Free «Advantages and Disadvantages of Copper and Fiber Technology» Essay Sample

Copper and Fiber technologies are leading components of the computer industry. They have both been developed with up to date designs to cope with the ever-dynamic world of computers and technology. This paper looks to explore and outline a wide view of the uses, advantages and disadvantages of copper and fiber in technology by looking at two articles.

The first article states that Data centers are among the largest consumers of copper and fiber technologies. International Data Corporation (2008)  suggests that fiber should not be used as a replacement of copper; the journal argues that both copper and fiber should be used together. Data centers strive to achieve faster processing and minimal power consumption to save on costs. The working policy behind these data centers says that more bandwidth is needed as the quantity of data to be transferred increases. To support the communications with enhanced speed, high-speed data transmission protocols and cabling products became more accessible, each with different demands for power and physical interfaces. This affirms the journal’s theory that both copper and fiber should be used together in order to achieve maximum efficiency. Experts agree that the use of a balanced twisted-pair cabling will remain a dominant solution even in the future. Several data centers were going to embrace a mixture of balanced twisted pair and optical fiber for Ethernet communications. The study was qualitative as it only gave theoretical perspectives and the data were not scientifically analyzed (International Data Corporation,2008, p. 3).

The second study by Bates (2001) asserts that, copper is a big flop comparing to fiber technology in the telecommunication industry. Unlike fiber, copper has very limited bandwidth.  Copper was mainly designed to distribute 3,000Hz bandwidth. Such frequency of signal is only adequate for a voice call. Fiber is more efficient than copper. Its efficiency shows out when an equal length of copper and fiber are subjected to bandwidth signals. For example, over 2.5 KM of copper only supports a bandwidth of 1.5 mb/s, while 200 mb/s can be transmitted over the same length of a fiber equivalent. However, fiber efficiency cannot be achieved at the same cost as a copper one. Fiber is costlier than copper. Also fiber is much lighter than copper and makes it perfect in channeling underground cables. Although, copper manufacturers have improved in cabling of the unshielded twisted-pair cable (UTP), it still does not match the efficiency of fiber optic cable. As they used mathematical and statistical analysis the study was scientifically proved and the data were published in a scientific forum for further reviews (Bates, 2001, p. 17-24).

Advantages of Copper and Fiber Technology

The communication industry has been greatly revolutionalized since the introduction of fiber optics. Increased They got acclamation for offering improved communication services. Products like fiber to fiber, Optical Multiplexers and Networking IP are all the proof that fiber has added a lot in improvement of this widely used field. Thanks to the fiber technologies companies were able to cope with the ever increasing demand for greater network bandwidth. Although fiber has outrun conventional copper usage in telecommunication, it is important to cover its enormous use in the power cable industry. It is the leading metal that is used in power firms to distribute electricity which is ultimately consumed by telecommunication firms using fiber optics.

Experts suggest that fiber optic is more economical to work with than copper. A substantial amount of money is saved when the use of equal length of fiber is used comparing to the use of the same length of copper. Fiber has a higher carrying capacity than copper and is easier to work with. Fiber is relatively thinner than copper, hence, several lines of fiber can fit into one cable. So, the good things about fiber are: it is much lighter, non-flammable and very flexible. (Bates, 2001, p.77) Copper has significant advantages over other metals. Copper has lower resistance and fully completes the requirements of the electrical field. Its another advantage is that it has low electromagination unlike other metals such as aluminum.

Disadvantages of Copper and Fiber Technology

Assembling fiber is very costly despite its raw materials being relatively cheap. It locks out the potential of interested parties with a low budget from exploiting fiber optics .Extracting copper from its core ore is also costly and miners have to bet the challenge in order to fully extract oil. Fiber optics are too fragile, easily affected by chemicals and require special skills to handle. They are also easily affected by radiations. Copper has a high affinity towards agents of contamination too. It is highly susceptible for corrosion and extra costs have to be met in order to place preventive layers to protect it from corrosion. It can also not be structured easily with other metals like aluminum in dry etch processes.


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