ribbon cable - Computer Definition
- A type of horizontal cable comprising many metallic wires lying side by side, in parallel, forming a flat, ribbon-like structure. Ribbon cables are used indoors under carpeting, for reasons of safety and aesthetics, as they lie flat. Ribbon cables can be used only in straight cable runs, as they do not flex sideways. See also horizontal cable.
- A type of outside plant (OSP) fiber optic cable comprising unbuffered (i.e., uninsulated) acrylate-coated glass optical fibers (GOF) lying side by side, in parallel, and encased in a plastic material to form a flat, ribbon-like structure. A distribution cable typically contains a single ribbon of 6 or 12 fibers. A long haul cable may contain many such ribbons, stacked on top of each other. Along a high traffic physical cable route, it is not unusual to find a cable containing 12 ribbons of 12 fibers, each, for a total of 144 fibers.The advantage of ribbon fiber is in its ease of handling and splicing.As the fibers are not individually buffered and sheathed, they are less bulky, therefore, more manageable. Outside Diameter (OD)Center Wire Gauge Also, a technician can splice the entire ribbon at once, rather than having to splice each individual fiber. See also optical fiber.
A thin, flat, multiconductor cable that is widely used for internal peripheral connections in electronic systems. In a PC, a 34-wire ribbon connects the floppy drive (if present) to the motherboard. A 40-wire cable connects the IDE (ATA) CD drive, and an 80-wire cable is used for the IDE (ATA) hard disks.