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While some people choose to install singlemode fiber because of it’s high bandwidth, multimode fiber continues to be a popular choice for enterprise applications. Newer grades of multimode fiber, such as OM4 laser optimized fiber and OM5, wideband multimode fiber, have the bandwidth to support most applications over the distances required, plus the cost for the optics remains lower than the cost of singlemode optics.

To support the high bandwidths required in data centers, most companies are installing at least OM4, laser optimized multimode fiber. Some companies are installing single-mode fiber, but that requires more expensive optics. A new option that is emerging is OM5, a wide bandwidth multimode fiber which allows short wavelength division multiplexing. This means the fiber can carry multiple wavelengths of light over the same fiber, increasing bandwidth significantly and yet still allowing the use of lower cost multimode optics.

Polarity defines direction of flow, such as the direction of a magnetic field or an electrical current. In fiber optics, it defines the direction that light signals travels through an optical fiber. To properly send data via light signals, a fiber optic link’s transmit signal (Tx) at one end of the cable must match the corresponding receiver (Rx) at the other end.

In duplex fiber applications, such as 10 Gig, data transmission is bidirectional over two fibers where each fiber connects the transmitter on one end and to the receiver on the other end. The role of polarity is to make sure that this connection is maintained.

Polarity in multi-fiber MPO type cables and connectors is more complicated. Industry standards call out three different polarity methods for MPOs—Method A, Method B and Method C. And each method uses different types of MPO cables.

The three most common MPO connector options are MPO-8, MPO-12 and MPO-24.

  • MPO-8 is a legacy standard for the QSFPs, coming out of the transceivers running 40 Gigabit or 100 Gigabits. It is used for both multimode and singlemode transceivers and breakouts, but offers the lowest density option, because you’ll have to have more components for the MPO-8 as you move forward into higher speeds.
  • The MPO-12 is the legacy embedded base and with the use of different modules and array fanouts can accommodate multiple configurations.
  • MPO-24 is the newest option and is used on the trunk cables and modules. MPO-24 helps to future proof your network because it provides the highest panel density, allows you to use fewer components and may offer the lowest first installed cost. MPO 24 trunk implementations provide significant advantages for duplex and parallel implementations, providing for faster installation and better pathway efficiency.

MTP connector has some features and benefits that are not available on standard MPO connectors, including removable housing & floating ferrule etc. Click here to learn more.

Even though the differences, MPO and MTP connectors are 100% compatible.

MPO stands for Multiple-Fiber Push-On/Pull-Off, it is multi-fiber connectors designed by NTT. MPO connector is built on the MT-style ferrule and the MT (mechanical transfer) ferrule is designed to hold up to 32 fibers in a ferrule and is ideally suitable for high-density transmission.

MTP stands for Multifiber Termination Push-On and is a trademark of USCONEC for high performance MPO Connectors. MTP is popular in the United States and MPO is more common in Europe. MPO and MTP are 100% compatible.

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