Data Center

Find Out What We Create Inside Our F1 Center of Excellence

Werner Eich
Technology projects are becoming more complex. The more data we create, and the more processor-intensive technologies we deploy (like artificial intelligence and machine learning), the more vital—and more complicated—technology projects become.


As this evolution happens, we find customers struggling to balance and achieve everything they need from their technology projects: ease of use, desired workflow objectives, cost efficiencies and the ability to scale and futureproof.


We saw this problem looming on the horizon and wanted to help our customers embrace this increasingly complex world. In 2019, we opened our first F1 Center of Excellence in Montréal: a hotbed for custom fiber optic assemblies. It’s a place where Belden and its customers can work together—virtually and in person.


During this collaboration, we follow a five-step method to develop the ideal fiber solution for your project.


  1. Customer Introduction: Our engineers and specialists ask questions and listen to your concerns and ideas so they can learn about your goals, systems and environment, as well as your specific business objectives. We use this information to guide each step of the design process.
  2. Design Concept: Based on what you share, we work with you to create a CAD drawing/3D design concept that represents your custom fiber assembly and how it will function.
  3. Visualize and Sample: To ensure proper performance, we replicate your setup in our own lab to see how the proposed assembly will interact with your system and environment.
  4. Prototyping: We create prototypes of the custom fiber assembly using 3D printing—just like we do with products we produce at full scale. This helps us pinpoint possible challenges or obstacles and allows for easy adjustments before we’re too far along in the process.
  5. Validation and Production: After you approve the prototype, and we know it will work, we then create the assemblies at our manufacturing centers.


Since we opened the doors to our first F1 Center of Excellence a few years ago, we’ve been working on all types of fiber projects across a wide range of markets. Sports and entertainment venues have been one area of focus due to the high demands for durability and performance.


Each venue has its own requirements for cabling infrastructure. Whether we’re working with an international sporting event, tournament for a specific national and international sport, or college athletics, the F1 Center of Excellence is where many of their fiber assembly solutions begin. Here are a few examples of what we’ve been up to …


Designing High-Performance Temporary Solutions


As opposed to a studio installation that stays in place for decades, some large live sporting events choose to rent space for a specific amount of time, starting work months in advance. Because there’s a date that must be met for the live event, it’s essential that products be delivered with enough time for integrators to get them deployed and tested.


Even though these venues are temporary, from a performance aspect, their cabling and connectivity must be just as robust as what’s installed in permanent locations to support high-quality broadcasting and AV while spanning long lengths (500 m or 1 km or longer) and delivering 4K and 8K signals.


Our F1 Center of Excellence has designed many custom fiber assemblies that meet the demands of live events in temporary environments.


Improving Installation with Pre-Terminated Tactical Fiber Installation teams are under extreme pressure to get work done quickly without any mistakes. Anything we can do to make the process faster and easier—while still maintaining reliability—is a win for everyone.


Many times, integrators are installing components and terminating connectors in the field. During a live event, there are no second chances when it comes to installation or terminations; nothing can go wrong. If it does, the mistakes show up immediately in the form of blank screens and no sound.


To reduce human error and increase installation speed, our F1 Center of Excellence created pre-terminated tactical fiber with a thick outer diameter that withstands consistent de-spooling and re-spooling. The cables include pre-terminated, factory-tested connectors made of metal housing, as well as MPO connectors that save space and time during installation.


Pre-Terminating Cables & LEMO Connectors


As more and more cameras are deployed throughout sports venues to capture cinematic and up-close-and-personal shots, camera cables need to offer outstanding durability and performance. The F1 Center of Excellence has delivered pre-terminated SMPTE 311 cables featuring LEMO connectors that can connect to approximately 95% of manufacturers’ cameras worldwide.


This allows integrators to quickly roll out pre-terminated cables at every fixed camera location around the venue with confidence that they’ll connect with whatever cameras are used: robotic cameras, pylon cameras, Skycams, etc.


Creating Coaxial Cables that Support 4K vs. HD


While most standard coaxial cables are designed to support HD, our F1 Center of Excellence designed coaxial cables to support 4K. It started as a custom solution for a client and is now a standard offering as part of Belden’s end-to-end portfolio.


These 4K UHD Coax Cables for 12G-SDI maximize 4K signal transmission distance over a single coax, minimizing weight and space utilization compared to multi-link solutions. They are also designed with solid, silver-plated copper conductors to offer excellent return loss and high-frequency signal transmission.


We’ve also engineered and developed BNC connectors for this 4K signal transmission to offer a complete solution. It goes beyond beyond standard performance for longer lengths, delivers superior UHD picture quality and consistency, and supports a faster termination process to reduce labor costs.


Meeting Specific Compliance Requirements


Depending on the event location, there may be specific requirements that cables must meet. In the United States, plenum cable is often deployed in sports venues. For these same installations in Europe, Japan or China, for example, halogen-free solutions are necessary to comply with fire regulations.


Our F1 Center of Excellence has helped standardize cabling solutions so that they remain consistent from venue to venue in terms of performance while also meeting requirements of specific countries or areas.


Support for Your Fiber Projects


No matter what challenge lies ahead, Belden’s F1 Center of Excellence is here to support you. We serve our customers in a way that no one else can. Instead of selling you a product out of the box and wishing you luck, we have the experts, the knowledge and the willingness to deliver on what you really need and want.


Belden’s F1 Center of Excellence will save you time and money by confirming that your custom fiber assemblies will work as designed before we move into production. This ensures that they’ll work as planned.


To learn more about Belden’s Montréal F1 Center of Excellence, watch this short video: