As the introduction of multimode optical fibers of the categories OM3 and OM4 are used for implementing 40 GbE and 100 GbE, though the small diameter of the optical fibers poses no problems in laying the lines, 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. Thus, some vendors such fiber-mart.com start to provide the incorporated optical connectors with very low loss for high port density. This article talks about MPO connectors and its high performance connector –MPT connector.
The MPO connector is short for multi-fiber push on. It’s 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 fibers (Figure 1).
MPO Connector Benefits
MPO connectors deliver the optical, mechanical and environmental performance that service providers need to expedite the addition of fiber capacity and to support higher data-rate services. Among the numerous operational, financial and competitive benefits of using MPO connectors in the core network are:
Optical insertion loss and return loss performance similar to single-fiber connectors
Maximum space savings for high-density fiber environments
Reduced labor costs via fast, easy installation– because one 12-fiber MPO connector replaces 12 single fiber connectors
Compliant with standards, i.e., IEC 61754-7; IEC 61755-3-31, IEC 61753-1
However, the fibers are usually glued into holes within the ferrule body. Fibers glued directly into the body with MPO connectors make reworking later on difficult and put limits on manufacturing accuracy. And there will be some angle errors and radial displacement. So MTP connectors different from the MPO in various ways. e.g. rounded pins and oval shaped compression springs are created to prevent scratches during plug-in and protect the fibers in the transition area from connector to cable.
The MTP connector (Figure 2) is a high performance MPO connector with multiple engineered product enhancements to improve optical and mechanical performance. The MTP connectors are compliant with all MPO connector standards including IEC-61754-7.
MTP Connector Benefits
The MTP connector has benefits that generic MPO connectors don’t have. And they are as follows:
1. The MTP connector housing is removable. So you can rework and re-polish the MT ferrule, change the gender after assembly and scan the ferrule interferometrically after assembly.
2. The MTP connector offers ferrule float to improve mechanical performance. This allows two mated ferrules to maintain physical contact while under an applied load.
3. The MTP connector uses tightly held tolerance stainless steel guide pin tips with an elliptical shape. The elliptical shaped guide pin tips improves guidance and reduces guide hole wear.
4. The MTP connector spring design maximizes ribbon clearance for twelve fiber and multi-fiber ribbon applications to prevent fiber damage.
5. The MTP connector is offered with four standard variations of strain relief boots to meet a wide array of applications.
MPO/MTP connectors play an important role in the multi-fiber connection system. The connectors ensure fiber alignment when mating and realize high density interconnection. MPO/MTP connectors save time and reduce the risk of damaging fragile optical connectors.