Tag Archives: OM4

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.

12-fiber-50125-10g-om4-multimode-ribbon-fan-out-lcupc-pigtail

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.

Conclusion

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.

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.

Introduction

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.

Conclusion

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.

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.

Conclusion

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.

Things to Know about 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ Modules

With the growing demand for high data rates, 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) is now becoming more and more widely adopted. For a 40 GbE network application, precise connectivity is crucial. 40G QSFP (quad small form factor pluggable) portfolio offers customers a wide variety of high-density and low-power 40 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity options. Among them, 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver is a common 40 GbE connectivity option. And here are some things that you need to know about 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceivers.

Introduction

40GBASE-SR4 is a fiber optic interface for multimode fiber of OM classes 3 and 4 with four parallel OM3 or OM4 fibers in both directions. “S” means short, indicating that it is an interface for short distances. The “R” denotes the type of interface with 64B/66B encoding and the numeral 4 indicates that the transmission is carried out over a ribbon fiber with four multimode fibers in every direction. Each lane has a 10 Gbit/s data rate. 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ modules usually use a parallel multimode fiber (MMF) link to achieve 40G. It offers 4 independent transmit and receive channels, each capable of 10G operation for an aggregate data rate of 40G over 100 meters of OM3 MMF or 150 meters of OM4 MMF. It primarily enables high-bandwidth 40G optical links over 12-fiber parallel fiber terminated with MPO/MTP multifiber female connectors.

40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ module can also be used in a 4x10G mode for interoperability with 10GBASE-SR interfaces up to 100 and 150 meters on OM3 and OM4 fibers, respectively. The worry-free 4x10G mode operation is enabled by the optimization of the transmit and receive optical characteristics to prevent receiver overload or unnecessary triggering of alarm thresholds on the 10GBASE-SR receiver, and at the same time is completely interoperable with all standard 40GBASE-SR4 interfaces. The 4x10G connectivity is achieved using an external 12-fiber parallel to 2-fiber duplex breakout cable, which connects the 40GBASE-SR4 module to four 10GBASE-SR optical interfaces. The picture below shows a Mellanox MC2210411-SR4 compatible 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver.

Mellanox MC2210411-SR4 Compatible 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ Transceiver

40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ Module vs 40GBASE-CSR4 QSFP+ Module

40GBASE-CSR4 QSFP+ module is similar to the 40GBASE-SR4 interface extends supported link lengths to 300m and 400m respectively on laser-optimized OM3 and OM4 multimode fiber cables. Each 10-gigabit lane of this module is compliant to IEEE 10GBASE-SR specifications. This module can be used for native 40G optical links over 12-fiber ribbon cables with MPO/MTP connectors, or in 4x10G mode with ribbon to duplex fiber breakout cables for connectivity to four 10GBASE-SR interfaces. Maximum channel insertion loss allowed is respectively 2.6dB over 300m of OM3 cable or 2.9dB over 400m of OM4 cable.

Conclusion

Fiberstore offers you a wide variety of 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceivers for your high-density and low-power 40 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity options branded by many famous companies like Cisco, Juniper or HP. And we also provide other compatible 40G QSFP+ transceivers, such as 40GBASE-LR4 QSFP+ transceiver, 40GBASE-ER4 QSFP+ transceiver, 40GBASE-CSR4 QSFP+ transceiver, etc. Every fiber optic transceiver provided by Fiberstore has been tested to ensure its compatibility and interoperability. You can buy from us with confidence.

40 GbE and 100 GbE over Multimode Fiber

To support the changing and fast-growing bandwidth demands of data centers, the IEEE ratified standards for supporting 40 GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) and 100 GbE (Gigabit Ethernet), known as IEEE 802.3ba. Both 40 and 100 GbE can be deployed using the same cabling systems in use today. Multimode will employ parallel optics using MPO interconnects and require additional cable infrastructure depending on the system deployed while single mode fiber will employ serial transmission and use LC or SC connectors. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this post, 40 GbE and 100 GbE over multimode fiber will be introduced.

40 GbE and 100 GbE Standard

IEEE published the IEEE 802.3ba standard for 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet in June 2010. multimode optical fiber OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4 have different capabilities of supporting different Ethernet applications. Only the laser optimized multimode fiber (grades OM3 and OM4) are capable of supporting 40G and 100G Ethernet. The next part will focus on the cabling requirements of 40 GbE and 100 GbE over multimode fiber. The table below shows 40GE and 100GE specifications.

40 GbE and 100 GbE Specifications

Implementing Parallel Optics

Traditionally, the Ethernet standard has relied upon duplex fiber cabling with each channel using one fiber to transmit and the other to receive. However, the 802.3ab standard requires multiple lanes of traffic per channel. To do this, the 40/100GbE standard uses parallel optics. The 802.3ba standard defines the parallel operation of four OM3/OM4 fibers for 40 GbE in 40GBASE-SR4 and the parallel operation of ten OM3/OM4 fibers for 100 GbE in 100GBASESR10. Two fibers have to be used per link because this arrangement is full duplex operation, i.e. simultaneous transmission in both directions. Therefore the number of fibers increases to eight for 40GBASE-SR4 and to 20 for 100GBASE-SR10. In the parallel optical link, the signal is split, transmitted over separate fibers and then joined again. That means the individual signals have to arrive at the receiver at the same time. Any skew in signal components has to be kept within tight tolerances. Trunk cables preterminated with MPO/MTP connectors are therefore the best choice for reliable transmission.

What Is 40 GbE and 100GbE over Multimode Fiber?

40G Ethernet and 100G Ethernet over multimode fiber uses parallel optics at 10 Gb/s per lane. One lane uses 1 fiber for each direction of transmission. 40G Ethernet requires 8 fibers. 100G Ethernet requires 20 fibers. The minimum performance that is needed to support 40 GbE and 100 GbE over multimode fiber is OM3 fiber for a distance of 100 meters. Cabling with OM4 fiber provides the capability to extend the reach up to 150 meters. Parallel optical channels with multi-fiber multimode optical fibers of the categories OM3 and OM4 are used for implementing 40 GbE and 100 GbE. The small diameter of the optical fibers poses no problems in laying the lines, and 802.3ba standard incorporated the MPO multi-fiber connector for 40GBASE-SR4 and 100GBASE-SR10, which can contact 12 or 24 fibers in the tiniest of spaces.

Conclusion

Optical fiber cabling is commonly deployed for backbone cabling in data centers for switch to switch connections and also for horizontal cabling for switch to server and storage area network connections. The use of pre-terminated optical fiber cabling can facilitate the migration path to 40G and 100G Ethernet in the future. Fiberstore can supply you with top-quality components for your 40 GbE and 100 GbE network, like 40G QSFP transceivers, and all kinds of QSFP+ cable choices, it also assists you competently with all questions involving planning, installation and maintenance.

Introduction to MPO/MTP Technology in 40 GbE

The increasing demands of bandwidth and high speed drive the emergence of 40 GbE, and even up to higher in the future. And the high-speed transmission requires high-density data center as the increasing created data need amount of cables and devices which take a lot of space and cost. Data centers have to achieve ultra-high density in cabling to accommodate all this cabling in the first place. Multimode fiber optics is the medium of the future for satisfying the growing need for transmission speed and data volume over short distances. Ultra-parallel connections involve tougher requirements in terms of the components and the handling of the connectors. The MPO/MTP technology has proven to be a practical solution. This article provides introductory information on MPO/MTP technology in 40 GbE.

MPO/MTP—Multi-fiber Connectors for High Port Density

Parallel optical channels with multi-fiber multimode optical fibers of the categories OM3 and OM4 are used for implementing 40 GbE. The small diameter of the optical fibers poses no problems in laying the lines, but the ports suddenly have to accommodate four or even ten times the number of connectors. This large number of connectors can no longer be covered with conventional individual connectors. That is why the 802.3ba standard incorporated the MPO multi-fiber connector for 40GBASE-SR4. It can contact 12 or 24 fibers in the tiniest of spaces. Next part describes this type of connector.

12 Fibers 10G OM4 Harness Cable, 12 Strands, MPO-HD to LC-HD Push Pull TAB Connector

MPO Connectors: Structure and Function

The MPO connector (known as multi-fiber push-on and also as multi-path push-on) is a multi-fiber connector defined according to IEC 61754-7 and TIA/EIA 604-5 that can accommodate up to 72 fibers in the tiniest of spaces, comparable to an RJ45 connector. MPO connectors are most commonly used for 12 or 24 fibers. Eight fibers are needed for 40 GbE, which means four contacts remain non-interconnected in each case. MPO connectors and MTP (mechanical transfer push-on) connectors are no longer terminated on site because of the delicate multi-fiber structure and narrow tolerances involved. MPO/MTP connectors are therefore sold already terminated together with trunk cables. With this arrangement, customers have to plan line lengths precisely but are also assured top quality and short installation times. To achieve lower tolerances and better attenuation values, the American connectivity specialist US Conec developed the MTP connector. It has better optical and mechanical quality than the MPO. An MTP connector consists of a housing and a separate MT ferrule. The MT ferrule is a multi-fiber ferrule in which the fiber alignment depends on the eccentricity and positioning of the fibers and the holes drilled in the centering pins. The centering pins help control fiber alignment during insertion. Since the housing is detachable, the ferrules can undergo interferometric measurements and subsequent processing during the manufacturing process.

Conclusion

MPO/MTP connectors and fiber cables as the important part of the multi-fiber connection system, are designed for the reliable and quick operations in data centers. Fiberstore manufactures and distributes a wide range of MTP/MPO cable assemblies including trunk cables, harness cables and cassettes (or patch panels). And we also offer other kinds of transceiver and cable choices for your 40GbE applications, for example, HP JG709A 40GBASE-CSR4 QSFP+ transceiver, and Juniper QFX-QSFP-DAC-3M QSFP+ to QSFP+ passive copper cable, etc. Futhermore, customized service such as optional fiber counts, cable types and lengths are available.

A Guide to 40 Gigabit Ethernet

The 802.3ba Ethernet standard introduced by the IEEE in June 2010 was in response to the increasing bandwidth demands facing data centers, paving the way for the introduction of 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s Ethernet operations. As you begin to think about the future of your network, understanding all the 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GbE) and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) optical components can be confusing. In this post, a brief overview of the current 40 Gigabit Ethernet to aid in planning for future high-performance Ethernet needs will be given.

What Is 40 Gigabit Ethernet?

40GbE is a standard that enables the transfer of Ethernet frames at speeds of up to 40 gigabits per second (Gbit/s). The 40GbE standard is intended for local server connectivity. One of the most attractive characteristics of 40 Gigabit Ethernet is broad applications and design flexibility. 40 Gigabit Ethernet runs on quad small form factor pluggable (QSFFP) cabling, a high-density fiber connector with 12 strands of fiber. According to the task force, 40GbE fulfills the following requirements and objectives:

  • Preserve existing 802.3 frame format, minimum size, and maximum size.
  • Support high-bandwidth applications such as video on demand (VoD) and high-performance computing (HPC).
  • Support high-speed switching, routing, and application functions in data centers.
  • Exhibit a bit error rate (BER) of 10-12 or better.
  • Provide support for optical transport network (OTN).
  • Provide specifications for operation over single-mode optical fiber, laser optimized multi-mode optical fiber, copper cables, and backplanes.
How Does 40 Gigabit Ethernet Work?

40 Gigabit Ethernet can be deployed using the same cabling systems in use today. Multi-mode will employ parallel optics using MPO interconnects and require additional cable infrastructure depending on the system deployed while single mode fiber will employ serial transmission and use LC or SC connectors. The approach used for the higher speed data rates is based on advanced transceiver technologies engineered to take advantage of the full bandwidth of laser optimized fibers. The 40 Gigabit Ethernet specification calls for a 12-fiber cabling solution, implemented using eight of the twelve fibers in an MPO connector, with each channel featuring four dedicated transmit fibers and four dedicated receive fibers. The middle four fibers remain unused, or dark. Each Tx/Rx pair is operating at 10G.

40 Gigabit Ethernet Cables

Cabling for 40 Gigabit Ethernet can be optical fiber or copper. The supportable channel length depends on the cable and the transceiver type. With regard to connectors, the only significant change outlined in the 802.3ba standard is the use of MPO (Multi-Fiber Push On) type connectors at the multi-mode transceivers to support the multi-fiber parallel optics channels. For data center environments operating at 40Gbps, OM3 and OM4 multi-mode cabling is generally recommended because its reach supports a wider range of deployment configurations compared to copper solutions, and the cost is lower compared to single-mode solutions.

40 Gigabit Ethernet Transceivers

40 Gigabit Ethernet transceivers are being developed along several standard form factors. The C form-factor pluggable (CFP) transceiver features 12 transmit and 12 receive 10Gbps lanes to support up to three 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Its larger size is suitable for the needs of single-mode optics and can easily serve multi-mode optics or copper as well. The CXP transceiver form factor also provides 12 lanes in each direction, but is much smaller than the CFP and serves the needs of multi-mode optics and copper. The quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP) is similar in size to the CXP and provides four transmit and four receive lanes to support 40 Gigabit Ethernet applications for multi-mode fiber and copper. And quad small form-factor pluggable plus (QSFP+) gradually replaces QSFP and is widely used by people as it can provide higher bandwidth. The picture below shows a Cisco WSP-Q40GLR4L compatible QSFP+ transceiver.

Cisco WSP-Q40GLR4L Compatible 40GBASE-LR4L QSFP+ Transceiver

Migrating to 40 Gigabit Ethernet will prove very cost-effective for those who do it right. One critical step is to choose appropriate cables and transceivers. Fiberstore is a professional manufacturer and supplier, which offers a large amount of cables and transceivers for your 40GbE applications. For example, HP 805755-B21 compatible QSFP+ transceiver, and Juniper JNP-QSFP-4X10GE-IR compatible QSFP+ transceiver offered by Fiberstore are cost-effective and high-performance transceiver modules fully compatible with major brands.

Introduction to Multi-mode Fiber Patch Cords

Optical devices of different types are connected with fiber patch cords. Fiber optic patch cord is an optical cable, capped at either end with connectors and used to connect one optical device to another for signal routing. The core of all fiber patch cables carries light to transmit data. By different sizes of cores, fiber optic patch cables can be classified into single mode and multi-mode fiber patch cords. This paper will give a brief introduction to multi-mode fiber patch cords.

What Is Multi-mode Fiber Patch Cord?

Multi-mode fiber optic patch cable has a core of either 50 or 62.5 microns. The larger core of multi-mode fiber patch cords gathers more light compared to single mode, and allows more signals to be transmitted. Transmission of many modes of light down a multi-mode fiber patch cable simultaneously causes signals to weaken over time and therefore travel a short distance. Connector types on both ends of a multi-mode fiber patch cord can be the same and also can be different. Some of the most common multi-mode connectors include LC, FC, SC, ST, etc. With different connector types, multi-mode fiber patch cables can be connected with various telecommunication equipment.

LC Multimode Patch Cords

Common Multi-mode Fiber Patch Cords

There are four common types of multi-mode fiber patch cords, OM1, OM2, OM3, and OM4. Letters “OM” stand for optical multi-mode. These 4 types of multi-mode fiber patch cords are different from each other in various aspects, and their differences determine their respective characteristics and application areas.

OM1 multi-mode fiber patch cord has a bigger core diameter, 62.5 microns, which makes it better on concentrating the light and bend-resistance. It is suitable for 100Mb and 1Gb. Though OM1 fiber optic patch cable is still a popular indoor use multi-mode fiber optic patch cable, it has serious limitations for high speed demands.

OM2 multi-mode fiber patch cord has a core of 50 microns. It is specifically designed for use with today’s narrower aperture components. 50 µm fiber offers as much as ten times the bandwidth of 62.5 µm fiber. OM2 multi-mode fiber patch cords are used in fiber optic telecommunications and high speed transmission systems that require simultaneous, bi-directional data transfer.

OM2 Multi-mode Fiber Optic Patch Cord

OM3 multi-mode fiber patch cord also has a core of 50 microns, but the cable is optimized for laser based equipment that uses fewer modes of light. Due to this optimization, OM3 fiber patch cord is capable of running 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 300 meters.

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. It is the preferred technology for the emerging standards that will operate at 40Gb and even 100Gb up to 150m and is commonly used in data center applications.

Applications of Multi-mode Fiber Patch Cords

Multi-mode fiber patch cables are a good choice for transmitting data and voice signals over shorter distances than single mode. They are utilized to connect high speed and legacy networks like Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet and Ethernet. They are suitable for Gigabit Ethernet in high speed LAN networks, legacy networks including Ethernet, Fast Ethernet and FDDI, data centers, premises cabling in data networks including backbone, riser and horizontal, and also video, data and voice services.

There is a great selection of multi-mode patch cords for multiple applications. These fiber patch cables can be with custom length, custom made cable jacket and different standards like LSZH, Riser and Plenum. And they can be available in simplex and duplex with FC, SC, ST, FC, MTRJ, E2000 and MU fiber optic connectors. You can select the most appropriate one for your applications.

Related Article:
Differences Between Single Mode and Multi-mode Fiber Optic Patch Cables