MTP Trunks and Breakouts for 10G to 40G Migration

With the rapid development of datacom, 10Gbps is no longer enough for massive data transmission. Many data center managers set their sights on 10G to 40G migration. However, it is not possible to upgrade all 10G equipment in the cabling system because of the high cost. Therefore, finding a cost-effective solution for the migration has become a hotspot. We know that MTP cable gains great popularity among data center managers since it can provide fast installation, high density and high performance cabling for data centers. By using MTP trunk cable and MTP breakout cable respectively, there are two solutions for 10G to 40G migration. And this article is going to share these two solutions with you: MTP trunks and MTP breakouts.

Overview of MTP Trunk Cable and MTP Breakout Cable

Before we come to the migration solutions, let’s have a brief overview of MTP trunk cable and MTP breakout cable. MTP trunk cable, terminated with MTP connectors at both ends, can create the permanent fiber links between panels in a structured environment. It is typically used as backbone or horizontal cable interconnections. With efficient plug and play architecture, MTP trunk cable can greatly reduce the installation and maintenance costs. In networking applications, 12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP trunk cables are commonly used: 12-fiber MTP trunk cable is normally for 40G Ethernet network, while 24-fiber MTP trunk cable is normally for 100G Ethernet network.Here is a figure of MTO trunk cables for you.

MTP breakout cable, also named MTP fanout cable or MTP harness cable, is terminated with a male/female MTP connector on one side and several duplex LC/SC connectors on the other side, providing a transmission from multi-fiber cables to individual fibers or duplex connectors. It is typically used to connect equipment in racks to MTP terminated backbone cables. MTP breakout cable is designed for high density applications which require high performance and speedy installation without on-site termination.Here is a figure of MTP breakout cables for you.

MTP Trunks for 10G to 40G Migration

For 10G to 40G migration, you can use the MTP trunk cable. Also, MTP fiber patch panel can be used to fulfill the data transmission link. With forty-eight LC duplex adapters on the front and twelve 8-fiber MTP adapters on the rear, the high density 40G QSFP+ breakout patch panel acts as a middleman between 10G to 40G connection. The figure below shows the connectivity method. From the left to the right, four 10G SFP+ transceivers are plugged in the SFP+ interfaces on the switch on one side, then the SFP+ transceivers are connected with the front LC ports of MTP fiber patch panel by LC duplex patch cables. With the use of MTP trunk cable, the rear MTP ports of MTP fiber patch panel are linked with one 40G QSFP+ transceiver. Finally, the whole optical link is accomplished by plugging the 40G QSFP+ transceiver in the QSFP+ interface on the switch on the other side.

MTP Breakouts for 10G to 40G Migration

For 10G to 40G migration, using the MTP breakout cable is a simple way. As shown in the following picture, four 10G SFP+ transceivers are plugged in the SFP+ interfaces on the switch on one side, while one 40G QSFP+ transceiver is plugged in the QSFP+ interface on the switch on the other side. Then the MTP to LC breakout cable connects the four 10G SFP+ transceivers with the 40G QSFP+ transceiver. Finally, the data can be transmitted from 10G switch to 40G switch through the MTP to LC breakout cable smoothly.

What Are They and How to Use MTP/MPO Cables

With ever-greater bandwidths and network connections to deal with in data centers, conventional dual-fiber patch cables like LC cable can no longer meet the demands. To solve this problem, MTP/MPO cables accommodating more fibers in one multi-fiber MTP/MPO connector came into the market, which proves to be practical solutions for 40G/100G/400G high-density cabling in data centers. This article is going to introduce different MTP/MPO cable types and their applications.

MTP/MPO Cable Overview

MPO (Multi-Fiber Push-on) is the first generation of clip clamping multi-core optical fiber connector. MTP® is a registered trademark of US Conec Ltd. , which is an advanced version of MPO, with better mechanical and optical performance. They look alike and are completely compatible and intermateable. MTP/MPO cables are composed of MTP/MPO connectors and optical fibers. MTP/MPO connectors have a female type (without pins) or a male one (with pins) as shown in Figure 1. The position of guide grooves also results in “Key Up” and “Key Down” MTP/MPO connectors. And a white dot is for identifying fiber position in connectors. MTP/MPO connectors largely increase the cable density and save circuit card and rack space, which are well suited for current 40G/100G cabling and future network speed upgrades.

MTP/MPO Cable Solutions

A variety of MTP/MPO cables are available for different application environments and requirements based on functions, polarity, fiber count, fiber mode and jacket rating.

By Function

MTP/MPO trunk cables, MTP/MPO breakout cables and MTP/MPO conversion cables are ideal for high density cabling network, offering better network capacity and flexibility.

MTP/MPO Trunk Cables

MTP/MPO trunk cables are terminated with an MTP/MPO connector (female/male) on both ends, which are available in 8-144 fiber counts for users’ choices. Typically, these multi-fiber MTP/MPO trunk cables are ideal for creating a structured cabling system, including backbone and horizontal interconnections such as 40G-40G and 100G-100G direct connections, so as to achieve a simple and efficient high-performance networking.

MTP/MPO Breakout Cables

MTP/MPO breakout cables (aka. harness cables or fanout cables) are terminated with a female/male MTP/MPO connector on one end and 4/6/8/12 duplex LC/FC/SC/ST connectors on the other end, such as 8-fiber MTP/MPO to 4 LC harness cables and 12-fiber MTP/MPO to 6 LC harness cables. Typically, these breakout cables are ideal for short-range 10G-40G and 25G-100G direct connections or for connecting backbone assemblies to a rack system in the high-density backbone cabling.

MTP/MPO Conversion Cables

MTP/MPO conversion cables have the same fanout design as MTP/MPO breakout cables but are different in fiber counts and types. They are terminated with MTP/MPO connectors on both ends. Specifically, commonly-used ones are 24-fiber to 2×12-fiber, 24-fiber to 3×8-fiber, 2×12-fiber to 3×8-fiber MTP/MPO conversion cables. They are especially ideal for 10G-40G, 40G-40G, 40G-100G, 40G-120G connections, which eliminate fiber wasting and largely increase the flexibility of the existing 12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP/MPO cabling system.

By Polarity

Polarity refers to the matching of the optical transmitter and receiver at both ends of a fiber link. In traditional cabling systems, connectors like LC/ SC can be easily matched, so there is no polarity issue. However, due to the special design of MTP/MPO connectors, polarity issues must be addressed in high-density MTP/MPO cabling systems. To ensure proper polarity, the TIA 568 standard defined three connectivity methods called Method A, Method B, Method C. So there are Type A, Type B and Type C MTP/MPO cables with different structures according to these methods. These MTP/MPO cables usually connect with different MTP/MPO cassettes and fiber patch cables to ensure the right polarity of the optical circuit. Read the white paper Understanding MTP/MPO Cable Polarity for more information about common 8/12/24-fiber MTP/MPO cable polarity and connectivity methods.

By Fiber Count

8/12/24-fiber MTP/MPO cables are usually used for 40G/100G and the latest 16-fiber cables are especially designed for short-reach 400G cabling in Hyperscale data centers. 12-fiber MTP/MPO cable is the earliest developed and most commonly-used solution in 10G-40G, 40G-100G connections. But when using it to transmit 40G QSFP+ module or 100G QSFP28 module, 4 fibers will be left unused, leading to much lower fiber utilization than 8-fiber cables. While 8-fiber MTP/MPO cable system can transmit the same data rate as 12-fiber cabling with less cost and insertion loss, making it a more cost-effective solution. 24-fiber MTP/MPO cable is commonly used to establish 100GBASE-SR10 links between CFP to CFP transceivers. It allows the use of the ratified 100GBASE-SR10 20-fiber technology today, maximizing the infrastructure investment in the event of 4×25 Gb/s ratification.16-fiber MTP/MPO cables utilize the same external footprint as traditional 12-fiber MT (Mechanically Transferable) ferrule. MTP/MPO-16 solution is ideal for aggregation of multiple 8-fiber parallel transceivers and direct coupling to emerging 16-fiber parallel optic links such as 400G QSFP-DD and OSFP.

By Fiber Mode

MTP/MPO cables fall into multimode OM3/OM4 and single-mode OS2 cables. Multimode OM3/OM4 MTP/MPO cables are mostly used for short distances such as inside a building or campus, allowing maximal transmission distance of 100m (OM3) or 150m (OM4) at 40 Git/s. Single-mode OS2 MTP/MPO cables are suitable for long-reach transmission and widely deployed in carrier networks, MANs (Metropolitan Area Network) and PONs (Passive Optical Network). With less modal dispersion, the bandwidth of OS2 is higher than OM3/OM4.

By Jacket Rating

According to different fire rating requirements, MTP/MPO jackets are classified as LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen), OFNP (Optical Fiber Nonconductive, Plenum), CMP (Communications Multipurpose Cable, Plenum) etc. LSZH MTP/MPO cables are free of halogenated materials (toxic and corrosive during combustion), which are ideal for confined places due to better protection for people and equipment during a fire. OFNP MTP/MPO cables contain no electrically conductive elements and are designed with the highest fire rating, which can be installed in ducts, plenums and other spaces for building airflow. CMP MTP/MPO cables can restrict flame propagation and smoke exhaust rate during a fire, which are suitable for plenum spaces, where air circulation for heating and air conditioning systems are facilitated.

Understanding Polarity in MPO System

MPO/MTP technology has led to the adoption of 40/100GbE, however on of its challenges is with regards to proper polarity of these array connections.  Maintaining the correct polarity across a fiber network enables signals from any type of active equipment to be directed to the receive port of a second piece of active equipment – and vice versa. To ensure the MPO/MTP systems work with correct polarity, the TIA 568 standard suggests several methods.

MPO Connector

First on the list is the MPO connector usually consisting of 12 fibers. 24 fibers, 36 fibers and 72 fibers Each MTP connector has a key on one of the flat side added by the body. When the key sits on the bottom, this is called key down. When the key sits on top, this is referred to as the key up position.  In this orientation, each of the fiber holes in the connector is numbered in sequence from left to right and is referred as fiber position. The orientation of this key also determines the MPO cable’s polarity.

Three Cables for Three Polarization Methods

The three methods for proper polarity defined by TIA 568 standard are named as Method A, Method B and Method C. To match these standards, three type of MPO truck cables with different structures named Type A, Type B and Type C are being used for the three different connectivity methods respectively. In this part, the three different cables will be introduced firstly and then the three connectivity methods.

MPO Trunk Cable Type A: Type A cable is also known as straight cable, is a straight through cable with a key up MPO connector on one end and a key down MPO connector on the opposite end. This makes the fibers at each end of the cable have the same fiber position.

The issue of polarity with MPO cables can be easily addressed by selecting the correct type of MPO cables, connectors, cassettes and patch cables. Various polarity settings/methods can be applied to satisfy the requirements of the 40G environment. 

Armored Fiber Optic Cables

Fiber optic cables are a first-rate option for transmitting data, being much faster than traditional copper Ethernet lines. Fiber cable can also run for much greater distances, giving it another leg up on copper cables. However, a potential weakness of fiber is fragility. Compared to copper cables, fiber is easier to break since it contains glass. That is where armored fiber optic cables come in.

Armored fiber optic cable can do everything standard fiber can do while also carrying additional protection. Underneath the jacket, there is a metal tube protecting the delicate fibers at the core of the cable. This metal tube does not hamper performance and provides protection from heavy objects, curious rodents, and other hazards. At the same time, the metal remains flexible enough to allow the cable to bend normally.


All the options available to normal fiber (number of fibers, PVC or plenum jackets, single-mode or multimode, etc.) are also available with armored fiber. The armor allows the cable to withstand 7x the force of conventional fiber, providing a substantially larger safety margin if a heavy object is set on the cable or falls on top of it. The protection offered by armor also increases pull tension, making fiber installations easier to manage.

The extra protection provided by armored fiber means it most commonly sees use in industrial environments. Areas with heavy equipment, moving machinery, chemical or moisture exposure, and other potential hazards have a tendency to break standard fiber fairly easily. As industries start to shift towards the faster data speeds provided by fiber, cables built for any environment will transition from convenient to necessary as fiber continues to become more widespread.


There are two main types of armored fiber: interlocking and corrugated. Interlocking armored fiber uses an aluminum sheath wrapped around the fiber strands in a helix shape. This type of armor offers the best crushing resistance and is most commonly used on indoor/outdoor fiber. Typically, interlocking armor sees use in areas where the fiber cable could find itself underneath large machinery or other sources of extreme weight.

Corrugated armor is made using coated steel tape and folded around the inner portions of the cable during fabrication. This type of armor offers the best protection against rodents that like to chew on cables. As a result, it is most commonly seen on fiber cables that will be left outdoors, in-between walls, or in other rodent-prone areas like basements.

While both interlocking and corrugated fiber have their specialties, that is simply the area of protection each type of armor excels in. Interlocking can be used in areas with rodents and corrugated can be used in areas with heavy machinery. And both types of armor are equally impressive at blocking damage from dust, moisture, oil, gas, and other hazards from outdoor and/or industrial environments. If users expect crushing weight or rodents to be a major problem, then using interlocking vs. corrugated can make a difference. Otherwise, the two are fairly similar.

What is Armored Fiber Optic Patch Cables

An armored fiber patch cable is a fiber optic patch cable with stainless armor inside the cable jacket to protect the central unit of the cable. It is considered to be an advanced or structures improved fiber optic patch cable. Because of the special structures that the armored fiber optic patch cable has, it makes the armored fiber patch cord shares some special features compared with the standard fiber patch cables, which can be listed below:

Armored fiber optic patch cable retain all the features of standard patch cord, but they are much more strong and flexible. Because of the stainless steel armor inside, it can be resistant of high tension and pressure, even it is step by an adult person, the armored fiber optic patch cables will not get damaged. It is also almost impossible to be bent or dragged to broken. Armored fiber patch cable also shares anti-rodents features, when they are used for outdoor use, people do not need to worry about the rodent animals like rates may bite the cables and make them broken.

Usually the armored fiber optic patch cords are smaller outer diameter than the standard patch cords, this make them space saving and actually light weight. And they can be handled as easily as other electric cables. Armored fiber patch cables are with different jacket colors or jacket types like PVC, PE or OFNR and different types of termination types including SC, ST, FC, LC, MU,SC/APC,ST/APC,FC/APC,LC/APC etc.

Get the summary from the above, the armored fiber optic patch cables are designed for being used in harsh environment, in which the traditional standard fiber optic patch cable cannot fit or get good performance. It is made with special strong connector and fiber armored cable, it can protect the cable from damage caused by twist, pressure or rodent bite. Installation procedure and maintenance is also easy when use the armored fiber patch cables, which is actually an ideal choice for people who is looking for fiber optic patch cords with additional durability, protection and light weight features.

Ingellen online wholesale platform which supplies ranges of armored fiber optic cables for different application requirements like simplex or duplex SM9/125, OM1 62.5/125, OM2 50/125, 10G OM3 or OM4 fiber patch cables with SC, FC,ST,LC,MU,MTRJ,UPC,APC connector types. 10G OM3 fiber armored optic patch cable with 50/125 multimode is typically used in 10 Gigabit Ethernet to transmit 10G signals and the bandwidth supported is as specified IEEE802.3z. And our OM4 fiber optic patch cable assemblies are ready to meet the requirement for future 40G and 100G fiber optic networks, the flexible, light and compact features of the OM4 armored fiber patch cables makes it an ideal alternative to standard OM4 patch cables where excellent crush and kinking resistance.

Buy armored fiber optic cables no matter armored fiber patch cables or fiber armored cables from professional fiber optic cable manufacturer,

The Basics of PM Fiber Patch Cords

Polarization maintaining (PM) fiber optic patch cord is a kind of special fiber patch cord. It can be used in many areas. Here’s what you need to know about PM fiber patch cords if your designs require them.

What Is a PM Fiber Patch Cord?

A PM optical fiber is a single mode optical fiber in which linearly polarized light, if properly launched into the fiber, maintains a linear polarization during propagation, exiting the fiber in a specific linear polarization state. PM fiber patch cord is a fiber optic cable made with PM fiber and terminated on both ends with high-quality ceramic fiber connectors. PM fiber patch cord is a base device of optical passive component.

Characteristics of PM Fiber Patch Cords

If the polarization of the input light is not aligned with the stress direction in the fiber, the output light will vary between linear and circular polarization (and generally will be elliptically polarized). And the exact polarization will also be sensitive to variations in temperature and stress in the fiber. The light shall be coupled at the fiber entrance parallel to the slow axis or to the fast axis, then the maintaining of the polarization is therefore possible. It is important to make sure that the polarization of the input light is maintained. PM fiber patch cords maintain the existing polarization of linearly-polarized light that is launched into the fiber with the correct orientation. PM fiber patch cords also feature low insertion loss, high extinction ratio, high return loss, excellent changeability over a wide wavelength range and excellent environmental stability and reliability.

Types of PM Fiber Patch Cords

There are a wide variety of PM fiber patch cords available that support different data rates and suit various connector types. According to different criteria, PM fiber patch cords can be categorized into various types. The following is some detailed information about types of PM fiber patch cords based on 4 different criteria:

Classification by connector type―PM fiber patch cords are capped at both ends with fiber connectors. FC, SC, LC and ST are the commonly used connector types for PM fiber termination. According to the connectors on the both ends, there are many different kinds of PM fiber patch cords, such as LC-FC, SC-FC, or FC-FC PM fiber patch cords.

Classification by fiber type―PM fiber patch cords are built with polarization maintaining fiber. To ensure the polarization of both the input and output light in a PM fiber, several different shapes of rod are used, and the resulting fiber is sold under brand names such as “Panda” and “Bow-tie”. With different PM fiber, there are corresponding PM fiber patch cords, such as Panda PM fiber patch cords and Bow-tie PM fiber patch cords.

Classification by cable type―PM fiber patch cords can also be categorized according to the cable types. There are mainly three kinds of cable types, 250um bare fiber, 900um loose tube jacket and 3mm loose tube jacket. So based on the cable types, there are 3 kinds of PM fiber patch cords.

Classification by fiber length―The standard length is 1 meter. It can vary for special requirements. The length of PM fiber patch cords can be custom made.

Applications of PM Fiber Patch Cords

PM fiber patch cords are often used in polarization sensitive fiber optical systems for transmission of light that requires the PM state to be maintained. PM optical patch cord is a special optical component using the properties of optical fibers specially manufactured so that its transmission parameters can support a particular application. They have a large number of uses, including high-data-rate communications systems, polarization sensitive components, and interferometric sensors. They are also widely used in PM fiber amplifiers, fiber lasers, high speed communication systems, testing equipment and instrumentation applications. Area of use of PM fiber patch cords is very broad and includes equipment such as instrumentation, spectroscopy, aerospace, medical diagnostics and many other industrial applications.


Understanding polarization has become a necessity in today’s fiber optic communication systems and applications. One must understand how to characterize and handle the effects of polarization in order to maximize the performances of systems involving polarization-sensitive devices. PM fiber patch cord is based on a high precision butt-style connection technique to preserve polarization. It has many types and applications. Knowing more about it can help you to choose.