The escalating deployments of servers with multi-core processors and demanding applications are driving the need for 10 Gbps connections. Intel X520 10 GbE Adapter is the most flexible and scalable Ethernet adapters for today’s demanding data center environments. At the same time, 10G SFP+ optics play the most important role for its 10G connectivity. But seriously, do you know which 10G SFP+ optics are compatible with the Intel Ethernet converged network adapter X520 series? This blog will give you solutions.
About Intel X520 Adapter
Intel X520 adapter is powered by reliable and proven 10G Ethernet technology, which offers high performance for high-IO intensive applications and showcase the next generation in 10 GbE networking features for the enterprise network and data center. It is designed for multi-core processors, which supports for technologies such as multiple queues, receive-side scaling, multiple MSI-X vectors and Low Latency Interrupts. It addresses the demanding needs of the next-generation data center by running mission-critical applications in virtualized and unified storage environments. In a multicore platform, the Intel X520 adapter supports Intel I/O Virtualization Technology (IOVT), which helps accelerate data across the platform, therefore improving application response times. For virtualized environments, it offers advanced features with VMDq (Virtual Machine Device Queues) that lower processor utilization and increase I/O performance.
The Intel X520 adapter provides SFP+ based connectivity options (fiber or DAC cabling). Intel X520 adapters are provided with 7 models: X520-QDA1, X520-DA2, X520-SR1, X520-SR2, X520-DA1OCP, X520-DA2OCP and X520-LR1. X520-SR1 is shipped with 1 SR SFP+ Optic, X520-SR2 has dual-port and is shipped with 2 SR SFP+ Optics, X520-LR1 has single-port and is shipped with 1 LR SFP+ Optic, and X520-DA2 has dual-port and does not ship with any optics or cables, which is the most suitable one for 10G SFP+ Optics and the most popular one on the market. The following table lists the detailed information of Intel X520 adapter series in Table 1.
10G SFP+ Optics for Intel X520 Adapter
A 10 Gigabit Ethernet network is essential for businesses that demand high bandwidth for virtualization and fast backup and restore for an ever-growing amount of data. To ensure maximum flexibility, Intel X520 adapters supports the ability to mix any combination of the SFP+ optical modules, direct attach copper cables or 1000BASE-T SFP modules. Besides, 10G SFP+ Optics are available in both short range (SR) 850 nm and long range (LR) 1310 nm options. This enables customers to create the configuration that meets the needs of their data center environment.
10G SFP+ Optical Modules for Intel X520
Intel Ethernet SFP+ SR optics and Intel Ethernet SFP+ LR optics are the only 10 Gbps optical modules supported. Other brands of SFP+ modules are not allowed and can’t be used with the X520 adapters. The following table lists the supported 10Gb Ethernet SFP+ optical transceivers for Intel X520 adapters in Table 2. (Note: Other brands of SFP+ optical modules will not work with the Intel Ethernet Server Adapter X520 Series.)
1000BASE-T SFP Modules for Intel X520
Some 1000BASE-LX and 1000BASE-SX modules can work with Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520 series. These modules referred to only highlight specifications and compatibility with Intel Ethernet server adapter X520 series. The table lists tested modules in Table 3. Other similar modules may work but have not been tested (many similar modules can be purchased in fiber-mart.COM). Remind you to use your own discretion and diligence to purchase modules with suggested specifications from any third party.
10G SFP+ Direct Attach Copper Cables (10G SFP+Cu) for Intel X520
A DAC cable is a 2-pair shielded copper cabling terminated with SFP+ electrical modules. Intel X520 Adapters require that any SFP+ passive or active limiting direct attach copper cable should comply with the SFF-8431 v4.1 and SFF-8472 v10.4 specifications. SFF-8472 Identifier must have value 03h (You can verify the value with the cable manufacturer). Maximum cable length for passive cables is 7 meters. Support for active cables requires Intel Network Connections software version 15.3 or later. The following table lists the fully compatible 10Gb DAC cables for Intel Ethernet server adapter X520 series in Table 4.
QSFP+ Breakout Cables for Intel X520
The new QSFP+ single-port X520-QDA1 can connect the server to the latest 40GbE switches with a single cable operating in 4x10GbE mode. This adapter can also utilize existing 10GbE SFP+ switches using the QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ breakout cable. The QSFP+ adapter supports direct attach copper cables and Intel Ethernet QSFP+ SR optical transceivers. Intel Ethernet QSFP+ breakout cables have one QSFP+ connector on one end and break out into four SFP+ connectors on the other end for direct attachment to SFP+ cages.
From what we have discussed, 10G SFP+optics are determined to the data transmission of Intel X520 adapters. SFP+ SR Optics, SFP+ LR optics, 1000BASE-T SFP modules, 10G SFP+ direct attach copper cables and QSFP+ breakout cables are available stock in fiber-mart.COM. All SFP+ cables are 100% tested to ensure the compatible and quality. Welcome to visit http://www.fiber-mart.com.
Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) is a compact, hot-pluggable transceiver used for both telecommunication and data communications applications. It is also called mini-GBIC for its smaller size, which is the upgraded version of GBIC transceiver. These 1Gb SFP modules are capable of supporting speeds up to 4.25 Gbps. And they are most often used for Fast Ethernet of Gigabit Ethernet applications. It interfaces a network device motherboard (for a switch, router, media converter or similar device) to a fiber optic or copper networking cable. SFP modules are commonly available in several different categories: 1000BASE-T SFP, 1000BASE-EX SFP, 1000BASE-SX SFP, 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP, 1000BASE-BX SFP, 1000BASE-ZX SFP, CWDM SFP and DWDM SFP modules. These modules support different distance according to the different Gigabit Ethernet standard. Today’s main subject will discuss SFP 40 km vs. DWDM SFP.
SFP 40 km
SFP 40 km transceiver is designed for highly reliable fiber optic network links up to 40 km. It is a cost effective transceiver designed to enable 1Gb for data center and core network applications. 1000BASE-EX SFP is the most popular SFP 40 km transceiver which runs on 1310nm wavelength lasers and achieves 40km link length. Except that, 1000BASE-BX BiDi SFP, 1000BASE-LH SFP and 1000BASE-LX SFP can also realize the transmission distance up to 40 km. The following will introduce these 1GbE SFP 40 km transceivers respectively.
1000BASE-EX SFP 40 km
1000BASE-EX SFP transceiver module is designed to connect a Gigabit Ethernet port to a network and has dual LC/PC single mode connectors. It operates on standard single-mode fiber-optic link spans of up to 40 km in length. The SFP Ethernet module provides a dependable and cost-effective way to add, replace or upgrade the ports on switches, routers and other networking equipment. Cisco GLC-EX-SM1550-40 and Cisco GLC-EX-SMD are 1G single mode fiber SFP 40 km modules for 1000BASE-EX Gigabit Ethernet transmission. GLC-EX-SM1550-40 supports a 1550nm wavelength signaling, while GLC-EX-SMD supports a 1310nm wavelength signaling.
1000BASE-BX SFP 40 km
1000BASE-BX SFP is a kind of BiDi transceiver, which can be divided into 1000BASE-BX-D SFP and 1000BASE-BX-U SFP. These two SFP transceivers must be used in pairs to permit a bidirectional Gigabit Ethernet connection using a single strand of single mode fiber (SMF) cable. 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.
1000BASE-BX-D BiDi SFP 40 km
Cisco GLC-BX40-D-I and GLC-BX40-DA-I are pluggable fiber optical transceivers for Gigabit Ethernet 1000BASE-BX and Fiber Channel communications. They support link length of up to 40 km point to point on single mode fiber at 1Gbps bidirectional and use an LC connector. The GLC-BX40-D-I transceiver transmits a 1490nm channel and receives a 1310nm signal, whereas GLC-BX40-DA-I transmits at a 1550nm wavelength and receives a 1310nm signal.
1000BASE-BX-U BiDi SFP 40 km
Similar to 1000BASE-BX-D 40 km SFP , Cisco GLC-BX40-U-I and GLC-BX40-UA-I also support link length of up to 40 km point to point on single mode fiber at 1Gbps bidirectional and use an LC connector. The main difference is the wavelength: GLC-BX40-U-I transmits a 1310nm channel and receives a 1550nm signal, whereas GLC-BX40-UA-I transmits at a 1310nm wavelength and receives a 1490nm signal. A GLC-BX40-D-I or GLC-BX40-DA-I device connects to a GLC-BX40-U-I or GLC-BX40-UA-I device with a single strand of standard SMF with an operating transmission range up to 40 km.
1000BASE-LX SFP 40 km
1000BASE-LX is a standard specified in IEEE 802.3 Clause 38 which uses a long wavelength laser. The “LX” in 1000BASE-LX stands for long wavelength, indicating that this version of Gigabit Ethernet is intended for use with long-wavelength transmissions (1270 – 1355nm) over long cable runs of fiber optic cabling. Allied Telesis AT-SPLX40 and Allied Telesis AT-SPLX40/1550 are 1000BASE-LX SFP single-mode modules supports Gigabit Ethernet over single-mode cables at distances up to 40 km. AT-SPLX40 operates over a wavelength of 1310nm for 40 km, whereas AT-SPLX40/1550 operates over a wavelength of 1550nm.
1000BASE-LH SFP 40 km
Unlike 1000BASE-LX, 1000BASE-LH is just a term widely used by many vendors. Long Haul (LH) denotes longer distances, so 1000BASE-LH SFP modules operate at a distance up to 70 km over single mode fiber. Cisco Linksys MGBLH1 is a easy-to-install modules that provide a simple way to add fiber connectivity or to add an extra Gigabit Ethernet port to switches. The MGE transceiver can support distances up to 40 km over single-mode fiber at a 1310nm wavelength.
DWDM SFP transceivers are used as part of a DWDM optical network to provide high-capacity bandwidth across an optical fiber network, which is a high performance, cost effective module for serial optical data communication applications up to 4.25Gb/s. DWDM transceiver uses different wavelengths to multiplex several optical signal onto a single fiber, without requiring any power to operate. There are 32 fixed-wavelength DWDM SFPs that support the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) 100-GHz wavelength grid. The DWDM SFP can be also used in DWDM SONET/SDH (with or without FEC), but for longer transmission distance like 200 km links and Ethernet/Fibre Channel protocol traffic for 80 km links. Cisco C61 DWDM-SFP-2877-40 is a 1000BASE-DWDM SFP 40km transceiver, which is designed to support distance up to 40 km over single-mode fiber and operate at a 1528.77nm DWDM wavelength (Channel 61) as specified by the ITU-T.
SFP 40 km VS. DWDM SFP
Generally, the standard SFP 40 km transceivers transmit through the single mode fiber, while DWDM SFP carries signals onto a single optical fiber to achieve maximum distances by using different wavelengths of laser light. So the DWDM SFP transceivers do not require any power to operate.
The standard SFP 40 km transceivers support distances up to 40 km over single-mode fiber at a 1310nm/1550nm wavelength. (the BiDi SFP has 1490nm/1550nm TX & 1310nm RX or 1310nm TX & 1490nm/1550nm RX ). However, DWDM SFP operates at a nominal DWDM wavelength from 1528.38 to 1563.86nm onto a single-mode fiber. Among them, 40 km DWDM SFP operates at a 1528.77nm DWDM wavelength (Channel 61).
DWDM SFP is used in DWDM SONET/SDH, Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel applications. These modules support operation at 100Ghz channel. The actual SFP transceiver offers a transparent optical data transmission of different protocols via single mode fiber. And for back-to-back connectivity, a 5-dB inline optical attenuator should be inserted between the fiber optic cable and the receiving port on the SFP at each end of the link.
DWDM provides ultimate scalability and reach for fiber networks. Boosted by Erbium Doped-Fiber Amplifiers (EDFAs) – a sort of performance enhancer for high-speed communications, DWDM systems can work over thousands of kilometers. Most commonly, DWDM SFP is much more expensive than the standard SFP. You can see the price more clearly in the following cable.
Fiber attenuators are used in fiber optic communications to reduce optical fiber power at a certain level. Why do we need fiber attenuators? Bigger is better, right? Or so most people believe. Beginners in fiber optic technology are often confued with why optical attenuators are necessary to reduce light intensity. Aren’t we using amplifiers to increase the signal power level?
The truth is that too much light can overload a fiber optic receiver. Optical fiber attenuators are needed when a transmitter delivers too much light, such as when a transmitter is very close to the receiver.
How Does a Fiber Attenuator Work?
Optical Attenuators usually works by absorbing the light, such as a neutral density thin file filter. Or by scattering the light such as an air gap. They should not reflect the light since that could cause unwanted back reflection in the fiber system.
Another type of attenuator utilizes a length of high-loss optical fiber, that operates upon its input optical signal power level in such a way that its output signal power level is less than the input level. The power reduction are done by such means as absorption, reflection, diffusion, scattering, deflection, diffraction, and dispersion, etc.
What is the Most Important Feature Should a Fiber Attenuator Have?
The most important spec of an attenuator is its attenuation versus wavelength curve. Optical attenuators should have the same effect on all wavelengths used in the fiber system or at least as flat as possible. For example, a 3dB attenuator at 1500nm should also reduce the intensity of light at 1550nm by 3dB or as close as possible, this is especially true in a WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) system.
Different Types of Attenuators
There are two functional types of fiber attenuators: plug style (including bulkhead) and in-line. A plug style attenuator is employed as a male-female connector where attenuation occurs inside the device, that is, on the light path from one ferrule to another. The types of fiber optic attenuators are based on the types of connectors and attenuation level. FiberStore supply a lot of fiber optic attenuators, like FC, SC/APC, ST, PC, LC, UPC, MU, FC/APC, SC, LC/APC, fixed value plug type fiber attenuators with different attenuation level, from 1dB to 30dB. An in-line attenuator is connected to a transmission fiber by splicing its two pigtails.
The principle of operation of attenuators are markedly different because they use various phenomena to decrease the power of the propagating light. The simplest means is to bend a fiber. Coil a patch cable several times around a pencil while measuring the attenuation with a power meter, then tape this coil. Then you got a primitive but working attenuator. Most fiber attenuators have fixed values that are specified in decibels (dB). They are called fiber optic fixed attenuator. For example, a -3dB attenuator should reduce intensity of the output by 3dB.
Manufacturers use various types of light-absorbing material to achieve well-controlled and stable attenuation. For example, a fiber doped with a transition metal that absorbs light in a predictable way and disperses absorbed energy as a heat. Variable fiber optic attenuators also are available, but they usually are precision instruments used in making measurements.
An optical attenuator is a passive device that is used to reduce the power level of an optical signal. The attenuator circuit will allow a known source of power to be reduced by a predetermined factor, which is usually expressed as decibels. Fiber attenuators are generally used in single mode long-haul applications to prevent optical overload at the receiver.
Fiber Optical Attenuators typically come in two forms of packaging. The bulkhead optical attenuator can be plugged into the receiver receptacle. The inline attenuator resembles a patch cord and is typically used between the patch panel and the receiver.
The Principles of Optical Attenuators
Optical attenuators use several different principles in order to accomplish the desired power reduction. Fiber attenuators may use the gap-loss, absorptive, or reflective technique to achieve
the desired signal loss. The types of attenuators generally used are fixed, stepwise variable, and continuously variable.
The principle of gap-loss is used in optical attenuators to reduce the optical power level by inserting the device in the fiber path using an in-line configuration. Gap-loss attenuators are used to prevent the saturation of receiver and are placed close to the transmitter. Gap-loss attenuators use a longitudinal gap between two optical fibers so that the optical signal passed from one optical fiber to another is attenuated. This principle allows the light from the transmitting optical fiber to spread out as it leaves the optical fiber. When the light gets to the receiving optical fiber, some of the light will be lost in the cladding because of gap and the spreading that has occurred.
The gap-loss attenuator will only induce an accurate reduction of power when placed directly after the transmitter. These attenuators are very sensitive to modal distribution ahead of the
transmitter, which is another reason for keeping the device close to the transmitter to keep the loss at the desired level. The farther away the gap-loss attenuator is placed from the transmitter, the less effective the attenuator is, and the desired loss will not be obtained. To attenuate a signal farther down the fiber path, an optical attenuator using absorptive or reflective techniques should be used.
Keep in mind that the air gap will produce a Fresnel reflection, which could cause a problem for the transmitter.
The absorptive principle, or absorption, accounts for a percentage of power loss in optical fiber. This loss is realized because of imperfections in the optical fiber that absorb optical energy and convert it to heat. This principle can be employed in the design of an optical attenuator to insert a known reduction of power.
The absorptive principle uses the material in the optical path to absorb optical energy. The principle is simple, but can be an effective way to reduce the power being transmitted and received.
The reflective principle, or scattering, accounts for the majority of power loss in optical fiber and again is due to imperfections in the optical fiber, which in this case cause the signal to scatter. The scattered light causes interference in the optical fiber, thereby reducing the amount of transmitted and received light. This principle can be employed in the planned attenuation of a signal. The material used in the attenuator is manufactured to reflect a known quantity of the signal, thus allowing only the desired portion of the signal to be propagated.
Now that we have looked at the principles behind the attenuator theories, we will discuss some of the types of fiber attenuators. We will examine fixed, stepwise variable, and continuously variable attenuators and when they should be used.
Types of Attenuators
Fixed attenuators are designed to have an unchanging level of attenuation. They can theoretically be designed to provide any amount of attenuation that is desired. The output signal is
attenuated relative to the input signal. Fixed attenuators are typically used for single-mode applications.
Stepwise variable attenuators
A stepwise variable attenuator is a device that changes the attenuation of the signal in known steps such as 0.1dB, 0.5dB, or 1dB. The stepwise attenuator may be used in applications dealing with multiple optical power sources—for example, if there are three inputs available, there may be a need to attenuate the signal at a different level for each of the inputs.
Conversely, the stepwise attenuator may also be used in situations where the input signal is steady, yet the output requirements change depending on the device that the signal is output to.
The stepwise attenuator should be used in applications where the inputs, outputs, and operational configurations are known.
Continuously variable attenuator
Continuously variable attenuator is an attenuator that can be changed on demand. These attenuators generally have a device in place that allows the attenuation of the signal to change as required. A continuously variable attenuator is used in uncontrolled environments where the input characteristics and output needs continually change. This allows the operator to adjust the
attenuator to accommodate the changes required quickly and precisely without any interruption to the circuit.
Calculating the attenuation value
In summary, there are many types of attenuators and many principles on which they work. The key to choosing the appropriate one is to understand the theory on which each operates and the application that the attenuator will be applied to. Of course, you also need to be able to determine the attenuator value in decibels required for your application.
In this example let’s assume that the maximum optical input power a fiber optic receiver can operate with is -6dBm. If the input power exceeds this power level, the receiver will be overloaded. The transmitter, which is located 10km from the receiver, has an output power of 3dBm. The loss for the 10km of optical fiber, including interconnections, is 5dB.
To calculate the minimum attenuation required to prevent the receiver from being overloaded, we need to subtract all the known losses from the output power of the transmitter as shown here:
Transmitter power (TP) = 3dBm
Receiver maximum optical input power (MP) = –6dBm
Total losses (TL) = 5dB
Minimum attenuation required = MP + TL – TP–6dBm + 5dB – 3dBm = –4dB
At a minimum, a 4dB attenuator is required. However, an attenuator with a larger value could be used as long as it did not over-attenuate the signal.
The fiber optics technology has been one of the world’s most effective innovation of wire communication occurred. This technology has changed the world, and make the internet behavior today as a practical platform for worldwide access to data and information. And it is not only the internet, but also other kinds of communications that has undergone a sea change owing to the deployment of networks driven by the optical fiber backbone. When it comes to local communication, the multimode fiber optic cable only play a significant role in ensuring high data transmission rates at a high speed and low attenuation within the network with multi-user support.
There are many significant advantages, people will use these cables. Below is a list of the main benefits.
The biggest feature is the ability of multimode optical fiber carrying multiple signals at the same time in the same line. Therefore, the network user can send more than one packet in the cable at the same time, and all information will remain unchanged after will reach their destination. Channel will not mix or distort the multiple information channels.
High power signal transmission capacity
Multimode cables are excellent when it comes to carrying a high amount of total power inside the signals. The power is almost keep not loss, and the information is easy to be delivered at the other end of line with out any intermediate magnification.
Real-time data transmission
In the network data transmission in the design of the optical fiber data transmission speed. The high speed of optical transmission network is derived from the fact that the data rather than other more traditional electromagnetic signal. So the soft real-time system is feasible to use the network in some given scenario.
High bandwidth and transfer rate
The multi-channel factor attributes to a high bandwidth and high rate of data transfer.
The optical signal is using total internal reflection – a physical properties or light is reflecting surface. Therefore, it is extremely difficult into the fiber optic network. Therefore, multimode fiber optic cable to enjoy a high level of data security.
Support of multiple protocols
These networks can support many data transfer protocol, including Ethernet, ATM and Infiniband, Internet protocols. Therefore, one can use the cable as the back bone of a series of high value applications.
Obviously, a multimode fiber optic cable can be used as a backbone for the cable communication needs with high performance. Use these cables will improve your experience, if you’re using equipment, depending on the level of network performance.
Using multimode fiber cable instead of inferior cable can greatly improve the bandwidth and noise suppression. When choosing fiber optic network cable must have the correct information in determing the solution.
Fiber optic cable is favored for today’s high-speed data communications because it eliminates the problems of twisted-pair cable, such as near-end crosstalk (NEXT), electromagnetic interference (EMI), and security breaches. Fibre Optic Cable is the preferred option in the interconnecting links between floors or buildings, is the backbone of any structured cabling solution. While, making the right decisions when it comes to Data Network cabling is difficult as it can make a huge difference in the ability of your network to reliably support current and future requirements. There are many factors to consider and today I will guide you through the many options available and find the best one suits your application.
1. Multimode Fiber Cable Or Single-mode Fiber Cable
There are two basic types of fiber: mulitimode and single-mode. Both types consist of two basic components: the core and the cladding which traps the light in the core.
Multimode fiber cable
Multimode fiber, as the name suggests, permits the signal to travel in multiple modes, or pathways, along the inside of the glass strand or core. It is available with fiber core diameters of 62.5 and a slightly smaller 50 microns. The problem with multimode fiber optics is that long cable runs in multiple paths may lead to signal distortion. This can result in incomplete and unclear data transmission.
Applications covering short distances can use multimode fiber optic network cable. Ideal uses for such kinds of cables are within data center connections. Multimode cables are economical choices for such applications. There are various performance levels within the multimode fiber optic cable such as OM3 cable for distances within 300 m, OM4 cable supports Gigabit Ethernet distances within 550m and 10G applications.
Single-mode fiber cable
Single-mode fiber cables offer a higher transmission rate. These cables contain a tiny core that measures about five to ten microns. These tiny cores have the capacity to eliminate distortion and produce the highest transmission speeds. Single-mode fiber generally has a core that is 8.3 microns in diameter. Singlemode fiber requires laser technology for sending and receiving data. Although a laser is used, light in a single-mode fiber also refracts off the fiber cladding. The presence of high intensity lasers helps transfer data across large distances. Singlemode has the ability to carry a signal for miles.
Single mode is used for long haul or extreme bandwidth applications, gives you a higher transmission rate and up to 50 times more distance than multimode, but it also costs more. The small core and its single lightwave virtually eliminate any distortion that could result from overlapping light pulses, providing the least signal attenuation and highest transmission speeds of any fiber cable type.
The best choice to choose multimode optical cable when the transmission distance is less than 2km. In the other sides, use single-mode optical cable when the transmission is more than 2km. Although the core sizes of multimode and singlemode fiber differ, after the cladding and another layer for durability are applied, both fiber types end up with an outer diameter of about 250 microns. This makes it both more robust and easier to work with.
2. Indoor Cable Or Outdoor Cable
The major difference between indoor and outdoor cables is water blocking. Any conduit is someday likely to get moisture in it. Outdoor cables are designed to protect the fibers from years of exposure to moisture.
Indoor cables are what we call “tight-buffered” cables, where the glass fiber has a primary coating and secondary buffer coatings that enlarge each fiber to 900 microns—about 1mm or 1/25-inch—to make the fiber easier to work with. Indoor cables are flexible, and tough, containing multiple Tight Buffered or Unit Cord fibers.
Types Of Indoor cables available
Simplex and Zip Cord: Simplex Fiber Optic Cables are one fiber, tight-buffered (coated with a 900 micron buffer over the primary buffer coating) with Kevlar (aramid fiber) strength members and jacketed for indoor use. The jacket is usually 3mm (1/8 in.) diameter. Zipcord is simply two of these joined with a thin web. It’s used mostly for patch cord and backplane applications, but zipcord can also be used for desktop connections. They are commonly used in patch cord and backplane applications. Additionally, they can be utilized for desktop connections. These cables only have one fiber and are generally used indoors.
Distribution cables: They contain several tight-buffered fibers bundled under the same jacket with Kevlar strength members and sometimes fiberglass rod reinforcement to stiffen the cable and prevent kinking. These cables are small in size, and used for short, dry conduit runs, riser and plenum applications. The fibers are double buffered and can be directly terminated, but because their fibers are not individually reinforced, these cables need to be broken out with a “breakout box” or terminated inside a patch panel or junction box. The distribution cable is smaller and used in dry and short conduit runs, plenum and riser applications, is the most popular cable for indoor use.
Breakout cables: They are made of several simplex cables bundled together inside a common jacket for convenience in pulling and ruggedness. This is a strong, rugged design, but is larger and more expensive than the distribution cables. It is suitable for conduit runs, riser and plenum applications, is ideal for industrial applications where ruggedness is important or in a location where only one or two pieces of equipment (such as local hubs) need to be connected.
Optical fiber in outdoor applications requires more protection from water ingress, vermin, and other conditions encountered underground. Outdoor cables also need increased strength for greater pulling distances. Buyers should know the potential hazards that the cables will face, for example, if the cables will be exposed to chemicals or extreme temperatures.
Loose Tube cables: These cables are composed of several fibers together inside a small plastic tube, which are in turn wound around a central strength member and jacketed, providing a small, high fiber count cable. This type of cable is ideal for outside plant trunking applications, as it can be made with loose tubes filled with gel or water absorbent powder to prevent harm to the fibers from water. Since the fibers have only a thin buffer coating, they must be carefully handled and protected to prevent damage. It can be used in conduits, strung overhead or buried directly into the ground.
Ribbon Cable: This cable offers the highest packing density, since all the fibers are laid out in rows, typically of 12 fibers, and laid on top of each other. This way 144 fibers only has a cross section of about 1/4 inch or 6mm! Some cable designs use a “slotted core” with up to 6 of these 144 fiber ribbon assemblies for 864 fibers in one cable! Since it’s outside plant cable, it’s gel-filled for water blocking.
Armored Cable: Cable installed by direct burial in areas where rodents are a problem usually have metal armored between two jackets to prevent rodent penetration. This means the cable is conductive, so it must be grounded properly. You’d better choose armored fiber cable when use cable directly buried outdoor.
Aerial Cable: They can be lashed to a messenger or another cable (common in CATV) or have metal or aramid strength members to make them self supporting. Aerial cables are for outside installation on poles.
All cables share some common characteristics. For example, they all include various plastic coatings to protect the fiber, from the buffer coating on the fiber itself to the outside jacket. All also include some strength members for pulling the cable without harming the fibers. Outdoor fiber optic cable has moisture protection, either a gel filling or a dry powder or tape. Direct-buried cables may have a layer of metal armor to prevent damage from rodents. It is advisable that you should customize your cable to make it suitable to your application when the quantity of fiber optic cables is large and also for the cost-effective reasons. Knowing basic information about fiber optic cables make choosing the right one for the project a lot easier. It is always beneficial to konw more about fiber optic cables.
Fiber optic patch cable can be also classfied by the types of fiber optic connector. For example, LC fiber optic patch cable is named as it is with LC connector. Similarly, there are SC, ST, FC, MT-RJ, E2000, MU and MPO/MTP fiber optic patch cables. What’s more, there are PC, UPC, APC type fiber patch cords, which are differentiated from the polish of fiber connectors.
LC Fiber Optic Patch Cable
LC fiber optic patch cable (LC fiber cable)is terminated with LC connector. LC is the short form of Lucent Connector. LC connector is a push and latch structure, with plastic housing and accurate 1.25mm ceramic ferrule. LC type is a popular kind of small form fiber optic patch cable which reduce the space and it is widely used for densely installation. The LC fiber patch cables use a 1.25 mm ferrule, half the size of the ST patch cable. It has good performance and is highly favored for single mode patch cord. LC fiber patch cables comply with IEC, Telcordia, ANSI/EIA/TIA .The connector of LC patch cable is used on 1.6mm/2.0mm as well as 3.0mm cable. There are LC/PC (for multimode), LC/UPC and LC/APC (for single mode) patch cables.
SC Fiber Optic Patch Cable
SC fiber optic patch cable is terminated with SC connector. The SC connector was invented by the Japanese company NTT. SC stands for Subscriber Connector or Square Connector or Standard Connector. It is extremely common in datacom and telecom fiber optic market. It has a push and pull type and can be used for 1000 mating cycles. SC fiber optic patch cable is with a locking tab on the cable termination and provides for accurate alignment through their ceramic ferrules. It has an advantage in keyed duplexibility to support sending and receiving channels. SC fiber optic patch cable features low cost, simplicity as well as good durability. It is the most cheapest type, convenient to use and cost saving. SC fiber optic patch cable is widely used in fiber optic networks and can be with zirconia sleeve and plastic housing.
ST Fiber Optic Patch Cable
ST fiber optic patch cable (ST fiber cable)is terminated with ST connector. ST stands for Straight-Tip and features a Bayonet twist locking mechanism. ST connector has 2.5mm diameter ferrule as in SC connector. It was developed by AT&T and was very popular in the 1980s and 1990s. ST connector has bayonet-style housing and a long spring-loaded ferrule hold the fiber. It is available in both multimode and single mode versions. Horizontally mounted simplex and duplex adapters are available with metal or plastic housing, with a choice of phosphor bronze or zirconia split sleeve. Although there are plastic housing ST connectors, more and more people tend to use metal housing ST. ST fiber optic patch cable has straight tip type terminations and is easy to insert and remove. If you experience high light loss, try to reconnect it. It is rated for 500 mating cycles. ST fiber optic patch cable is one of the older generations, but it is still widely used for multimode networks, including LANs for buildings and campuses.
FC Fiber Optic Patch Cable
FC fiber optic patch cable is terminated with FC connector, a screw type connection. FC stands for Fixed Connector. Same as SC connector, FC is also invented by NTT. FC is with metal housing, screw structure. FC connector ferrule and sleeves used in FC adaptor are both same as SC ones. FC fiber optic patch cable is available in both single mode and multimode versions. It is applied in high-vibration environment and can screw on firmly, but you need to have the key aligned in the slot properly before you tighten it.
MTRJ Fiber Optic Patch Cable
MTRJ fiber optic patch cable is terminated with MTRJ connector. MTRJ stands for Mechanical Transfer Registered Jack. MTRJ connector is developed from MT and RJ connectors. It is with plastic housing and plastic ferrule and features two-fiber connection, that is to say, two fiberglass connection within one MTRJ fiber optic connector. MTRJ connectors use molded MT ferrules originated by NTT. Each MTRJ connector houses two fibers (duplex) and the footprint resembles copper RJ45 Ethernet connector. It is half the size of a SC connector and contributes to the price drop per fiber port on fiber-to-the-desktop solutions. MTRJ connectors come in male (with two metal pins) and female (no pins). MTRJ fiber optic patch cable has female type and male type. The difference between them is that the male type is with two pins on each of the MTRJ connector. The MTRJ patch cable is commonly used for networking applications. Its size is slightly smaller than a standard phone jack and is easy to operate.
E2000 Fiber Optic Patch Cable
E2000 fiber optic patch cable is terminated with E2000 connector. E2000 connector has a spring-loaded shutter used to protect the ferrule from dust and scratches. With similar structure of SC connector, it is smaller. E2000 fiber optic patch cable is one of the latest style yet one of the most expensive optical patch cord.
MU Fiber Optic Patch Cable
MU fiber optic patch cable is terminated with MU connector. MU connector is also the invention of NTT. It is with plastic housing and a push pull structure. MU connector is also a small form-factor connector which features a 1.25mm diameter ferrule as in LC connector. MU connector has the same push-pull locking mechanism as SC connector. MU fiber optic connector is similar size of LC and sometimes named small-SC. MU connectors are used in advanced optical transmission, exchange, and subscriber systems or high speed data application. MU fiber optic patch cable is developed to replace SC in the future.
MPO/MTP Fiber Optic Patch Cable
MPO fiber optic patch cable is terminated with MPO connector. The MPO is an high-density multi-fiber connector built around precision molded MT ferrule. It is a push-pull connector compliant IEC 61754-7 and TIA/EIA 604-5A and offers low cost per termination for high density applications. It is usually used in ribbon fiber optic patch cables or ribbon fan out multi fiber assemblies. MPO has multi fiberglass core inside each single connector, that is to say, there are several fiberglass connections in each single MPO fiber optic patch cable, for example, 12 fiber, 24 fiber, 36 fiber, etc. MTP is upgrade version of MPO. MTP fiber optic patch cable allows high-density connections between network equipment in telecommunication rooms. It uses a push-pull latching mechanism for easy and intuitive insertion and removal.
MPO patch cord (Ribbon fan out Fiber patch cord, Ribbon mliti cable fan out) use MTP and MPO multi fiber type connectors, each one of the connector are used with ribbon type fiber optic cables which contain multi fiber in one single jacket, so that MPO Fiber Patch Cord greatly save space and are very convenient to use. Based on single ferrule MT technology, the MPO Fiber Patch Cord assemblies provide up to 72 fiber connections in a single point, reducing the physical space and labor requirement, while providing the same bandwidth capacity of a multi-fiber cable with individual fiber connector terminations per cable. Typical MPO fiber optic patch cable assemblies are MPO to 8 LC, MPO to 12 MTRJ, etc. MPO fiber optic patch cable is also available by single mode and multimode, PC and APC polish. fiber-mart MPO fiber patch cables are available in 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96 and 144 fiber versions, PC and APC finishes, and support both multimode and single mode applications.