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Factors to Consider for 10 GbE Network Deployment

Nowadays, 10 Gigabit Ethernet network has been very popular and been employed by large amount of enterprises in their corporate backbones, data centers, and server farms to support high-bandwidth applications. To achieve a reliable and cost-effective 10 Gigabit Ethernet network, here are several factors that you should take into consideration for the deployment.

More Cost-effective for SAN

Direct-attached storage, network attached storage and SAN are three types of storage in a network. Among them, SAN is the most flexible and scalable solution for data center and high-density applications. But SAN costs much and needs special training for the installation and maintainance of the Fibre Channel interconnect fabric. The internet small computer system interface (iSCSI), which allows 10GbE infrastructure to be used as a SAN fabric, makes 10 GbE an attractive interconnect fabric for SAN applications. Compared with Fibre Channel, 10GbE infrastructure is more favorable because it can reduce equipment and management costs, enhance server management, improve disaster recovery and deliver excellent performance.

More Efficient for the Server Edge

Many organizations try to optimize their data centers by seeking server virtualization, which can support several applications and operating systems on a single server by defining multiple virtual machines on the server. And this can help organizations to reduce server inventory, better utilize servers, and mange resources more efficiently. Server virtualization relies heavily on networking and storage. Virtual machines require lot of storage. The network connectivity between servers and storage must be fast enough to avoid bottlenecks. 10GbE can provide fast connectivity for virtualized environments.

Reducing Bottlenecks for the Aggregation Layer

Today, traffic at the edge of the network has increased dramatically. Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop has become more popular. Many people adopt Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop, increasing the oversubscription ratios of the rest of the network, which brings the bottleneck between large amounts of Gigabit traffic at the edge of the network and the aggregation layer or core. 10 GbE allows the aggregation layer to scale to meet the increasing demands of users and applications. It can well solve the bottleneck for its three advantages: 10 GbE link uses fewer fiber stands compared with Gigabit Ethernet aggregation, 10 GbE can support multi-gigabit streams and 10 GbE provides greater scalability, bringing a future-proof network.

Fiber Cabling Choices

To accomplish 10 GbE network deployment, three important factors should be considered, the type of fiber cable (MMF of MF), the type of 10 GbE physical interface and optics module (XENPAK, X2, XFP and SFP+). Form factor options are interoperable when 10 GbE physical interface type is the same on both ends of the fiber link. For example, 10GBASE-SR XFP on the left can be linked with one 10GBASE-SR SFP+ on the right. But 10GBASE-SR SFP+ can’t connect to one 10GBASE-LRM SFP+ at the other end of the link. And 10G SFP+ active optical cable, such as Cisco SFP-10G-AOC3M SFP+ active optical cable (as shown below) and Cisco SFP+ active optical cable, SFP-10G-AOC10M, is also a good choice.

Cisco SFP-10G-AOC3M Compatible 10G SFP+ Active Optical Cable

Copper Cabling Solutions

Other than fiber optic cabling solutions, there are also copper cabling solutions for 10GbE. Copper cabling solutions are suitable for short distance connections. There are three copper cabling solutions: 10GBASE-CX4, SFP+ direct attach copper cable and 10GBASE-T.

10GBASE-CX4 is the first 10 GbE standard. It’s economical and it allows very low latency, but it’s a too large form factor for high density port counts in aggregation switches. 10G SFP+ direct attach copper cable (10g copper SFP) is a popular copper solution for 10 Gigabit Ethernet, which has become the main choice for servers and storage devices in a rack for its low latency, small connector and reasonable cost. 10GBASE-T runs 10 GbE over Cat6a and Cat7 up to 100 m.

For Top of Rack Applications

A top-of-rack (ToR) switch is a switch with a low number of ports that sits at the very top or in the middle of a 19″ telco rack in data centers. A ToR switch provides a simple and low-cost way to easily add more capacity to a network. It connects several servers and other network components together in a single rack. ToR switch uses SFP+ to provide 10G network in an efficient 1U form factor. Each server and network storage device can be directly connected to the ToR switch, eliminating the need for intermediate patch panels. And the cabling outside the rack, the ToR switch uplink connection to the aggregation layer, simplifies moving racks. The figure below shows a 10GbE ToR switching solution for servers and network storage. Because the servers are virtualized, so the active-active server team can be distributed across two stacked witches, which can ensure physical redundancy for the servers while connected to the same logical switch. What’s more, failover protection can be offered if one physical link goes down.



10 Gigabit Ethernet network is not the fastest solution, but it is quite enough for common applications in our daily life. For a better and successful 10 Gigabit Ethernet network deployment, you need to take all those factors mentioned above into consideration. And it can also help you make better options about fiber or copper cabling solutions for your 10G networks.

Cabling Solutions for 40G Short Reach QSFP+ Transceivers

40G parallel optical transceivers use four 10G channels to transmit and four 10G channels to receive signals over a 12-fiber assembly. The middle four fibers remain unused or dark. Each fiber either transmits (Tx) or receives (Rx) 10G traffic at a single wavelength. 40gb QSFP+ is the dominant transceiver type and popular choice for 40 Gigabit Ethernet applications. Among all those QSFP+ optics, short reach QSFP+ transceivers are commonly used. This article will introduce cabling solutions for 40G short reach QSFP+ transceivers.

40G Short Reach QSFP+ Transceivers

In 2010, 40GBASE-SR4 parallel optics solution for MMF was released by IEEE standard 802.3ba as one of several 40G based solutions. Later, another solution 40GBASE-CSR4 was released. 40GBASE-CSR4 is similar to 40GBASE-SR4 but it extends the distance capabilities. These two multi-mode transceivers can also support 4x10G modes. This part will tell details about these two short reach 40G parallel optical QSFP+ transceivers.

40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+: 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver enables high-bandwidth 40G optical links over 12-fiber parallel fiber terminated with MPO/MTP multi-fiber female connectors. It can support link lengths of 100 meters and 150 meters over OM3 and OM4 multimode fibers respectively. 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver can also be used to connect with four 10GBASE-SR optical interfaces using an 8-fiber MTP to 4 duplex LC cable.

40GBASE-CSR4 QSFP+: 40GBASE-CSR4 QSFP+ transceiver can be used for native 40G optical links over 12-fiber parallel cables with MPO/MTP connectors or in a 4x10G mode with parallel to duplex fiber breakout cables for connectivity to four 10GBASE-SR interfaces. It can extend the reach of 40GBASE-SR4 interface to 300 and 400 meters over OM3 and OM4 multimode parallel fibers respectively.

Cabling Solutions for Short Reach QSFP+ Transceivers

To connect a parallel optics 40GbE short reach transceiver to another short reach 40GbE transceiver, a Type-B female MTP/MPO to female MTP/MPO cable is required. The following picture shows two 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceivers being connected with a female MTP cable. The fiber position (from 1 to 12) is reverse on the ends of the assembly. This reverse fiber positing allows signals to flow from transmission on one end of the link to reception on the other end. This type of direct connectivity is only suggested for short distances within a given row of racks/cabinets. It has less robustness (less tensile strength, less crush and impact resistance, etc.) than a distribution-style cable, which would be used for structured cabling trunks.

40G short reach connectivity solution 1

In addition to this, there are several other cabling solutions for parallel optics 40G short reach connectivity. Solution one, in the interconnect structured cabling system, MTP trunk cables will be deployed by placing them in cable trays without the fear of them being crushed.

40G short reach connectivity solution 2

Solution two, with 2×12 to 3×8 or 1×24 to 3×8 harness cable assembly, 100% fiber utilization will save the cost of fiber utilization in the structured cabling. And it also saves the cost of labor and materials. Make sure that each MTP connector is plugged into a port.

40G short reach connectivity solution 3

Solution three, this approach uses 40G channel interconnect structured with conversion devices: 2×3 or 1×3 modules. It can utilize 100% of the installed fiber as harnesses. It is easily accomplished by using Type-B non-pinned MTP to non-pinned MTP jumpers.

40G short reach connectivity solution 4


With the increasing demand for high-bandwidth applications such as cloud computing, server virtualization and fabric consolidation within data centers, the trend for faster data transfer rates like 40G and 100G is relentless. There are various types of 40GbE transceivers, MPO/MTP cables like MPO/MTP trunk cable and MPO/MTP harness cable, MPO/MTP cassette and other assemblies for your 40G network connectivity. You just need to make sure that you choose the right one.

Solution for Fiber Patch Cable Bending

When you install fiber optic jumper cables, you should not bend them beyond their bend radius, for light may “leak out” when the fiber is bent. To install fiber optic jumper cables in tight spaces of high-density fiber patching areas in data centers, more cable bending are inevitably needed. As the fiber bends more acutely, more light leaks out (shown in the picture below). How to solve this problem? The answer is bend insensitive fiber patch cable. Bend insensitive fiber patch cable exhibits much lower optical power loss under bend conditions while remaining compatible with conventional cabling. What is bend insensitive fiber patch cable? This post will talk about this solution.


What Is Bend Radius?

To understand bend insensitive fiber patch cable, first you need to what bend radius is. Bend radius is the minimum radius one can bend a pipe, tube, sheet, cable or hose without kinking it, damaging it, or shortening its life. The smaller the bend radius is, the greater is the material flexibility. When installing fiber optic jumper cables, you need to be careful enough not to exceed the cable bend radius. Usually, if no specific recommendations are available from the cable manufacturer, the cable bend radius should be 20 times smaller than the cable’s outside diameter when pulling the cable and 10 times the outside diameter when lashed in place. For example, while pulling a 2mm diameter cable, only a 40mm sweep is allowed; when lashed in place, make sure it’s a 20mm sweep. For most of today’s fiber patch cables, the bend radius is 30 mm. As we know, there are single-mode patch cable and multimode patch cord, and accordingly there are single-mode bend insensitive fiber patch cables and multimode bend insensitive fiber patch cables. These two kinds of bend insensitive fiber patch cables will be introduced below.


Single-mode Bend Insensitive Fiber Patch Cable

Single-mode bend insensitive fiber patch cables have been commercially available for a few years. ITU recommendation G.657 specifies two classes of single-mode bend insensitive fiber patch cables: G.657 A and G.657 B. Each category (A and B) is then divided into two sub-categories: G.657.A1, G.657.A2 and G.657.B1, G.657.B2. The minimum bend radius of G.657.A1 fibers is 10 mm, G.657.A2 and G.657.B1 fibers is 7.5 mm and G.657.B2 fibers is 5 mm. G.657.A1 and G.657.A2 fibers are fully compliant with ITU-T G.652.D fibers. Compared with minimum bend radius of the standard single-mode G.652 fibers, which is usually 30 mm, G.657 single-mode bend insensitive fiber patch cables are much more flexible, which thus can be confidently installed with a variety of installation methods and in the increasingly high-density application spaces of today’s data center.

Single-mode Bend Insensitive Fiber Patch Cable

Multimode Bend Insensitive Fiber Patch Cable

Multimode bend insensitive fiber patch cables with a minimum bend radius of 7.5mm compares very favorably to the 30mm bend radius traditionally specified. To achieve this, an optical “trench” is added to the cladding area outside of the fiber core. This trench retains most of the light that would have escaped the core of a traditional multimode fiber. Requirements for a tighter bend radius have been developed based primarily on factors in the FTTH (fiber to the home) market. However, the benefits for premise markets have rapidly become apparent, particularly in data centers where more and more fibers are being installed in smaller areas. The expectation is that this new feature can enable deployment of multimode fibers in higher densities.

Multimode Bend Insensitive Fiber Patch Cable


Bend insensitive fiber patch cables are made with solid trench which assists fiber optic cable to reduce optical loss when the cable is bent. They provide the same high quality, mechanical features and optical performance as standard fiber patch cords with the added capability of maintaining optical performance when bent or flexed. Bend insensitive fiber patch cables are available for multimode (OM2, OM3 and OM4) and single-mode (OS2) networks. Whether to choose single-mode bend insensitive fiber patch cables or multimode bend insensitive fiber patch cables, you can make a decision based on your applications.

Fiber Patch Cable Solutions for High Speed Applications

We know that fiber optic jumper cables are designed to interconnect or cross connect fiber networks within structured cabling systems. They are commonly used in data centers to interconnect ports and transceivers that accept LC and MPO/MTP fiber optic connectors. There are a full range of cost-effective fiber optic patch cable solutions to meet your demands now and even for your future upgrades. This post will demonstrate high-speed fiber patch cable solutions for 10G, 40G, and 100G Ethernet transceiver ports interconnection.

10G Transceiver Interconnection Solution

Today’s data centers are still primarily architected around 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). After almost ten years of revolution, SFP+ optical transceiver gradually becomes the main stream of 10G transceiver in data center optics market. According to the optical ports of SFP+ form factor, LC duplex fiber patch cable is required to complete the link between two SFP+ transceiver modules which are plugged into switches, routers or server NICs (Network Interface Cards), as shown in the following picture. High quality standard LC duplex patch cables are available in both single-mode and multimode versions, which are LC LC single-mode duplex fiber cable and LC LC multimode duplex fiber cable. With a wide range of material options, they can meet any working environment.

10G Transceiver Interconnected Solution

40G Transceiver Interconnection Solution

In recent several years, 40 GbE has gained more popularity and the market of 40GbE is encouraging. As data centers tend to deploy 40G Ethernet, 40G transceivers are ramping up. QSFP+ (quad small form-factor pluggable plus), as the most popular form factor for 40 GbE, has been widely used in data center switching fabrics. For the short reach interconnection between two QSFP+ optical transceiver ports, each QSFP+ module requires an MPO/MTP connection, as shown in the following picture. MTP to MTP (or MPO to MPO) assemblies can also be in single-mode or multimode versions, with jacket ratings of riser, plenum or LSZH. Users can easily upgrade their networks to future 40/100G applications with popular multimode OM3 and OM4 cable assemblies. Note: For single-mode 40G QSFP+ interconnection, duplex LC single-mode patch cable is commonly used; but for 40GBASE-PLRL4 QSFP+ interconnection, a 12-fiber MPO/MTP single-mode cable is needed.

40G Transceiver Interconnected Solution 1

Other than the QSFP+ to QSFP+ connection, a single QSFP+ port (4 x 10 Gbps) can also breakout to four SFP+ ports, which is another interconnected solution for 40G transceiver. Using an MPO/MTP to LC assemblies, as shown in the following picture, can easily achieve the migration of 10G to 40G.

40G Transceiver Interconnected Solution 2

100G Transceiver Interconnection Solution

As the increasing bandwidth requirements of private and public cloud data centers and communication service providers, 100GbE has been growing rapidly and 2016 is considered as the year of 100G. Various 100G transceivers, such as CXP, CFP, CFP2, CFP4 and QSFP28 are available for different applications requiring data rates of 100G.

CXP/CFP to CXP/CFP Interconnection

24-fiber MPO/MTP assemblies, implemented with 10 lanes of 10 Gbps, are ideal for 100GBASE-SR10 CXP/CFP to CXP/CFP interconnection in data center. Among the 24 fibers, only 20 fibers in the middle of the connector are used to transmit and receive signals at 10 Gbps and the 2 top and bottom fibers are unused. The picture below shows the interconnection between two 100GBASE-SR10 CXP ports.

100G Transceiver Interconnected Solution 1

QSFP28 to QSFP28 Interconnection

QSFP28 optical transceiver has the exact same footprint as the 40G QSFP+ module, but QSFP28 is implemented with four 25Gbps lanes. To interconnect a multimode QSFP28 link, a 12-fiber MPO/MTP patch cable is required, but for a single-mode link (100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28), a duplex LC single-mode patch cable is required. The interconnection of QSFP28 multimode link is similar with the case of 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+.

CXP/CFP to 10 SFP+ Interconnection

As mentioned above, 100GBASE-SR10 CXP/CFP module uses ten 10Gbps lanes to achieve 100Gbps data rate. Thus, a CXP/CFP port can be breakout to ten SFP+ ports using a 24-fiber MTP to LC harness cables, as shown in the following picture.

100G Transceiver Interconnected Solution 2


From 10G to 40G to 100G data center networks, bandwidth requirements have been increasing rapidly. Equipment needed to achieve those bandwidths have also improved a lot. Various high-speed fiber patch cable solutions are required for 10G, 40G, and 100G Ethernet transceiver ports interconnection. You just need to make the appropriate choices based on your requirements.

How Many Factors Limit the Optical Transmission Distance?

With several advantages such as high speed, high bandwidth and high density, optical network has gradually replaced copper network. And fiber optic cable can support much longer distance than traditional copper cables (like twisted pair cable or coaxial cable). But in practice, the exact transmission distance that fiber optic cable can support is limited by many factors. With the expansion of fiber optic networks, transmission distances for optical links span from meters to hundreds of meters and kilometers. However, optical signals may become weak over long distances. There are many factors limiting the optical transmission distance. This article will talk about some of them.

Type of Fiber Optic Cable

Generally, the maximum transmission distance is limited by the dispersion in fiber optic cables. There are two types of dispersion that can affect the optical transmission distance—chromatic dispersion and modal dispersion. Chromatic dispersion is the spreading of signals over time resulting from different speeds of light rays. Modal dispersion represents the spreading of the signals over time resulting from different propagation modes.

For single-mode fiber optic cable transmission, it is chromatic dispersion that affects the transmission distance. The reason is that the core of a single-mode fiber optic cable is much smaller than that of a multimode optical cable, and only allows one mode of light to propagate. Single-mode optical cable can transmit signals over longer distance than multimode optical cable. Multimode optical cable transmission is largely affected by modal dispersion, because these optical signals cannot arrive simultaneously and there is a delay between the fastest and the slowest modes, which causes the dispersion and limits the performance of multimode fiber optic cables, as shown in the following picture.

modal dispersion

Light Source of Fiber Optic Transceiver

Fiber optic cable is the path for the transmission of optical signals. However, most of the terminals are electronic based, so the conversions between electrical signals and optical signals are very necessary. And this process largely depends on fiber optic transceivers, which are commonly used in most of today’s fiber optic networks. LED (light emitting diode) or laser diode inside are the light sources of fiber optic transceivers, which can also affect the transmission distance of a fiber optic link.

LED diode based transceivers can only support short distances and low data rate transmission. They cannot satisfy the increasing demand for higher data rates and longer transmission distances. For higher transmission data rates, laser diodes are used. Several commonly used laser sources in fiber optic transceivers are Fabry Perot (FP) laser, Distributed Feedback (DFB) laser and Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting (VCSEL) laser. For example, TRENDnet TEG-MGBSX SFP transceiver is a 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver module with a VCSEL laser transmitter, which can support a data rate of 1.25Gbps and 550m transmission distance. The following table shows the main characteristics of these light sources.

light sources of fiber optic transceivers

Splices and Connectors

Splices or connectors are inevitable in many fiber optic systems. Signal losses can be caused when optical signals pass through each splice or connector. The amount of the loss depends on the types, quality and number of connectors and splices. For example, signal loss through an LC LC multimode duplex fiber cable may not be the same with an ST ST multimode duplex fiber cable.

Frequency of Transmission

As mentioned in the above table, different laser sources support different frequencies. The maximum distance an optical system can support is also affected by the frequency at which the signals are transmitted. Generally the higher the frequency is, the longer distance the optical system can support. Thus, choosing the right frequency to transmit optical signals is quite necessary.


The bandwidth that fiber optic cable supports is another important factor that influences the transmission distance. As the bandwidth increases, the transmission distance usually decreases proportionally. For instance, a fiber that can support 100 MHz bandwidth at a distance of 5 kilometers will only be able to support 250 MHz at 2 kilometers and 500 MHz at 1 kilometer.


Optical transmission distance is limited by many factors, such as the type of fiber optic cable, light source of fiber optic transceiver, frequency of transmission, splices and connectors and bandwidth that the network supports. All these factors need to be taken into consideration during the deployment of fiber optic networks to minimize the limitations on the transmission distance. To break the barriers that limit the transmission distance, there is still a long way to go.

What Are Fiber Optic Cable, Twisted Pair Cable and Coaxial Cable?

In a communication system, a wire or cable is usually used to connect transmitting and receiving devices. Currently in the market, there are mainly three types of cables deployed in communication systems, which are fiber optic cables, twisted pair cables and coaxial cables. Each type has been widely utilized and applied in different applications. What are they? How much do you know about them? And what’s the difference between these three kinds of cables? This article will give you the answers.

Fiber Optic Cables

Computing and data communications are fast-developing technologies. To meet the transmission of ever-increasing data rates, there comes a new generation of transmission medium, which is fiber optic cable. Fiber optic cable transmits information using beams of light at light speed rather than pulses of electricity. It refers to the complete assembly of optical fiber. A fiber optic cable can contain one or more strands of optical fiber to transmit data. Each strand of optical fiber is individually coated by plastic layers and contained in a protective tube. Fiber optic cable transmits data as pulses of light go through tiny tubes of glass, the transmission capacity of which is 26,000 times higher than that of twisted-pair cable. When comparing with coaxial cables, fiber optic cables are lighter and more reliable for transmitting data.

Two widely used types of fiber optic cables are single-mode fiber optic cables and multimode fiber optic cables. A single-mode optical fiber has a small core, and only allows one mode of light to propagate at a time. It is generally adapted to high speed and long-distance applications. A multimode optical fiber has a larger core diameter than a single-mode optical fiber and it is designed to carry multiple light rays, or modes at the same time. It is mostly used for communication over short distances because of its high capacity and reliability, serving as a backbone applications in buildings. And there are many connector types for fiber optic cable, such as LC, SC, ST or FC connector. You can choose fiber optic cables terminated at both ends with the same or different connector types to connect different devices, like LC SC fiber patch cable, LC to LC fiber patch cable. There are both single-mode and multimode, and simplx and duplex fiber optic patch cables for your options, such as LC to LC multimode duplex fiber optic patch cable, LC to SC duplex single-mode fiber optic patch cable, or LC LC multimode fiber patch cord.


Twisted Pair Cables

Twisted pair cable consists of a pair of insulated wires twisted together, which has been adapted in the field of telecommunication for a long time. With the cable twisting together, it helps to reduce noise from outside sources and crosstalk on multi-pair cables. Basically, twisted pair cable can be divided into two types: unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable and shielded twisted-pair (STP) cable. UTP cable, such as data communication cables and normal telephone cables, serves as the most commonly used cable type with merely two insulated wires twisted together. STP cable distinguishes itself from UTP cable in that it includes a foil jacket which helps to prevent crosstalk and noise from outside source. STP cable is typically used to eliminate inductive and capacitive coupling, and it can be applied between equipment, racks and buildings. The table below shows several different types of twisted pair cables.


Coaxial Cables

Coaxial cable is a type of high-frequency transmission cable which contains a single solid-copper core. A coaxial cable has over 80 times the transmission capability of the twisted-pair cable. Coaxial cables are commonly used to deliver television signals and to connect computers in a network as well. There are mainly two kinds of coaxial cables: 75 Ohm coaxial cable and 50 Ohm coaxial cable.

75 Ohm coaxial cable

The primary use of 75 Ohm coaxial cables is to transmit video signals. One typical application of 75 Ohm coaxial cable is to transmit television signals over cable, which is why sometimes it is called signal feed cables. The most common connector type used in this application is a Type F. Another application is video signals between components, such as DVD players, VCRs or receivers commonly known as audio/video (A/V) cables. In this case, BNC and RCA connectors are often found. In both applications, RG59 with both solid center conductor (RG59B/U) and stranded center conductor (RG59A/U) as well as RG6 are common choices.


50 Ohm coaxial cable

The primary use of 50 Ohm coaxial cables is the transmission of data signals in a two-way communication system. Several common applications for 50 Ohm coaxial cables are computer ethernet backbones, wireless antenna feed cables, GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) antenna feed cables and cell phone systems.



As we know, the technology in the field of communication networks is developing rapidly. All these three kinds of cables have their special applications. Twisted pair cable has been adapted in the field of telecommunication for a long time. Coaxial cables are commonly used to deliver television signals and to connect computers in a network. And fiber optic cable is a new generation of transmission medium. Before making a decision, you need to know more about them, which can help you make a better choice.

Selecting Right Fiber Optic Patch Cables

There are various fiber optic patch cables for different applications. Fiber optic jumper cables are available in OS1, OS2 single-mode types and OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4 multimode types. Fiber optic jumper cables are terminated on both ends with a high performance hybrid or single type fiber optic connector, such as SC, ST, FC, LC, MTRJ, or E2000 connector in simplex or duplex. How to choose right fiber optic patch cables for your networks? Here are 6 factors that you need to take into consideration.

Connector Type

A fiber optic patch cable is terminated on both ends with a fiber optic connector, such as LC connector, SC connector, ST connector, FC connector, or MPO/MTP connector. Different connectors are used to plug into different devices. If ports of devices in the both ends are the same, we can use fiber optic patch cables with the same type of connectors on both ends, such as LC LC cables, SC SC fiber patch cord, ST ST fiber patch cable, or MPO-MPO patch cables. If you want to connect different ports type devices, fiber optic patch cables with different types of connectors on both ends, like LC SC fiber patch cable, LC to ST fiber patch cable, or SC to ST fiber cable, may suit you.


Connector Polish Type

Other than choosing the right connector type, you also need to choose the right connector polish type, whether the same polish type of the same connector type or different polish types of different connector types on both ends, such as SC APC fiber patch cord, SC/APC to LC patch cable. The loss of APC connectors is lower than UPC connectors. Usually, the optical performance of APC connectors is better than UPC connectors. APC connectors are widely used in applications such as FTTx, passive optical network (PON) and wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) that are more sensitive to return loss. But APC connector is usually more expensive than UPC connector. With those applications that call for high precision optical fiber signaling, APC should be the first consideration, but less sensitive digital systems will perform equally well using UPC.

Single-mode or Multimode?

Fiber optic patch cable has two propagation modes: multi-mode and single-mode. Single-mode fiber patch cord uses 9/125um glass fiber. It is designed for the transmission of a single ray or mode of light as a carrier and is used for long-distance signal transmission. Multimode fiber patch cord usually uses 50/125um or 62.5/125um glass fiber. It can carry multiple light rays or modes, each at a slightly different reflection angle within the optical fiber core. Multimode fiber optic patch cables is used for relatively short distances because the modes tend to disperse over longer lengths. Typical single-mode fiber optic patch cable used yellow fiber cable and multi mode fiber optic patch cable used orange or aqua fiber cable.


Simplex or Duplex?

Do you need simplex or duplex fiber optic patch cords? There is only one single strand of glass or plastic fiber in a simplex fiber optic patch cord. It is often used where only a single transmit and/or receive line is required between devices. A simplex fiber optic patch cord has only one fiber optic connector at each end, often used for Bidirectional (BiDi) fiber optic transceivers. A duplex fiber patch cord consists of two strands of glass or plastic fiber which are typically found in a tight-buffered and jacketed “zipcord” construction format. The duplex fiber is most often used for duplex communication between devices where a simultaneous and separate transmit and receive are required. Duplex fiber patch cords are used for common transceivers. Simplex and duplex fiber patch cords both are available in single mode and multi-mode.


Cable Jacket

Usually, there are three types of cable jacket: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) and Optical Fiber Nonconductive Plenum (OFNP). You can see there features in figure below and choose the right one for your network.


Besides those three cable jacket types above, there is another common cable, armored cable. The double tubing and steel sleeve construction make these patch cables completely light tight, even when they are bent. These cables can withstand high crushing pressures, which makes them suitable for running along floors and other areas where they may be stepped on. The tubing also provides excellent cutting resistance, abrasion resistance, and high tensile strength.


Cable Length

Fiber optic jumper cables are made in different lengths, usually from 0.5m to 50m. You can choose an appropriate cable length according to the distance between the devices you want to connect.


When choosing a right fiber optic patch cord, you need to consider all these six factors carefully. Single-mode or multimode, simplex or duplex, APC or UPC connector polish type, which one is right for your networks? Which kind of fiber optic connector do you need, SC, ST, FC, LC, MTRJ, or E2000 connector? By figuring out what you need exactly and consider all these six factors, you can make appropriate choices for your applications.

What Is LSZH Fiber Optic Cable?

When choosing fiber optic jumper cables, other than selecting the right connector type on both ends of the cable, such as SC to LC fiber cable, ST ST fiber patch cable, SC/APC to LC patch cable, SC to ST fiber cable, LC to ST fiber patch cable, or SC to SC patch cord, you also need to pay much attention to the construction of fiber optic cables. Nowadays, with increasing amount of cables found in residential, commercial and industrial applications, there is a greater fuel load in the event of a fire. Wire and cable manufacturers responded by developing materials that had a high resistance to fire while maintaining performance. Low-smoke, zero-halogen (LSZH) cables proved to be a key materials group that delivered enhanced fire protection performance. How much do you know about LSZH cables? This post aims at helping you learn more about LSZH fiber optic cables.


LSZH stands for low-smoke zero-halogen, and describes a cable jacket material that is non-halogenated and flame retardant. This type of jacket material has excellent fire safety characteristics of low smoke, low toxicity and low corrosion. When LSZH fiber optic cables (as shown below) come in contact with a flame, very little smoke is produced, making them ideal for applications where a lot of people are confined in a certain place, such as office buildings, train stations, airports, etc. A fire may be very harmful in a building, and at the same time, the smoke can cause even more damage to people who are trying to locate exits and inhalation of smoke or gases. LSZH fiber optic cables are free of halogenated materials like Fluorine (F), Chlorine (Cl), Bromine (Br), Iodine (I) or Astatine (At), and those materials are reported to be capable of being transformed into toxic and corrosive matter during combustion. Low-smoke property of LSZH fiber optic cables makes them safe and helpful. More people in fires die from smoke inhalation. LSZH fiber optic cables release low smoke and zero halogenated materials in these places would be really important to the safty of people.

LSZH Fiber Optic Cables

Applications of LSZH Fiber Optic Cables

There is no doubt that the amount of fiber optic cables installed in buildings has been increasing as data communication proliferates. LSZH fiber optic cables have been common in central office telecommunication facilities, due to the large relative fuel load represented by wire and cable. Several applications of LSZH fiber optic cables are:

  • Public spaces like train stations, hospitals, schools, high buidings and commercial centers where the pretection of people and equipment from toxic and corrosive gases is critical.
  • Data centers contain large amounts of cables, and are usually enclosed spaces with cooling systems that can potentially disperse combustion byproducts through a large area. Other materials burning may also contribute greater amounts of dangerous gases which will outweigh the effect of the cables. There have been notable fires where cables burning contributed to corrosion, but in some instances, better fire response techniques could have prevented this damage.
  • Nuclear industry is another area where LSZH fiber optic cables have been and will be used in the future. Major cable manufacturers have been producing LSZH fiber optic cables for nuclear facilities since the early 1990s. The expected construction of new nuclear plants in the U.S. in coming years will almost certainly involve LSZH fiber optic cables.
Tips for Choosing LSZH Fiber Optic Cables

No two products are the same and many factors will define the suitability of the final product to its application. Research shows that 27 LSZH compounds have huge variation in physical properties. Even using material which meets the base requirements of one of the many specifications available may not result in the best material for the application. When choosing LSZH fiber optic cables, factors such as the environment and price should be considered. An environmental factor such as the temperature of the installation could reduce the flexibility of the cable. Will the application be in an open area or confined? Will other flammable material be present? Many factors need to be taken into consideration. LSZH fiber optic cables also tend to be higher in cost.


When selecting or designing a fiber optic cable or fiber optic jumper cable for any application, the operating enviroments where the fiber optic cable will be used, whether extreme or not, must be considered along with availability, performance, and price. And when the safety of humans and the enviroment is a consideration, along with high-performance and capability, LSZH fiber optic cables provide a good solution for you.

The Basics of OM4 Multimode Fibers

As the demand for bandwidth in enterprise applications such as data centers continues to boom, new transmission media must be developed continually to meet end user requirements. With next-generation 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet speeds on the horizon, the industry is developing a new type of multimode fiber called OM4. What is it? Why is it able to meet the high data rate requirements? Here is what you need to know about OM4 multimode fibers.

What Is OM4 Fiber?

Two standards define the use of OM4 fiber in high-speed networks: TIA document TIA-492AAAD, which contains the OM4 fiber performance specifications; and the IEC 60793-2-10 international standard, which provides equivalent OM4 specifications under fiber type A1a.3. OM4 multi-mode fiber has a core of 50 microns, but the fiber is optimized for laser based equipment that uses fewer modes of light. It is designed to enhance the system cost benefits enabled by 850 nm VCSELs (vertical cavity surface emitting lasers) for existing 1Gbps and 10Gbps applications as well as future 40Gbps and 100Gbps systems. OM4 fiber will support Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and OIF applications, allowing extended reach upwards of 550 meters at 10Gbps for ultra long building backbones and medium length campus backbones. With an Effective Modal Bandwidth (EMB, also known as laser bandwidth) of 4700 MHz-km(more than double the IEEE requirement for 10Gbps 300 meter support), OM4 fiber is also especially well suited for shorter reach data center and high performance computing applications. It is important to note that OM4 glass is not necessarily designed to be a replacement for OM3. Despite the relatively long-standing availability of OM4, there are no plans to obsolete OM3 fiber optic cabling.


Advantages of OM4 Fiber

OM4 provides an opportunity to future-proof cabling infrastructure. OM4 is completely backwards-compatible with existing OM3 systems. As a result, these two grades of glass are interchangeable within the transmission distance limitations. The additional bandwidth and lower attenuation of OM4 provide additional insertion loss margin. As a result, users of OM4 gain additional safety margin to help compensate for less-than-ideal cabling installations as well as provide margin for degradation due to moves, adds, and changes over the life of the installation.

OM4 Fiber Patch Cable

OM4 is the latest high modal bandwidth high performance 50/125 Graded Index Multimode (GIMM) cabled fibre specification. OM4 fiber enables extended range performance over high bit rate links such as 8 Gigabit Fiber Channel and 10 Gigabit Ethernet compared to existing fibre types. OM4 fiber patch cable can be regarded as improvement on the existed OM3 standards. Its assemblies are ready to meet the requirement for future 40G and 100G fiber optic networks, there are simplex and duplex OM4 multimode fiber patch cord types. OM4 multimode fiber patch cable are terminated with different fiber optic connectors, like LC, SC, ST, FC, MTRJ, MU, and E2000. These cables can be simplex or duplex and customized in optional lengths.


The demand for the development of network transmission requires that optical fiber can support future 40Gbit/s and 100Gbit/s transmission. OM4 fiber provides next generation multimode fiber performance for today and tomorrow’s high speed applications. With its significantly higher bandwidth, network designers and operators can be assured that fiber patch cord will continue to provide the most cost effective solutions for short reach applications in data centers and LANs. Laser-optimized multi-mode fiber OM4 takes advantage of 850 nm VCSEL laser technology to reduce the overall cost, provide you with higher bandwidth choices.

How Do OS1 and OS2 Differ from Each Other?

These are two standards for single mode fibre optic cabling that are generally used today, OS1 and OS2. OS1 and OS2 are cabled single mode optical fibre specifications. The difference between OS1 and OS2 fiber optic cables mainly lie in the performance due to cable construction. How are OS1 and OS2 single mode fiber cables constructed? Choosing the right fiber jumper is very critical to improve the functionality of your network. Here is some information related to the differences between the OS1 and OS2 single mode fiber cables.


Cable Construction and the Differences

OS1 single mode fibers are compliant with ITU-T G.652A/B, and the low-water-peak fibers defined by ITU-T G.652C and G.652D also come under OS1 single mode fibers, that is to say OS1 is compliant with specifications of ITU-T G.652. OS1 cabling is tight-buffered construction, embedded in a heavy polymer jacket. The jacketed fiber is generally enclosed, with a bundle of flexible fibrous polymer strength members like aramid in a lightweight plastic cover to form a simple cable.

OS2 single mode fibers are only compliant with ITU-T G.652C/D standards, which means that OS2 fibers are very clearly the low-water-peak fibers only. OS1 was first introduced in the year 2002 and OS2 in the year 2006. OS2 cabling is loose-tube design. Cable with this construction is appropriate for outdoor cases. For use in more strenuous environments, a much more robust cable construction is required. In loose-tube construction, the fiber is laid helically into semi-rigid tubes, allowing the cable to stretch without stretching the fiber itself. This protects the fiber from tension during laying and due to temperature changes.


For their different cable constructions, OS1 and OS2 fiber cables have different application areas. OS1 is for indoor use, such as campusand data centre. Cabling is is tight buffered (manufactured into solid medium). Indoor fiber is more tolerant of bending. The fiber is more plastic and able to bend plus the buffered cable reduces the risk of catastrophic damage. OS2 is for outdoor or loose tube use, like street, underground/burial, etc. Outdoor fibers are bend sensitive and thus more likely to break during install unless care is taken.

Besides, they also have different degrees of attenuation. OS1 indoor fiber has greater loss per kilometer than OS2. In general, the maximum attenuation for OS1 is 1.0 db/km and 0.4db/km for OS2. As a result, the maximum transmission distance of OS1 single mode fiber is 2 km but the maximum transmission distance of OS2 single mode fiber can reach 5 km and up to 10 km. Though the maximum transmission distance of OS2 single mode fiber is much longer than that of OS1, OS1 is much cheaper than OS2 for the cheaper materials.


But both OS1 and OS2 cable types allow a distance of one to 10 gigabit Ethernet. And another point which needs to be paid attention to is that OS2 single mode optical fiber cables can not be connected with OS1 single mode optical fiber cables because it may lead to unpredictable signal performance. Fiberstore supplies both OS1 and OS2 single mode patch cables, and all other kinds of fiber patch cords with differernt connector options, such as SC single mode patch cable, LC multi-mode patch cable, MPO cable, etc. We provide fiber-based patch cables with high quality.

Several Common Types of Fiber Optic Patch Cords

Fiber optic patch cable is a simple fiber optic elements, consisting of a short length of optical fiber cable with a connector at each end. According to the optical connectors terminated on both ends, fiber jumpers can be divided into many different types. FC, SC, ST, LC, and MT-RJ are several commonly used connector types. Fiber patch cords with these five kinds of connectors will be briefly introduced below.

FCFC Fiber Optic Patch Cord

FC connector is the choice for singlemode fibers and mainly used in SM fiber optic components and in high speed fiber optic communication links. This high precision, ceramic ferrule connector is equipped with an anti rotation key, reducing fiber endface damage and rotational alignment sensitivity of the fiber. The key is also used for repeatable alignment of fibers in the optimal, minimal loss position. FC fiber optic patch cord come with a zirconia ceramic ferrule with pre-polished PC profile and convex spherical end, and both singlemode and multimode versions of FC fiber optic patch cable are available.

STST Fiber Optic Patch Cord

ST connector is used extensively in field and indoor fiber optic LAN applications. Its high precision, ceramic ferrule allows its use with both multimode and singlemode fibers. ST fiber cable connector has a bayonet-style housing and a long spring-loaded ferrule hold the fiber, preventing over tightening and damaging of the fiber end. Horizontally mounted simplex and duplex adapters are available with metal or plastic housing, with a choice of phosphor bronze or zirconia split sleeve. ST fiber patch cord is one of the older generations of connector, but is still widely used for multimode networks, including LANs for buildings and campuses.

LCLC Fiber Optic Patch Cord

LC connector utilizes the traditional components of a SC duplex connector, having independent ceramic ferrules and housings with the overall size scaled down by one half. The LC family of connectors indcludes a stand-alone simplex design, a “behind the wall” (BTW) connector available in both simplex and duplex configurations. LC fiber optic patch cord is a push and latch structure. It is widely used for densely installation with high performance and is highly favored for singlemode applications.

SCSC Fiber Optic Patch Cord

SC connector is becoming increasingly popular in singlemode fiber optic telecom and analog CATV, field deployed links. The high precision, ceramic ferrule construction is optimal for aligning singlemode optical fibers. The connector’s outer square profile combined with its push-pull coupling mechanism, allows for greater connector packaging density in instruments and patch panels. The keyed outer body prevents rotational sensitivity and fiber endface damage. Multimode versions of SC connector are also available. SC fiber patch cord is one of the most commonly used fiber optic cable in fiber optic networks, convenient to use and cost-saving.

MTRJMT-RJ Fiber Optic Patch Cord

MT-RJ connector uses a form factor and latch similar to the 8P8C (RJ45) connectors. Two separate fibers are included in one unified connector. It is easier to terminate and install than ST or SC connectors. The smaller size allows twice the port density on a face plate than ST or SC connectors. There are two variations: pinned and no-pin. The pinned variety, which has two small stainless steel guide pins on the face of the connector, is used in patch panels to mate with the no-pin connectors on MT-RJ patch cords. MT-RJ fiber connectors utilize precision molded MT ferrules pioneered by NTT, together with precision metal guide pins and precise housing dimensions to ensure fiber alignment when mating. MT-RJ fiber patch cable is reliable and simple to terminate.



Fiber optic patch cables are used to connect various componets and instruments in a fiber optic system. Connectors on both ends can determine the overall performance of the system to some degree. Other than choosing singlemode or multimode, simplex or duplex fiber optic patch cables, you also need to make the right choice of which cnnector type you need.

Multimode Fiber Optic Patch Cable Overview

We know that fiber optic patch cables play a very important role in the connection between devices and equipment. When talking about fiber optic patch cables, we usually divide them into multimode fiber optic patch cables and singlemode fiber optic patch cables according to the modes of the cable. What is multimode fiber optic patch cable? How many types of multimode patch cables are there? And what is the difference between multimode and singlemode patch cables? What are the applications of multimode patch cables? This text will solve those questions one by one.


Multi-mode fiber patch cables are described by the diameters of their core and cladding. There are two different core sizes of multi-mode fiber patch cords: 50 microns and 62.5 microns. Both 62.5 microns and 50 microns patch cable feature the same glass cladding diameter of 125 microns. Thus, a 62.5/125µm multi-mode fiber patch cable has a 62.5µm core and a 125µm diameter cladding; and a 50/125µm multi-mode fiber patch cable has a 50µm core and a 125µm diameter cladding. The larger core of multi-mode fiber patch cords gathers more light and allows more signals to be transmitted, as shown below. Transmission of many modes of light down a multi-mode fiber patch cable simultaneously causes signals to weaken over time and therefore travel short distance.

singlemode fiber vs multimode fiber

Types of Multimode Fiber Optic Patch Cable

Multimode fiber optic cables can be divided into OM1, OM2, OM3, and OM4 based on the types of multimode fiber. The letters “OM” stands for optical multimode. OM1 and OM2 belong to traditional multimode fiber patch cable, while OM3 and OM4 belong to the new generation fiber patch cable which provides sufficient bandwidth to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet up to 300 meters. The connector types include LC, FC, SC, ST, MU, E2000, MPO and so on. Different type of connector is available to different equipment and fiber optic cable.

By the materials of optic fiber cable jackets, multimode fiber patch cord can be divided into four different types, PVC, LSZH, plenum, and armored multimode patch cable. PVC is non-flame retardant, while the LSZH is flame retardant and low smoke zero halogen. Plenum is compartment or chamber to which one or more air ducts are connected and forms part of the air distribution system. Because plenum cables are routed through air circulation spaces, which contain very few fire barriers, they need to be coated in flame-retardant, low smoke materials. Armored fiber patch cable use rugged shell with aluminum armor and kevlar inside the jacket, and it is 10 times stronger than regular fiber patch cable.

Difference Between Singlemode and Multimode Patch Cables

Multimode and singlemode fiber optic patch cables are different mainly because they have different sizes of cores, which carry light to transmit data. Singlemode fiber optic patch cables have a core of 8 to 10 microns. Multimode fiber patch cable allows multiple beams of light passing through, while singlemode fiber cable allows a single beam of light passing through. As modal dispersion happens in multimode fiber cable, the transmission distance is relevantly nearer than singlemode fiber cables. Therefore, multimode fiber optic patch cable is generally used in relevantly recent regions network connections, while the singlemode fiber cable is often used in broader regions.

Applications of Multimode Fiber Optic Patch Cable

Multi-mode fiber patch cables are used to connect high speed and legacy networks like Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet and Ethernet. OM1 and OM2 cables are commonly used in premises applications supporting Ethernet rates of 10Mbps to 1Gbps, which are not suitable though for today’s higher-speed networks. OM3 and OM4 are best multimode options of today. For prevailing 10Gbps transmission speeds, OM3 is generally suitable for distance up to 300 meters, and OM4 is suitable for distance up to 550 meters.


Fiber optic patch cords are designed to interconnect or cross connect fiber networks within structured cabling systems. Typical fiber connector interfaces are SC, ST, and LC in either multimode or singlemode applications. Whether to choose a singlemode or multimode fiber patch cable, it all depends on applications that you need, transmission distance to be covered as well as the overall budget allowed.

Overview of 1000BASE-BX SFP Bidi Transceiver

In communication networks, many transmission lines need bidirectional transmission. This need leads to the development of Bidirectional (BiDi) transceivers, which can transmit and receive data to/from interconnected equipment through a single optical fiber. BiDi transceivers are fitted with wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) diplexers, which combine and separate data transmitted over a single fiber based on the wavelengths of the light. BiDi transceivers must be deployed in matched pairs, with their diplexers tuned to match the expected wavelength of the transmitter and receiver that they will be transmitting data from or to. In this post, a kind of BiDi transceiver, 1000BASE-BX SFP BiDi transceiver will be introduced.


1000BASE-BX is a part of the Gigabit Ethernet standard related to transmission over fiber optic cable. 1000BASE-BX SFP modules are compliant with SFP Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) specification and SFF-8472, and conform to the IEEE 802.3ah 1000BASE-BX10 standard. 1000BASE-BX SFP modules include 1000BASE-BX-U SFP module and 1000BASE-BX-D SFP module. These two SFP modules must be used in pairs to permit a bidirectional Gigabit Ethernet connection using a single strand of single mode fiber (SMF) cable. These transceivers transmit and receive signals on one fiber strand using two wavelengths in each direction. These hot pluggable optical transceivers consist of two sections: the transmitter section uses 1490nm DFB laser/1310nm Fabry-Perot laser, and the receiver section uses 1310nm/1490nm receiver accordingly. The 1000BASE-BX-D SFP operates at wavelengths of 1490nm TX/1310nm RX, and the 1000BASE-BX-U SFP operates at wavelengths of 1310nm TX/1490nm RX. These transceivers use standard simplex LC connectors for fiber cable connection and provide a long transmission distance of up to 10 km.

Key Features
  • Data rate up to 1.25 Gbps
  • Hot-pluggable SFP footprint
  • 1490 nm DFB Transmitter and 1310 nm PIN Receiver
  • 1310 nm FP Transmitter and 1490 nm PIN Receiver
  • Transmission distance up to 10 km
  • Simplex LC connector
  • Low power dissipation
  • Digital diagnostic monitor interface is compliant with SFF-8472
  • Compliant with SFP MSA Specification
  • Compliant with IEEE 802.3z Gigabit Standard
  • RoHS compliance

1000BASE-BX-D SFP supports link length of up to 10km point to point on single mode fiber (1490nm-TX/1310nm-RX wavelength) at 1Gbps bidirectional. This optic uses an LC connector. The picture below show a Cisco GLC-BX-D compatible 1000BASE-BX-D SFP 1490nm-TX/1310nm-RX transceiver. The GLC-BX-D is a small form factor pluggable module for Gigabit Ethernet 1000BASE-BX and Fiber Channel communications. The GLC-BX-D transceiver operates at 1490Tx/1310Rx wavelength. It is compatible with the IEEE 802.3ah 1000BASE-BX10-D standards. A 1000BASE-BX-D device is always connected to a 1000BASE-BX-U device with a single strand of standard SMF.

Cisco GLC-BX-D Compatible 1000BASE-BX-D SFP DOM Transceiver


1000BASE-BX-U SFP supports link length of up to 10km point to point on single mode fiber (1310nm-TX/1490nm-RX wavelength) at 1Gbps bidirectional. This optic uses an LC connector. The communication over a single strand of fiber is achieved by separating the transmission wavelength of the two devices. 1000BASE-BX-D transmits a 1490nm channel and receives a 1310nm signal, whereas 1000BASE-BX-U transmits at a 1310nm wavelength and receives a 1490nm signal. A wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) splitter integrated into the SFP to split the 1310nm and 1490nm light paths. The GLC-BX-D and GLC-BX-U SFPs also support digital optical monitoring (DOM) functions according to the industry-standard SFF-8472 multisource agreement (MSA). This feature gives the end user the ability to monitor real-time parameters of the SFP, such as optical output power, optical input power, temperature and transceiver supply voltage. The picture below show a Cisco GLC-BX-U compatible 1000BASE-BX-U SFP 1310nm-TX/1490nm-RX transceiver.

Cisco GLC-BX-U Compatible 1000BASE-BX-U SFP DOM Transceiver

  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Fiber Channel Links
  • Switch to switch interface
  • Switched backplane applications
  • Pouter/Server Interface
  • Other optical transmission systems

New organizational applications, virtualization, and data center consolidation trends are pushing your server I/O requirements to meet higher needs than before. With new BiDi optical technology, SFP BiDi transceivers make it much easier for you to upgrade your networks.

DOM — A Fiber Tester Inside Your SFPs

When reading parameters of an SFP transceiver, you may see words like “DOM”. Do you know what’s the meaning of “DOM”? And why should an SFP transceiver be with DOM? In this post, some detailed information about DOM will be given.

What Is DOM?

DOM, short for digital optical monitoring, is used to monitor some parameters of the transceiver in real-time, helping to identify the location of the fiber link failure, simplify maintenance, and improve system reliability. DOM allows you to monitor the TX (transmit) and RX (receive) power of the module, temperature, and transceiver supply voltage. You can configure your device to monitor optical transceivers in the system, either globally or by specified port. When this feature is enabled, the system monitors the temperature and signal power levels for the optical transceivers in the specified ports. Console messages and syslog messages are sent when optical operating conditions fall below or rise above the SFP manufacturer’s recommended thresholds. With DOM, network administrators can check and ensure that the module is functioning correctly in an easy and convenient way. This is why most of modern optical SFP transceivers support DOM functions. The following image shows a Brocade E1MG-SX-OM compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP DOM transceiver. With DOM function, it is able to assist network designers in detecting and digitizing parameter signals on circuit board inside the SFP module.

Brocade E1MG-SX-OM compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP DOM Transceiver

How to Use DOM?

To ensure the DOM capability function well, both the device and the platform must support the feature. When the transceiver module is DOM-enabled, a minimum software version may be required to support the feature in each platform. There are some restrictions of using DOM. Ensure that your optical transceiver supports DOM; specifies the time interval for monitoring optical transceivers; in case of combo ports with SFP and RJ45 provision, when SFP is inserted in slot or port and media type is not configured to SFP, DOM is functional only if global transceiver monitoring is enabled.

SFP Transceivers with DOM

With the popularity of DOM function, there are many SFP transceivers are with DOM, like 1000BASE-LX SFP DOM transceiver, 1000BASE-SX SFP DOM transceiver, 1000BASE-LX SFP DOM transceiver, 1000BASE-EX SFP DOM transceiver, and 1000BASE-ZX SFP DOM transceiver. And there are many third-party optical transceiver include the DOM functionality. What should be mentioned here is that although optical transceivers with DOM are much popular than those without DOM, some user still use the older optical transceivers in consideration of the upgrading costs.


SFP transceivers with DOM help to ensure that the business can be proactive in preventative maintenance of the network and ensure business continuity. And it would easy to explain why modern transceivers are with DOM. It is an irresistible development trend of industry and technology. Fiberstore is a professional optical transceiver manufacturer and supplier, which offers a with varity of compatible SFP transceivers with DOM functionality with a low cost. For example, Allied Telesis AT-SPSX compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP DOM transceiver costs only $6.00, and NETGEAR AGM732F compatible 1000BASE-LX SFP DOM transceiver costs only $7.00.

Introduction to 10/100/1000BASE-T SFP Module

The SFP transceiver modules are hot-pluggable I/O devices that plug into module sockets. The transceiver connects the electrical circuitry of the module with the optical or copper network. There are many choices of SFP modules. You may see an SFP module labeled as 10/100/1000BASE-T SFP. As we know, 1000BASE-T is a standard for Gigabit Ethernet over copper wiring. How about 10/100/1000BASE-T SFP module? What is a 10/100/1000BASE-T SFP module? In this post, a brief introduction about 10/100/1000BASE-T SFP module will be given.


The 10/100/1000BASE-T SFP small form-factor pluggable (SFP) transceiver is based on the SFP Multi Source Agreement (MSA). It is a copper SFP supporting 10/100/1000BASE-T copper Ethernet standards. It is compatible with the Gigabit Ethernet and 1000BASE-T standards as specified in IEEE 802.3z and 802.3ab. 10/100/1000BASE-T electrical SFP transceivers use an integrated RJ-45 connector with transformer and PHY IC. The link length is up to 100m over four pair Category 5 UTP cabling. With the hot pluggability, the module offers a flexible and easy way to be installed into SFP MSA compliant ports at any time without the interruption of the host equipments operating online. Besides, this 10/100/1000Mbps SFP transceiver operates at wide temperature ranges and provides high performance. It is ideal for full-duplex Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to high-end workstations and wiring closets utilizing existing copper network infrastructure. And it provides a convenient way to add a copper connection to an SFP type switch that would typically be used for fiber SFPs. Picture below shows a Juniper EX-SFP-1GE-T SFP copper transceiver. It is a 10/100/1000BASE-T copper SFP, which is compliant with the Gigabit Ethernet standard as specified in IEEE STD 802.3 and can fully satisfy the 10/100/1000BASE-T application.

Juniper EX-SFP-1GE-T Compatible 10.100.1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceiver

Key Features
  • Compliant with SFP Multi-Source Agreements standards (MSA)
  • 10/100/1000 Mbps Auto-Negotiation
  • Up to 1.25Gbps bidirectional data links
  • Hot-pluggable SFP footprint
  • Fully metallic enclosure for low EMI
  • Low power dissipation
  • Compact RJ-45 connector assembly
  • Access to physical layer IC via 2-wire serial bus
  • 10/100/1000 BASE-T operation in host systems with SGMII interface
  • Link length up to 100m with four pair UTP cabling

10/100/1000BASE-T SFP modules are extremely versatile, working with many equipment that support the SFP type of interface: Ethernet switches, routers and any other networking equipment. They support 10/100/1000 Mbps data-rate in excess of 100 meters and are ideally suited for implementing small form-factor Network Interface Cards (NICs) and uplinks. As such, it is highly appropriate for use in such high-density applications as LAN 10/100/1000BASE-T Fiber Channel, Gigabit Ethernet LAN switch applications, Gigabit Ethernet media converters, switch-to-switch interfaces, switch to switch SerDes interface, switch to switch SGMII interface, switched backplanes, gaming devices, router/server interfaces and other optical transmission systems.


Fiberstore offers a wide variety of SFP modules (T, TX, SX, LX, ZX, CWDM, DWDM and BiDi) to meet your requirements, for example, Meraki MA-SFP-1GB-TX compatible 1000BASE-TX SFP copper transceiver, and HP JD089B compatible 1000BASE-T SFP copper transceiver. Our SFP modules have been tested and guaranteed 100% compatible with various Ethernet switches from major manufacturers like Cisco, HP, Nortel, Extreme, or Netgear. Fiberstore optics are thoroughly tested and are subject to an extensive qualification process before being considered certified to work in modules and switches.

SFP Transceivers for Gigabit Ethernet Applications

SFP, small form-factor pluggable, a hot-swappable input/output device plugs into a Gigabit Ethernet port or slot. It is a popular industry format jointly developed and supported by many network component vendors. SFP transceivers have a wide variety of transmitter and receiver types, which allows users to select the appropriate transceiver for their link needs. Several different categories of SFP modules will be introduced in this article.

1000BASE-SX SFP for Multimode Fibers

The 1000BASE-SX SFP, compatible with the IEEE 802.3z 1000BASE-SX standard and SFP Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) standards, is a cost effective transceiver module with a wavelength of 850nm which supports data rates of up to 1.25 Gbps. It operates on 50/125μm multimode fiber links up to 550m and on 62.5/125μm multimode fiber links up to 300m. It also can support up to 1km over laser-optimized 50μm multimode fiber cable. Its electrical interface is compliant with SFF-8431. And it supports Digital Diagnostic Monitoring (DDM). The following is a picture of TRENDnet TEG-MGBSX compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver.

TRENDnet TEG-MGBSX Compatible 1000BASE-SX Transceiver

1000BASE-LX/LH SFP for Both Multimode and Singlemode Fibers

The 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP, compatible with the IEEE 802.3z 1000BASE-LX standard, is similar with the other SFP transceivers in basic working principle and size. 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP can be used for both single-mode and multi-mode. It is single-mode by design, but when it gets together with its friend “mode conditioning patch cable”, it can also be used for multi-mode application. It operates on standard singlemode fiber optic link spans of up to 10km and up to 550m on multimode fibers. 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP transceiver is a high performance 1310nm transceiver for singlemode fibers. It supports dual data-rate of 1.25 Gbps/1.0625 Gbps. 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP transceiver is commonly applied for Gigabit Ethernet links, Fiber Channel Switch Infrastructure and other optical transmission systems. The following picture shows a Cisco SFP-GE-L compatible 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP transceiver module.

Cisco SFP-GE-L Compatible 1000BASE-LXLH SFP Transceiver

1000BASE-EX SFP for Long-Reach Singlemode Fibers

The 1000BASE-EX SFP operates on standard single-mode fiber-optic link spans of up to 40 km in length. An inline optical attenuator should be inserted between the fiber optic cable and the receiving port on the SFP at each end of the link for back-to-back connectivity.

1000BASE-ZX SFP for Long-Reach Single-Mode Fibers

1000BASE-ZX SFP supports link length of up to 80km on single mode fiber at 1Gbps. The precise link span length depends on multiple factors such as fiber quality, number of splices, and connectors. This optic works at 1550nm wavelength and uses an LC connector.

1000BASE-T SFP for Copper Networks

1000Base-T is an extension of standard Ethernet technologies to gigabit-level network speeds. 1000BASE-T SFP operates on four pairs of the commonly installed category 5 unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable or enhanced category 5 cabling version of UTP cabling of link lengths up to 100m. The following picture shows an HP JD089B compatible 1000BASE-T SFP transceiver.

HP JD089B Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceiver


SFP transceivers are designed to support SONET, gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and other communications standards. Each optical interface operates and is managed like a fixed port but gives the customer flexibility to hot-swap or interchange to different optical module types. There is a number of 1000 BASE SFP optics from Fiberstore that are available depending on the customer application and distance capability required. Each optical interface operates and is managed like a fixed port but gives the customer flexibility to hotswap or interchange to different optical module types. Fiberstore optics are thoroughly tested and are subject to an extensive qualification process.

SFP+ AOC Assemblies — A Preferable Interconnect Solution for SFP+ Applications

Dramatically reducing 10G interconnectivity costs, the 10G SFP+ cables can provide inexpensive and reliable 10G speed connections using either SFP+ copper cables or SFP+ active optical cables (AOCs). SFP+ AOC is a cabling technology that accepts the same electrical inputs as a traditional copper cable. It uses optical fiber and electrical-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and data transmission distance of the cable while not sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces. Nowadays, SFP+ AOC has been a preferable interconnect solution for SFP+ applications. Before choosing it for your applications, you need to have a basic understanding about it.


AOC consists of multimode optical fiber, fiber optic transceivers, control chip and modules. SFP+ to SFP+ active optical cable is composed of SFP+ optical transceivers in both ends and fiber optic cable in between. This integrated optical module solution removes the complicated optical fiber interface and brings friendly and intuitive electrical-to-electrical interface to users. SFP+ AOC is designed to meet the requirements of high speed, high density and low power consumption for applications in today’s data centers via optical fiber wire. SFP+ AOC is compliant to industrial standard SFP MSA and provides high performance SFP+ interfaces, supporting 10Gb/s bi-directional operation. The demand for more bandwidth for data center is challenging interconnect technologies like Ethernet, Infiniband, and Fibre Channel. SFP+ AOC is one of the best solutions to solve this problem. The image below shows a Cisco SFP-10G-AOC10M compatible SFP+ to SFP+ AOC. It is a 10Gb/s, hot pluggable active optical cable for Ethernet data transmission.

10m Cisco SFP-10G-AOC10M Compatible SFP+ to SFP+ Active Optical Cable


Compared to SFP+ copper cables for data transmission, SFP+ AOCs provide more advantages, as shown below:

  • Longer reach
  • Lower weight and tighter bend radius enable simpler cable management
  • Thinner cables allows better airflow for cooling
  • Lower power consumption
  • No need for power-hungry conditioning ICs on the host board

SFP+ active optical cable is a 10Gbps and cost effective solution for 10G Ethernet (10GbE) applications. With industry-leading VCSEL technology and an advanced new light engine design, the SFP+ AOC assemblies are ideal for high-performance computing clusters, 10G Ethernet applications (10GbE), 4G and 8G Fiber Channel applications (4GFC/8GFC), 1x InfiniBand QDR, DDR, SDR, servers, switches, storage and network interfacing applications.


Fiberstore is a leading provider of optical and copper network equipment. We do provide a good selection of 10G SFP+ copper cables, both passive and active and options for SFP+ active optical cables. For example, IBM 95Y0326 compatible SFP+ to SFP+ active copper cable, HP J9285B and HP JG081C compatible SFP+ to SFP+ passive copper cables, and SFP+ AOC cables with various length choices like 1m, 3m, 5m, 7m, 10m, etc., all our SFP+ cables are 100% compatible with major brands like Cisco, HP, Juniper, Enterasys, Extreme, H3C and so on. If you would like to order high quality compatible SFP+ cables and get worldwide delivery. With a wide range of copper and optical networking equipment on offer, Fiberstore is sure to have the network equipment to fit your requirements.

The Basics of HP SFP Transceivers

SFP, small form-factor pluggable, is a specification for a new generation of optical modular transceivers. It is a compact, hot-pluggable transceiver used for both telecommunication and data communications applications. SFP is a popular industry format jointly developed and supported by many network component vendors. HP, as a leading provider of optical network equipment, provides various SFP transceiver choices for your Gigabit Ethernet applications. This article gives you some fundamental information about HP 1000BASE SFP transceivers.


HP SFP is a Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) standard for high speed application. The devices are designed for use with small form factor (SFF) connectors, and offer high speed and physical compactness. HP SFP transceivers are electrically hot-pluggable, which enables them to be easily interchanged, so electro-optical or fiber optic networks can be upgraded and maintained more conveniently than has been the case with traditional soldered-in modules. Rather than replacing an entire circuit board containing several soldered-in modules, a single module can be removed and replaced for repair or upgrading. This can result in a substantial cost savings, both in maintenance and in upgrading efforts. All HP SFP transceivers are well tested on HP switch to ensure optimal signal integrity and the best end-to-end performance.

Types of HP SFP Transceivers

There is a number of HP 1000BASE SFP optics that are available depending on the customer application and distance capability required. Each optical interface operates and is managed like a fixed port but gives the customer flexibility to hotswap or interchange to different optical module types. In this part, two different kinds of HP SFP transceivers will be introduced.

HP 1000BASE-LX SFP: HP 1000BASE-LX SFP transceiver, like HP J4859C, is specified to work over a distance of up to 10km over single mode fiber and it can also run over all common types of multi mode fiber with a maximum segment length of 550m. For link distances greater than 300m, you must install a mode-conditioning patch cord between the transceiver and the MMF cable on both ends of the link. HP J4859C SFP transceiver, as shown below, provides a full-duplex gigabit solution up to 10 km (singlemode) or 550 m (multimode).

HP J4859C Compatible 1000BASE-LX SFP Transceiver

HP 1000BASE-SX SFP: HP 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver, like HP JD118B, is compatible with the IEEE 802.3z standard and operates multi-mode fibers link up to 550 m. HP 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver module consists of three sections: a VCSEL laser transmitter, a PIN photodiode integrated with a trans-impedance preamplifier (TIA) and MCU control unit. It is often applied for Fibre Channel links, Gigabit Ethernet links, Fast Ethernet links, etc. HP JD118B SFP transceiver, as shown below, is a cost effective transceiver module with a wavelength of 850 nm which supports data rates of up to 1.25 Gbps.

HP JD118B Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP Transceiver

Applications of HP SFP

HP SFP Transceivers are designed to support SONET, gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and other communications standards. Storage interface cards, also called HBAs or Fibre Channel storage switches, also make use of these modules, supporting different speeds such as 2Gb, 4Gb, and 8Gb. Because of their low cost, low profile, and ability to provide a connection to different types of optical fiber, SFP provides such equipment with enhanced flexibility.


Fiberstore is a professional manufacturer and supplier for optical fiber products and provides various kinds of SFP transceivers. We offers a large amount of compatible SFP transceivers branded by many famous companies, like Cisco, HP, Juniper, and Brocade. All these fiber transceivers are 100% compatible with major brands like Cisco, HP, Juniper, Nortel, Force10, D-link, 3Com, etc. Moreover, these 1000BASE SFP transceivers are with high quality and backed by a lifetime warranty.

Introduction to OM4 Fiber Patch Cords

Nowadays, with the rapid development of multimedia, there is requirement for growing broader bandwidth for audio and video applications. Multi-mode fiber optic patch cords are used to connect high speed and legacy networks like 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet, fast Ethernet and Ethernet. OM4 fiber optic patch cord is one of those commonly used fiber optic patch cables designed to meet this increasing requirement. It is terminated with standard connectors which give optimum optical performance.

Definition of OM4 Fiber Patch Cords

OM4 multi-mode fiber patch cord is a 50µm laser-optimized multi-mode fiber patch cable with extended bandwidth. It is used in networks where an overwhelming or extreme amount of data needs to be transferred. OM4 multi-mode fiber patch cords can also enhance the system cost benefits enabled by 850nm vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) for existing 1 and 10 Gb/s applications as well as 40 and 100 Gb/s systems. They are typically used in 10 Gigabit Ethernet. They can be regarded as improvement on the existed OM3 standards.

Types of OM4 Fiber Patch Cords

OM4 multi-mode fiber patch cords can be categorized into different types based on various standards. There are many different kinds of connectors, like FC, LC, SC and ST. Connector types on both ends of the OM4 fiber patch cable can be the same and can also be different. For example, an OM4 fiber patch cable with an LC connector on each end is known as LC to LC patch cable, and an OM4 fiber patch cable with an LC connector on one end and an SC connector on the other end is known as LC to SC patch cable. OM4 multi-mode patch cords can also be divided into simplex and duplex. A simplex OM4 multi-mode fiber patch cord has only one single strand of glass or plastic fiber in it. It is often used where only a single transmit or receive line is required between devices. A duplex OM4 multi-mode fiber patch cord consists of two strands of glass or plastic fiber which are typically found in a tight-buffered and jacketed “zipcord” construction format. It is most often used for duplex communication between devices where a simultaneous and separate transmit and receive are required. The following picture is a duplex OM4 multi-mode fiber patch cord.


Applications of OM4 Fiber Patch Cords

OM4 multi-mode fiber patch cords can connect high speed and legacy networks including Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet and Ethernet. They also support Fiber Channel and OIF applications, allowing extended reach upwards of 550m at 10 Gb/s for ultra long building backbones and medium length campus backbones. Besides, OM4 fiber patch cords support video, data and voice services in data centers and premises cabling in data networks including backbone, riser and horizontal. With an effective modal bandwidth (EMB) of 4700 MHz/km, OM4 fiber patch cords are also especially well suitable for shorter reach data center and high performance computing applications. OM4 fiber patch cables effectively provide a minimum reach of 125m over multi-mode fiber within the 40 and 100 gigabit Ethernet standards.

Fiberstore provides the broadest choice of fiber optic patch cords to the industry including OM3 fiber patch cable, OM4 fiber patch cable, MPO cable and other special fiber patch cords with multiple connector choices. Our OM4 fiber patch cable has armored and non-armored options. We make reliable and top quality OM4 fiber patch cords at an affordable price.

Choice of Bidirectional Transceivers for 40 GbE

As a result of data center consolidation, server virtualization, and new applications that require higher data transport rates, 10Gbps infrastructure is becoming overwhelmed by today’s data center requirements, making the shift to 40 and 100 Gbps inevitable, especially in the network aggregation layer and core. How to upgrade the cabling infrastructure and migrate to the 40Gbps era in a cost-effective way? Cisco 40G QSFP (quad small form-factor pluggable) bidirectional (BiDi) technology provides a feasible and effective method, which will be introduced in the following text.

What Is 40G QSFP BiDi Transceiver?

Cisco’s innovative 40 Gbps QSFP BiDi transceiver is a pluggable optical transceiver with a duplex LC connector interface for short-reach data communication and interconnect applications. The Cisco BiDi transceiver supports link lengths of 100m and 150m on laser-optimized OM3 and OM4 multimode fibers. It complies with the QSFP MSA specification, enabling customers to use it on all QSFP 40 Gbps platforms to achieve high-density 40 Gigabit Ethernet networks.

How Does 40G QSFP BiDi Transceiver Work?

Cisco QSFP BiDi transceiver technology converts four channels each of 10Gbps transmit and receive signals to two bidirectional channels of 20Gbps signals, which means that the Cisco QSFP BiDi transceiver has two 20Gbps channels, each transmitted and received simultaneously over two wavelengths on a single MMF strand. The technology uses specialized, multilayer, thin-film dielectric coating and lensing, which allows components to both pass and reflect optical signals at the same time. And it uses Bidirectional Optical Sub-Assembly (BOSA) technology to support two wavelengths (20 Gbps total) on each fiber. The connection can reach 100 meters on OM3 MMF or 150 meters on OM4 MMF, which is the same as 40Gbps SR4. Picture below shows the technology concept of the Cisco QSFP BiDi transceiver.

Concept of Cisco QSFP BiDi Transceiver

Why Choose 40Gbps QSFP BiDi Transceiver?

The Cisco QSFP BiDi transceiver transmits full-duplex 40Gbps traffic over one dual-fiber LC connector OM3 or OM4 MMF cable. It provides the capability to reuse 10Gbps fiber infrastructure. In other words, it enables data center operators to upgrade to 40Gbps connectivity without making great changes to the previous 10Gbps fiber cable plant. By using the existing 10 Gigabit Ethernet duplex multi-mode fiber (MMF) infrastructure for 40 Gigabit Ethernet, the Cisco BiDi transceiver offers significant cost savings and simplifies data center upgrading. It allows for zero-cost fiber migration by reusing the current 10Gbps cabling for 40Gbps device connectivity. 40Gbps QSFP BiDi transceiver reduces overall costs and installation time for customers migrating data center aggregation links to 40Gbps connections. Using Cisco BiDi transceivers offers 75% less fiber and MPO requirements, reduced cable sprawl and rack footprints, and investment protection with future support for 100 Gbps over duplex fiber.


Cisco 40G QSFP BiDi technology removes 40Gbps cabling cost barriers for migration from 10Gbps to 40Gbps connectivity in data center networks. It is quite a competitive option among all those various choices for 40 Gigabit Ethernet applications, such as QSFP+ transceiver, QSFP+ breakout cable or active optical cable. Compared with them, Cisco 40G QSFP BiDi transceivers provide simpler and less expensive 40Gbps connectivity compared to other 40Gbps transceiver solutions. Anyway, you choose the most appropriate one for your applications.