TOSLINK (from Toshiba Link[3]) is a standardized optical fiber connector system.[4] Also known generically as optical audio, 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, Digital Audio Tape recorders, computers, and modern video game consoles, to an AV receiver that can decode two channels of uncompressed pulse-code modulated (PCM) audio or compressed 5.1/7.1 surround sound such as Dolby Digital or DTS Surround System. Unlike HDMI, TOSLINK does not have the bandwidth to carry the uncompressed versions of Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, or more than two channels of PCM audio.

TOSLINK / EIAJ optical

Clear TOSLINK cable with a round connector for S/PDIF connectivity.
Type Optical digital audio connector
Production history
Designer Toshiba
Designed 1983
Manufacturer Toshiba
Produced Since 1983
General specifications
Hot pluggable Yes
External Yes
Audio signal S/PDIF bitstream. Originally limited to 48 kHz at 20 bits PCM. Extended by manufacturers to support additional formats.[citation needed]
Cable Optical fiber, ~10 m (33 ft) maximum[1]
Pins 1
Connector JIS F05 (JIS C5974-1993 F05)
Width Serial
  • 3.1 Mbit/s (S/PDIF, 48 kHz PCM)[1]
  • 15 Mbit/s (common TORX147 receiver)
  • 125 Mbit/s (automotive, 2003)[2]
Max. devices 1
Protocol Serial

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.[5] The optical signal is a red light with a peak wavelength of 650 nm.[3] Depending on the type of modulated signal being carried, other optical wavelengths may be present.[5]

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