Plastic fiber-based optical links have been proposed for a wide variety of high-speed short reach applications. Graded-index (GI) multimode plastic optical fiber (POF) that supports 10 Gb/s over 50 m is commercially available and 40 Gb/s over 100 m has been demonstrated. However, unlike single-mode fiber and like silica multimode fiber (MMF), GI POF exhibits a range of performance that depends on launch condition and the accuracy of the index profile. Here, we report on the first statistical study of a large set of GI POF. We examine > 40 samples of 62.5 µm core POF with four different cabling types that represent current-generation commercially available POF. We assess performance in terms of the 10 GbE requirements and quantify loss, chromatic dispersion, differential modal delay, effective modal bandwidth (EMB), and eye closure penalty. We find that nearly all of the measured 100 m fibers support the strict 10 GbE vertical-cavity surface emitting laser source EMB requirement, and that many fibers can support > 40 Gb/s over 100 m. We thus demonstrate that GI POF can reliably support 10 Gb/s and larger bit rates to distances of 100 m.
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