Local area networks (LANs) promise to be a major application area for fiber optics, perhaps rivaling the now well-established applications in point-to-point telecommunications and data links. Many architectures and signaling protocols are in use or are being investigated for use in LANs. In many cases these architectures and protocols require that the optoelectronic components perform under quite different conditions than for conventional point-to-point communication. To realize the broadband transmission potential of fiber optics in LAN applications, these special requirements must be fully understood by the system designer. This paper offers a review of the implications of LAN transmission systems on the capabilities required of the optoelectronic components.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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