Rico Board for optical fiber fusion splicer applications

 An optical fiber fusion splicer is a device widely used in optical fiber communications, optical cable construction and maintenance, as well as Fiber to the Home (HTTP) project. Specifically, it is used by major telecom operators, engineering companies, enterprises and institutions’ private networks. It can also be used for production of a range of active and passive fiber optic components and optical modules for use in an all-fiber system.

The Rico Board from MYIR is a high-performance single-board computer using TI’s Sitara™ AM437x processors based on ARM® Cortex®-A9 cores. This new generation solution has an increase in performance, as well as extensive reuse from the ARM Cortex-A8 core offerings. Features include:

  • Up to 1GHz of processing power
  • 3D graphics acceleration for rich graphical user interfaces
  • PRU-ICSS for industrial protocols
  • Improved Vector Floating-Point (VFP) unit
  • Other peripherals and interface support like Quad-SPI, dual parallel cameras and  two independent eight-channel ADCs,

 The Rico Board also has many features for optical fiber fusion splicer applications, such as:  

  • Two camera interfaces
  • LCD display interface and buttons
  • Up to ten-channel PWMs from the two 2.54mm pitch 40-pin female expansion connectors
  • The board is capable of running Linux®
  • It can also be a solid platform for evaluating and prototyping for Sitara AM437x processors for optical fiber fusion splicer.

 The optical fiber fusion splicer can use AM437x processors on the Rico Board to control the device. It uses the optical image system which is composed of two high-precision video cameras to extract optical fiber image and then displays the image on an LCD in real time. After that it will calculate and analyze the image through the AM437x processor CPU and provide relative data and prompts. Then using the PWM signal controlled motor, the fusion splicer will make minute adjustments to the fibers’ positions until they’re properly aligned according to the data and prompts; allowing the finished splice to be as seamless and attenuation-free as possible.

During the alignment process, the operator is able to view the fiber alignment through video cameras. After fibers have been properly positioned, the device uses an electric arc to melt two optical fibers together at their end faces, to form a single long fiber. The resulting joint, or fusion splice, permanently joins the two glass fibers end to end, so that optical light signals can pass from one fiber into the other with very little loss. Estimated splice-loss tests are then performed. The whole system consists of six parts:

  •  Optical image system
  • Data processing unit
  • Display system
  • Optical fiber align system
  • Optional fiber fusion unit
  • Input control system

The Rico Board is good for using as the prototype for the optical fiber fusion splicer applications which will be based on TI’s Sitara AM437x solution. The board is also in low cost, pricing only USD.99/pc from the company MYIR which would be affordable for most users.

 To learn more about Rico Board and Sitara processors, visit the below links: