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Despite the fact that optical fibres are already widely used in telephone networks, the technology is still relatively in its infancy, and plenty of breakthroughs are still waiting to be made: Hitachi Ltd says it has developed a new type of long wavelength optical fibre polariser that reduces transmission loss and can be used as an optical sensor for inertial navigation systems or as the central element in a coherent light communications system, which some say will be the next generation of optical communications technology.

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