Optical fiber makes possible the delivery of high-bandwidth communications to the world, carrying the transmission of data for the phone, Internet, or high-definition television programs or movies. Unfortunately, standard single-mode optical fiber loses signal strength when it is bent around tight corners in apartment or office buildings. Corning has addressed this challenge with its ClearCurve flexible optical fiber, which the firm claims is 100 times more bendable than standard optical fiber with virtually no signal loss. Now, the IEEE has honored Corning, Inc. with the 2009 IEEE Corporate Innovation Recognition, which acknowledges the firm for its sustained high-level contributions to optical-fiber technologyparticularly this recent development of highly flexible fiber.
The company's nanoStructures technology allows optical fiber cables to be deployed much like copper wire, thereby enabling telecommunications carriers to economically provide high-speed services to more multiple-dwelling units. To achieve such bendability, the technology uses engineered nanoStructures in a controlled mesh configuration within the fiber cladding. By making fundamental changes in the way that light travels in the fiber, Corning was able to trap the light in the core of the fiber, where it is supposed to travel. In doing so, it virtually eliminates signal loss when the fiber bends. The bending ability of ClearCurve also has allowed Corning to design smaller-form and more aesthetically pleasing designs for use in apartment buildings and condominiums.
Corning, Inc., 1 Riverfront Plaza, Corning, NY 14831; (607) 974-9000, Internet: www.corning.com.