The Optical Splitters for FTTX Applications

fiber splitter is a very important passive component that used in the optical network system to achieve the optical singles’ coupling, branching, and distributing, just the same with the coacial cable transmission system does. An optical splitter is fiber optical tandem device with multiple import or output terminals. Generally we often use M x N to indicate a splitter with M import and N output numbers. The optical splitters that used in the CATV system, are generally 1 x 2, 1 x 3 or the 1 x N fiber splitters that composed by them.

Fiber optic splitter is the passive components for FTTH PON (passive optical network). Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Network (GPON) splitters play an important role in Fiber to the Home (FTTH) networks by allowing a single PON network interface to be shared among many subscribers. Networks implementing BPON, GPON, EPON, 10G EPON, and 10G GPON technologies all use these simple optical splitters.

Every passive optical network, no matter GPON, EPON systems are comprised by the Optical Line Termination (OLT), the Optical Network Unit (ONU) and Optical Distribution Network (ODN). The ODN is the most important component is the FTTx systems which is the physical channel of the optical transmission between the OLT and ONU. It is composed by fiber optic cables, optical connectors, and most importantly, the fiber splitters as well as ancillary equipment connecting these devices.


There are two basic splitter technologies for the passive optical network: Fused Biconical Taper (FBT) and Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC), which correspond with to types of fiber splitters, FBT splitter, also know as FBT coupler, and PLC splitter. Fused Biconical Taper is the older technology and generally introduces more loss than the newer PLC splitters.

The PLC Splitter contains no electronics and use no power. both PLC and FBT splitters are used in PON networks. A PON network may be designed with a single optical splitter, or it can have two or more splitters cascaded together. Since each optical connection will add the optical attenuation, a single splitter is superior to multiple cascaded splitters. One net additional coupling (and source of attenuation) is introduced in connecting two splitters together.

With the accessing network construction boom and the increasing subscribers trend in the market. PLC splitter will no double to become the main force in the market, the PLC optical splitters has the features of digitization, networking, broadband, miniaturization and easy maintenance, etc.