MPO VS MTP Connectors: What’s the Difference?

MPO vs MTP connector

MTP/MPO cables consist of optical fibers and MPO/MTP connectors, which can be either female (without pins) or male (with pins). These connectors are commonly used in high-density cabling systems such as data centers and fiber network backbones, and are suitable for current 40G/100G cabling as well as future network speed upgrades. Although MTP and MPO fiber optic connectors are largely similar and compatible with each other, there are some differences between them that distinguish the two.

What is an MPO Connector?

MPO is Multi-fiber Pull-off, and the MPO connector is the first generation of multi-core fiber optic connector designed by NTT Corporation of Japan. Its main industrial standard is IEC-61754-7, the current national standard is YD/T1272.5-2009, and the American standard is EIA/TIA-604-5.

What is an MTP Connector?

MTP is the abbreviation of Multi-fiber Termination Push-on. MTP is a brand of MPO optical fiber connector produced and registered by US Conec Company in the United States. The multi-core connector parts and ferrules produced by it are specially called MTP connectors. Compared with ordinary MPO connectors, MTP fiber optic connectors have been enhanced in optical and mechanical properties. MTP connectors are fully compliant with all professional standards for MPO connectors, including EIA/TIA-604-5 FOCIS 5 and IEC-61754-7.

MPO vs MTP Connectors: What are the Differences?

  • Ferrule
    The MTP connector allows the MT ferrule to float within the housing frame, however, the MPO fiber optic connector does not have a floating ferrule. The floating ferrule of the MTP fiber optic connector can improve the transmission performance during mechanical docking. It allows the two connectors to maintain good physical contact with the mating ferrule under the influence of external force.
  • Spring Design
    The MPO spring is elastic, and the spring section is not flat. Insufficient ribbon clearance provided by MPO round springs reduces mechanical performance and reliability. Compared with the MPO connector, the spring design of the MTP connector can maximize the space for the ribbon fiber, thereby reducing the damage to the fiber caused by the spring movement during insertion.
  • Pin Clamp
    MTP connector is usually equipped with metal pin clamp, which can better fasten the pins to minimize accidental breakage during use, while MPO connector is equipped with plastic pin clamps, which may cause the pins to break when used.

MPO MTP pin clamp

  • Guide Pin
    The MTP connector uses tightly held tolerance stainless steel elliptical guide pin tips. This improves guidance and reduces guide hole wear.  MTP fiber optic connector can maintain high-performance transmission for a longer period of time. MPO fiber connectors use cylindrical guide pins, which may generate debris during use.

MPO MTP guide pin

  • Removable Housing
    MTP connectors feature a removable housing that allows the user to rework and polish MT ferrules for easy performance testing. Negative and positive polarity can be flexibly changed even on-site after assembly, and the ferrule can pass interference detection after assembly.

removable housing mpt connector

  • Durability Performance
    In comparison to the MPO connector, the MTP connector excels in plug-and-play functionality, minimizing the potential for signal instability due to accidental impacts. The MTP connector guarantees impeccably centered normal forces between mating ferrules, facilitating the physical contact of all polished fiber tips within the ferrule. Furthermore, meticulous optimization of the lead-in on precision alignment guide pins, transforming them into an elliptical shape, contributes to reduced wear, tear, and debris generation that can occur with multiple connector insertions. After 600 times of plugging and unplugging the MTP connector, the end face near the guide hole is basically intact; after 500 times of plugging and unplugging the MPO connector, the end face near the guide hole is obviously damaged. These precision-driven refinements empower the MTP connector with heightened stability, durability, and overall reliability, elevating the performance of optical connectors.
  • Insertion Loss
    For many years, the MPO connector has stood as an internationally recognized standard in network architecture. In the evolution towards enhancement, MTP connectors have emerged to mitigate concerns such as optical loss and packet drops. The meticulous design of MTP connectors ensures precise alignment between male and female interfaces, thereby curbing insertion loss and return loss during data transmission within high-density cabling systems.

Can the MTP Connector be Used Interchangeably with MPO Connector?

Yes, the MTP connector is designed in accordance with the MPO standard, ensuring seamless compatibility and interoperability with MPO connector.

MPO vs MTP Connector: How to Choose?

MPO cables have revolutionized fiber cabling by eliminating the need for individual termination of fibers. Unlike traditional multi-fiber cables, MPO cables are pre-terminated and can carry multiple fibers, making them ideal for high-density cabling environments. They are factory-terminated and come in arrays of either 12 or 24 fibers, making them a popular choice.

The MPO/MTP connector is designed to reduce the size of connectors and cables and is used in combination with Ribbon or Micro-Distribution fiber cables. It is often used in arrays of 12 or 24 fibers, replacing multiple single connectors and saving space in network closets. Additionally, MPO/MTP connectors are used in multilane 40 and 100 Gbps networks that require 12 or 24 fibers.

Both MTP and MPO fiber optic connectors conform to the international standard “IEC-61754-7” and the American standard “TIA-604-5 (FOCIS5)”, and the interchangeability is considered in the structural design. Even if the appearance is different, the MTP and MPO connectors can be interconnected in use. MPO connectors are a type of interface that is available from many different suppliers, with MTP connectors being one of the brands that offer higher performance. However, US Conec only provides connector kits and MT ferrules, they do not assemble the parts into MTP or MPO cables, which are required products in the network. Bonelinks uses our own brand MPO connector or MTP connector to produce patch cords, please contact us if necessary.

Echo Huang

Echo Huang is an expert wordsmith and marketing professional at Bonelinks with more than 8 years of experience in high technology businesses – fiber optics, IoT, and telecommunication. She is very glad to share industry knowledge and communicate with others.

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