Common Passive Fiber Optical Splitters

Posted on by FS.COM

Fiber optic splitter, also named fiber optic coupler or beam splitter, is a device that can distribute the optical signal (or power) from one fiber among two or more fibers. Fiber optic splitter is different from WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology. WDM can divide the different wavelength fiber optic light into different channels, but fiber optic splitter divides the light power and sends it to different channels.

Work Theory of Optical Splitters

Optical splitters “split” the input optical signal that received by them between two optical outputs, simultaneously, in a pre-specified ratio 90:10 or 80:20. The most common type of fiber optic splitter splits the output evenly, with half the signal going to one leg of the output and half going to the other. It is possible to get splitters that use a different split ratio, putting a larger amount of the signal to one side of the splitter than the other. Splitters are identified with a number that represents the signal division, such as 50/50 if the split is even, or 80/20 if 80% of the signal goes to one side and only 20% to the other.

Some types of the fiber optic splitter are actually able to work in either direction. This means that if the device is installed in one way, it acts as a splitter and divides the incoming signal into two parts, sending out two separate outputs. If it is installed in reverse, it acts as a coupler, taking two incoming signals and combing them into a single output. Not every fiber optic splitter can be used this way, but those that can be labeled as reversible or as coupler/splitters.


Passive and Active Splitters Overview

Fiber optic splitters can be divided into active and passive devices. The difference between active and passive couplers is that a passive coupler redistributes the optical signal without optical-to-electrical conversion. Active couplers are electronic devices that split or combine the signal electrically and use fiber optic detectors and sources for input and output.

Passive splitters play an important role in FTTH (Fiber To The Home) networks by permitting a single PON (Passive Optical Network) network interface to be shared among many subscribers. Splitters include no electronics and use no power. They’re the community parts that put the passive splitter in PON network and are available in a wide range of break up ratios, including 1:8, 1:16, and 1:32.

Common Types of Passive Fiber Optic Splitter

Optical splitters are available in configurations from 1×2 to 1×64, such as 1:8, 1:16, and 1:32. There are two basic technologies for building passive optical network splitters: Fused Biconical Taper (FBT) splitter and Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) splitter. FBT coupler is an older technology and generally introduces more loss than the newer PLC Splitter. But both are used in PON network. Here is a brief introduction to them.

FBT Splitter

FBT coupler is a traditional technology with which fiber optic products can be made at a low cost but high-performance way. As this technology has developed over time, the quality of FBT splitters is good and they can be implemented in a cost-effective manner. Now FBT splitter is widely used in passive networks, especially where the split configuration is relatively smaller such as 1×2, 1×4, 2×2, etc. The following is a FBT splitter with ABS box.


PLC Splitter

PLC splitter offers a better solution for applications where larger split configurations are required. It uses an optical splitter chip to divide the incoming signal into multiple outputs. As the wide use of PLC splitter, there are various types of PLC splitter on the market. For example, blockless PLC splitters, fanout PLC splitter, bare PLC splitter, tray type PLC splitter, ABS PLC splitter, mini-plug in type PLC splitter, etc. Here is a 1×4 PLC splitter.



Enabling a single fiber interface to be shared among many subscribers, fiber optic splitter plays an increasingly significant role in many of today’s optical networks. As a professional optical products supplier, Fiberstore offers different types of high-quality splitters for your applications. If you want to know more details, please visit FS.COM.

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