OFS, Furukawa Electric’s subsidiary to manufacture optical fiber in USA, and Shin-Etsu Chemical announced on Monday they concluded a license contract along which Shin-Etsu uses OFS’ patent related to the manufacturing method of optical fiber preforms. The patent enables Shin-Etsu to produce preforms for high-performance single mode fiber, called low-water-peak fiber, at stable quality and low cost. Shin-Etsu plans to expand its preform output capacity by 20% at Kashima plant, Ibaraki, Japan, by the patent utilization.General single mode fiber cannot support E-band (1,360-1,460 nanometer) transmission window. Low-water-peak fiber is able to use all transmission windows for 1,300-1,610 nanometer, including E-band. Its transmission capacity is higher by 50% than general optical fiber. Optical fiber is composed of core and clad. OFS’ patent is to manufacture preforms with a soot based core rod, such as Vapor Axial Deposition (VAD) and overclad cylinder glass. Overclad tubes can be purchased from the third parties. Consequently, in the case of capacity expansion, the maker doesn’t need to pay much capital expenditure. Shin-Etsu’s Kashima plant is in full operation thanks to the strong demand for optical fiber preforms. The plant can expand output capacity of preforms for low-water-peak fiber in short time and at low cost by utilizing OFS’ patent. Shin-Etsu will meet the strong demand mainly in Asia and Pacific areas.
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