VIA INTERNET, August 3, 2005
 (DOST) [Press Release For further inquiries, please contact: DR. VIRGINIA G. NOVENARIO-ENRIQUEZ Tel. Nos. 837-2071 to 82 loc. 2102 to 2109],

 Recognizing the demand for faster, flexible, more reliable and cost-effective telecommunications systems, the National Institute of Physics (NIP) of the University of the Philippines Diliman gears up its fiber optic research and development efforts to provide innovation in optical components to the communications, IT, and semiconductor industry.

Photonic fiber refers to either optical or photonic crystal fibers. Optical fiber is based on the technology that uses glass (or plastic) threads (fibers) in transmitting information. Telecommunication companies have been shifting to fiber optic cables over traditional copper-based communications or telephone lines. Fiber optic cables can carry and transfer more data in a matter of seconds because of its greater bandwidth than copper-based cables. Moreover, fiber optic cables are less immune to glitches or interference and can even withstand extreme shock and vibration.

On the other hand, photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) are designed to improve upon the optical limitations of conventional fibers used for telecommunications. This type of fibers is characterized by a unique structure featuring a periodic matrix of air-holes, more like a honeycomb surrounding a glass or hollow core.

At present, NIP has established a laboratory to train its students in the technology of optical fibers to provide manpower to the local telecommunications industry. The laboratory is also open to other sectors outside the University for training and consultation services.

According to Dr. Wilson O. Garcia, program coordinator of the NIP Photonics Research Group, they are also exploring advanced topics such as the use of photonic crystal fiber to generate supercontinuum (SC) light with a femtosecond laser. Compared to typical light sources, SC light is highly directional with high output power, ultrashort pulse duration, and relatively flat and broad spectrum. It can be used for holography, spectroscopy and microscopy.

He further notes that their research outputs will benefit the IT and semiconductor industry. Moreover, R&D personnel will be exposed and trained on the use of fiber optic technology, which will help them improve existing technologies.

PCASTRD-DOST Support One with NIP's initiatives in pursuing advanced research and development in fiber optics technology, the Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development (PCASTRD) of the Department of Science and Technology provided funding support for NIP to acquire high-tech equipment such as fiber optic cleaver and optic mounts and positioners to be used in conducting researches in fiber optics.

Since 1987, PCASTRD has been supporting its network institutions like NIP-UP Diliman in upgrading its equipment to be able to conduct researches and develop technologies that are at par with our neighboring countries. (by: Janet Rosalie Anne H. Polita)

Department of Science and Technology Republic of the Philippines This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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