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TOSLINK what is fiber optics cable


TOSLINK (from "Toshiba Link"[2]) is a standardized optical fiber connection system.[3] The optical and the coaxial RCA cable uses the same S/PDIF signal for digital audio for consumer electronics, which is based on the broadcast audio standard AES3 and was adapted as the "Sony Philips Digital Interconnect Format" (S/PDIF) which varies from AES3 only in voltage level. Also known generically as an "optical audio cable" or just "optical cable", its most common use is in consumer audio equipment (via a "digital optical" socket), where it carries a digital audio stream from components such as CD and DVD players, DAT recorders, computers, and modern video game consoles, to an AV receiver that can decode two channels of uncompressed lossless PCM audio or compressed 5.1/7.1 surround sound such as Dolby Digital Plus or DTS-HD High Resolution Audio. Unlike HDMI, TOSLINK does not have the capacity to carry the lossless versions of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Although TOSLINK supports several different media formats and physical standards, digital audio connections using the rectangular EIAJ/JEITA RC-5720 (also CP-1201 and JIS C5974-1993 F05) connector are by far the most common.[4] The optical signal is a red light with a peak wavelength of 650 nm.[2] Depending on the type of modulated signal being carried, other optical wavelengths may be present.[4]


TOS LINK clear cable.jpg 

Toshiba originally created TOSLINK to connect their CD players to the receivers they manufactured, for PCM audio streams. It was soon adopted by manufacturers of most CD players. Early TOSLINK systems used the raw PCM data from the CD player; the S/PDIF standard has now become nearly universal for audio streams. It can often be found on DVD players and some game consoles to connect the digital audio stream to Dolby Digital/DTS decoders.

The name is a registered trademark of Toshiba, created from TOShiba-LINK. Variations of the name, such as TOSlink, TosLink, and Tos-link, are also seen, while the official generic name for the standard is EIAJ optical.


Other terms are sometimes used for technology similar to TOSLINK, such as ADAT Lightpipe or simply ADAT Optical. These are most often seen in the professional music/audio industry. While the ADAT Lightpipe format uses the same JIS F05 connectors as TOSLINK, the ADAT Lightpipe data format is not compatible with S/PDIF.


Several types of fiber can be used for TOSLINK: inexpensive 1 mm plastic optical fiber, higher-quality multistrand plastic optical fibers, or quartz glass optical fibers, depending on the desired bandwidth and application. TOSLINK cables are usually limited to 5 meters in length, with a technical maximum[1] of 10 meters, for reliable transmission without the use of a signal booster or a repeater. However, it is very common for interfaces on newer consumer electronics (satellite receivers and PCs with optical outputs) to easily run over 30 meters on even low-cost (0.82 USD/m 2009) TOSLINK cables. TOSLINK transmitters operate at a nominal optical wavelength of 650 nm (~461.2 THz).

Mini-TOSLINK is a standardized optical fiber connector smaller than the standard square TOSLINK connector commonly used in larger consumer audio equipment. The plug is almost the

same size and shape as the ubiquitous 3.5 mm stereo minijack. Adapters are available to connect a full-size TOSLINK plug to a mini-TOSLINK socket. There arecombined 3.5 mm jack and mini-TOSLINK sockets which can accept a 3.5 mm jack or a mini-TOSLINK plug; mini-TOSLINK plugs are made 0.5 mm longer than electrical jack plugs so that the latter are too short to touch and damage the LED of combined connectors. Many notebook computers use these connectors, e.g., for 3.5 mm electrical headphone output combined with TOSLINK digital output (not both at the same time), and for electrical microphone and TOSLINK line-in. Mini-TOSLINK jacks are commonly used on laptop computers and portable digital audio equipment. 

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