Fiber Cable Manufacturer
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Graded Index Multimode Fiber
Graded index multimode fiber uses variations in the composition of the glass in the core to compensate for the different path lengths of the modes. It offers hundreds of times more bandwidth than step index fiber - up to about 4 gigahertz/km. Two types are in use, 50/125 and 62.5/125, where the numbers represent the core/cladding diameter in microns. Graded index multimode fiber is primarily used for premises networks, LANs, fiber to the desk, CCTV and other security systems.
Graded index (GI) fiber is made with a range of materials in the core which are chosen to minimize modal dispersion caused by different path lengths of different modes being transmitted down the fiber. The core index profile is curved - a parabola to be exact - with lower index glass on the outside of the core. The lower index glass transmits the higher angle light rays (called high order modes) faster than the lower index glass near the center of the core.
GI Fiber animation
The index profile of the core of multimode GI fiber is not continuous, which is hard if not impossible to manufacture, but is in steps, from hundreds of steps to thousands depending on the fiber design and manufacturing process. As a mode of light goes through each step, it is bent slightly until it is reflected back toward the core of the fiber.
To help visualize the layers in the fiber, consider a Fresnel lens, a "flat" lens made from annular rings of glass that approximate a regular lens. These lenses are used in lighthouse lights like this one: