Fiber Optics Vs. Digital Communications

Difference Between Fiber Optics And Digital Communications

Fiber optics offered a new telecommunications medium: light. Fiber optics makes use of pulses of light generated by a tiny laser. These light pulses are transmitted over hair-thin strands of glass called optical fibers. At the receiving end, a device detects the light and converts the signals into electrical pulses.

Optical fibers can carry much more information than copper cables or even microwaves can. One optical fiber cable less than 1/2 inch (1 centimeter) in diameter can carry more than a million conversations at a time.

Digital Communications

In recent times, the greatest change in telecommunications has been the move from analog to digital signals. This move has greatly improved the quality and efficiency of telecommunications systems. It has also paved the way for telephones, computers, and other devices to work more closely together.

Analog signals are similar, or analogous, to the original sound or light waves of a voice or image. These signals can take the form of electrical currents or electromagnetic waves that change smoothly in their amplitude (height of the waves) or frequency. (“Frequency” refers to the number of times the wave makes a complete cycle.)

Digital signals, on the other hand, represent the original signals in strings of 1’s and 0’s. These bits (short for “binary digits”) correspond to “on” and “off” electrical pulses. For example, a series of bits can represent the values of a sound wave’s changing amplitude and frequency. Or they can represent the letters and numbers of computer data.


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