Flexible Ribbon Cable Meets High-Bandwidth Data Center Demands | MiniXtend Cable with Flow Ribbon Technology | Corning

Mini Yet Mighty: Introducing Corning’s First Flexible Ribbon Cable to Meet High-Bandwidth Demands

By Nilson Gabela & Luis Abreu 
Published: March 6, 2023

Our world, and the technologies in it, are rapidly developing with new high data-rate applications like 5G, cloud-based technologies, and artificial intelligence. Simultaneously, government broadband initiatives and funding are working to ensure internet connections for all. Data centers and service providers are striving to expand networks to increase connections, bandwidth, and faster transmission speeds to meet these needs.

Fiber optic cables are the cornerstone of these expansions. There are two primary fiber optic cable design choices available to customers in the market: loose tube cables and ribbon cables. Loose tube cables feature single optical fibers that are easier to route but need to be individually spliced during installations. Ribbon cables group fibers together in a solid ribbon design that allows for mass fusion splicing of 12 fibers at once.

To further increase density and maximize duct space, Corning combined elements of loose tube and ribbon cables to give network operators the best of both worlds, introducing the Corning® MiniXtend® cable with Flow Ribbon Technology. This fiber optic cable features Flow Ribbon Technology that combines the flexibility of loose tube cables with the speed of ribbon splicing.

Corning’s first flexible ribbon cable, the MiniXtend cable with Flow Ribbon Technology is designed for data centers and carrier networks with fiber counts up to 864. This cable features Corning® SMF-28® Contour optical fiber with a reduced 190 µm outer diameter arranged into a flowing ribbon configuration that provides flexibility and backward splicing compatibility with legacy fibers. Its unique 12-fiber flow ribbon arrangement enables simplified handling for network operators, saving time and labor costs. This cable is available in outdoor and indoor/outdoor configurations. The indoor/outdoor option eliminates the need for a transition splice to further reduce installation time and cost, and its dual flame-rated jacket enables global deployments.

The MiniXtend cable with Flow Ribbon Technology is also a more sustainable choice. Its reduced outer diameter allows for more efficient use of materials in manufacturing and higher fiber counts per duct, resulting in reduced carbon footprint. A Life Cycle Assessment conducted by Corning in accordance with ISO 14040 and 14044 standards and reviewed by an independent third party showed a 60% lower carbon footprint when comparing 288-fiber indoor/outdoor MiniXtend cable with Flow Ribbon Technology with comparable 288-fiber FREEDM® UltraRibbonTM cable.

Now, more than ever, hyperscale operators need high-capacity and flexible characteristics of the MiniXtend cable with Flow Ribbon Technology to remain agile and sustainable and adapt to growth in the hyperscale market. The future of communication, connections, and progress will be led by Corning and cables with flow ribbon technology.

Learn more here.

Keith Martin with Corning Optical Communications

Nilson Gabela 
is the Global Market and Technology Development Manager for Outside Plant Cable (OSPC). Nilson has been with Corning Incorporated for 20 years and has experience in Engineering Services, Sales, and Market Development.
Keith Martin with Corning Optical Communications

Luis Abreu 
is the Product Line Manager for Outside Plant Ribbon Cables. Luis has been with Corning Incorporated for 16 years and has experience in Manufacturing, Engineering Services, and Product Line Management.

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