Is Two Greater than One?
Fiber Optic cables come in numerous variations that are manufactured to achieve the unique goals of the application. Simplex and duplex fiber-optic cables are categories of Single Mode and Multimode fiber cable. When looking at the difference between Simplex and Duplex it should become clear what you will need for your networking demands.
What is the difference between simplex and duplex?
Simplex fiber cable is designed to either send or receive information through one-way transmission, but not send AND receive. For example, a standard computer keyboard transmits information to the computer through a simplex design. It sends the information from the keyboard (the typing) to the computer, but the computer does not send information back to the keyboard. Simplex fiber allows this one way transmission through a single-strand fiber cable with a standard structure.
Duplex fiber cable is designed to send and receive information through two-way transmission. An example of a product that works off of duplex fibers is the modern telephone. In this case, persons talking on the phone are able to communicate with one another at the exact same time without signal loss because the channel is manufactured to run two-ways. Both sides are sending and receiving information at the same time.
Because Duplex has a more complex function it also has a more complex structure. Duplex cables is composed of two single strand fiber optic cables that share a jacket. Having two cables allows the signals to be sent and received simultaneously without signal loss.
What is Half Duplex?
The common example of half duplex fiber cable functioning is a two-way radio or a walkie-talkie. These products have a means of communication where the channel is only good one way at a time. If two people using walkie-talkies try to talk at the same time there will only be static.
Choosing between simplex, duplex, and half duplex should be easy when you understand the difference between them and when you know the application they will be used for. Although simplex, duplex, and half duplex are all available in both single mode and multimode, there are specs that pertain to each individually that make one or the other a better fit in certain circumstances. In order to create an efficient fiber network, one must know the desired goal and choose the correct fiber cable accordingly. Check out Fiber Savvy for all of your fiber needs!