Bob Hult Says Fiber Optics are Finally Ready for Prime Time

By Connector Supplier | March 12, 2024

On TTI’s podcast the Distribution Download, our interconnect expert Bob Hult discusses the limits of copper and the promise of expanded beam technology, co-packaged optics, silicon photonics, and pluggable transceivers for the next generation of high-performance computing.

Few people have followed the evolution of fiber optics for as long as Bob Hult has. From his days as a sales engineer at AMP (now TE Connectivity) to his present role as a high-speed expert writing for Connector Supplier and Bishop & Associates, Hult has witnessed exponential advancement in high-speed and optical connectivity. He has attended every single DesignCon; read his observations on cutting-edge circuit design and component innovations in his 2024 DesignCon show report.

Bob Hult, in his office between trips to DesignCon and OFC in 2024.

Hult recently joined Ron Bishop of Bishop & Associates and TTI Inc.’s Paula Renfro and Steve Brahosky on TTI’s podcast, the Distribution Download, to discuss the pivotal moment we are approaching as high-speed technologies such as AI, machine learning, and quantum computing take data center traffic into “Carl Sagan numbers” and outpace the limits of copper. The next frontier will be reached with fiber optics, and Hult discusses the practical considerations designers face as they integrate optical interconnects. The conversation delves into optical connectors as a power reduction strategy; the role emerging silicon photonic devices will play in advancing speeds while reducing costs; how to crimp fiber optic cable, manage heat, reduce noise, limit weight; and how to decide when copper is still the best choice. Implemented correctly, optical connectivity will reach rural areas, advance medicine, and usher in transformative new technologies. Listen in to learn how.

See Bob Hult’s Connector Supplier article archive.

Like this article? Check out our other Fiber Optics and High-Speed Materials articles, our Connector & Cable Special Topics Market Page, and our 2023 and 2024 Article Archives

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