New and affordable 8K TV cable slashes cost by 90%

Electronic parts maker Nitto Denko and a Keio University team have developed a large-bandwidth optical cable for high-definition televisions that will be inexpensive enough to put 8K broadcasts into Japanese households.

The Japanese team aims to put the cable on the market in 2019. Domestic TV stations begin officially broadcasting 8K signals at the end of 2018. Corporations already have installed the necessary high-capacity cables linking their business bases ahead of the 8K launch. But such cables have yet to penetrate homes, which could limit the reach of 8K broadcasts.

Keio’s group, led by professor Yasuhiro Koike, devised optical fibers made from plastic instead of glass. The fibers offer inherent noise resistance that precludes the need for noise reduction components, likely cutting the cost of these cables by at least 90% compared with the glass-fiber alternative. The new cables will be affordable for families, and also may be adopted for data center servers and high-definition surgical videos.

Nitto Denko and Koike’s team plan to form a joint research site within Keio University next month to maximize connectivity before marketing the cable.

Panasonic and other rivals are developing their own optical cables for 8K signals. Nitto looks to use its own technological expertise to establish mass production techniques quickly. The global market for optical cables in communications is expected to hit roughly $1 billion this year and continue growing to $35 billion in 2025.

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