet standard 802.3.

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
Demo: World’s First 50 Gb/s Automotive-grade Optical Network
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KDPOF proudly displayed the world’s first demonstration of an automotive-grade optical transmission system with 50 gigabits per second single lane at the Automotive Ethernet Congress in February 2020 in Munich, Germany. In-vehicle networks are on the brink of speeds from one to multiple gigabits per second. With the approval of the IEEE 802.3 working group, a team of individuals affiliated with more than 15 key carmakers and components suppliers, including KDPOF, has started the standardization of an IEEE 802.3 Automotive Optical Multi-Gigabit Standard with strong support from the industry. The study group evaluates the creation of an IEEE Ethernet standard for the automotive industry, with speeds starting at 2.5 Gb/s, going up to 25 or 50 Gb/s, and scalable up to 100 Gb/s. The key advantages of the optical solution for specific applications using multi-gigabit speeds with in-vehicle connectivity are, among others, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) thanks to the inherent galvanic isolation, low weight, and low cost.

Optical Multi-Gigabit Ethernet on the Verge of Standardization and Implementation (part 3)
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Carlos Pardo, KDPOF CEO, speaking about Optical Multi-Gigabit Ethernet on the Verge of Standardization and Implementation at the Automotive Ethernet Congress in February 2020 in Munich, Germany. With the approval of the IEEE 802.3 working group, a team of individuals affiliated with more than 15 key carmakers and components suppliers, including KDPOF, has started the standardization of an IEEE 802.3 Automotive Optical Multi-Gigabit Standard with strong support from the industry. The key advantages of the optical solution for specific applications using multi-gigabit speeds with in-vehicle connectivity are, among others, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) thanks to the inherent galvanic isolation, low weight, and low cost.

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Carlos Pardo, KDPOF CEO, speaking about Optical Multi-Gigabit Ethernet on the Verge of Standardization and Implementation at the Automotive Ethernet Congress in February 2020 in Munich, Germany. In-vehicle networks are on the brink of speeds from one to multiple gigabits per second. With the approval of the IEEE 802.3 working group, a team of individuals affiliated with more than 15 key carmakers and components suppliers, including KDPOF, has started the standardization of an IEEE 802.3 Automotive Optical Multi-Gigabit Standard with strong support from the industry. The study group evaluates the creation of an IEEE Ethernet standard for the automotive industry, with speeds starting at 2.5 Gb/s, going up to 25 or 50 Gb/s, and scalable up to 100 Gb/s.