All you want to know about MTP/MPO fiber optic connectors

12-core MTPMPO cable polarity

Facing the increasing demand for high-speed and large-capacity optical communication systems, MTP/MPO fiber optic connectors and fiber jumpers are ideal solutions to meet the high-density wiring requirements of data centers.

1. What is MPO?
MPO is “Multi-fiber Push On”, which is the first-generation shrapnel-type multi-core connector developed by Japan’s NTT Communication Company in the 1980s.

The size of the MPO connector is similar to that of the ordinary SC connector, but the density is increased several times. Usually, 12-core fibers can be arranged in one column, supporting one or more columns of fibers in the same MPO connector, which can be divided into one column (12 cores), multiple columns (24 cores or more) according to the number of cores arranged in the connector. 400Gb can also be used in the arrangement of 16/32 cores. In this way, one MPO connector can realize the simultaneous transmission of 12-core or more optical fiber signals, which saves a great deal of space and resources for optical fiber cabling.

2. What is MTP?

MTP is “Multi-fiber Termination Push-on”, which was developed by US Conec and has improved attenuation and reflection on the standard MPO connector, and has a higher overall performance version.

From the outside, there is little discernible difference between MPO and MTP connectors. In fact, they are fully compatible and matched with each other.

3. Types of MTP/MPO

MTP/MPO cable consists of MTP/MPO connectors and optical fibers.

MPO/MTP fiber optic connectors include optical fibers, sheaths, coupling components, metal rings, pins, dust caps, etc., and the pins are divided into two forms: male and female.

In addition, there is a “key” on one side of the connector body, which is divided into “up and down”, which is used to limit the relative position of the connector, that is, P1, P2, etc. Usually, there is a “white dot” on the side of the connector body to designate the insertion side of the connector.

MTP/MPO connectors greatly increase cable density and save circuit card and rack space, making them ideal for current data center cabling and future network speed upgrades.

MPT MPO fiber connector

There are a variety of MTP/MPO fibers available for different applications based on function, polarity, fiber count, fiber type, and jacket grade.

3.1 By function
According to the function, it can be divided into MPO/MTP jumper, MTP/MPO trunk cable, MTP/MPO branch cable and MTP/MPO conversion cable. It is an ideal choice for high-density wiring networks and can provide better network capacity and flexibility.

3.1.1 MPO/MTP jumper

Bonelinks’ MPO/MTP jumpers are widely used in data centers to connect MPO/MTP optical modules, including 40G QSFP+ SR4 optical modules, 40G QSFP+ PSM4 optical modules, 120G CXP SR10/SR12 optical modules, 100G QSFP28 SR4 optical modules, 100G QSFP28 PSM4 optical module, 200G QSFP56 SR4 optical module, 200G QSFP56 DR4 optical module, 200G QSFP-DD SR8 optical module, 200G QSFP-DD PSM8 optical module, 400G QSFP-DD SR8 optical module and 400G QSFP-DD DR4 optical module, etc.

Among them, SR series optical modules use 8-core, 16-core, 20-core or 24-core MPO/MTP OM3/OM4 multi-mode fiber jumpers to connect, while DR and PSM series optical modules use 8-core or 16-core MPO/MTP single-mode fiber patch cord connections.

400G-400G direct connection using MTPMPO patch cords

(400G-400G direct connection using MTP/MPO patch cords)

3.1.2 MPO/MTP trunk cable

MPT MPO truck cable

In data centers with very dense fiber connections, MPO/MTP trunk cables are often used to centralize cabling. Connect the trunk cable to multiple MPO/MTP jumpers by using the adapter panel.

Like MPO/MTP jumpers, MPO/MTP trunk cables are also divided into single-mode and multi-mode, among which multi-mode is more widely used in practical applications. The MPO/MTP trunk cable of Bonelinks fiber can integrate up to 12 pieces of 12-core or 24-core MPO/MTP cables, that is, a maximum of 144-core or 288-core.

3.1.3 MTP/MPO branch fan-out cable

MPO/MTP branch fan-out cables are mainly used in scenarios where low bandwidth is upgraded to high bandwidth. With the expansion of the data center, the basic bandwidth is upgraded from 10G to 40G, or from 25G to 100G, and even from 50G to 200G/400G. All of these cases require the use of MPO/MTP breakout fan-out cables to connect 1 high-speed optical module to 4 or 8 low-speed optical modules.

Since most data centers have relatively short internal connections, multimode is more widely used in practice. In addition, today’s data centers basically use LC as single-core fiber connectors, so the single-core fiber connectors at the fan-out end basically use LC connectors. Bonelinks can provide OM3 and OM4 multimode MPO/MTP breakout fan-out cables, as well as single-mode with 8, 12 or 24 fibers, meeting customers’ various general and special needs.

25G-100G direct connection using MTPMPO breakout fan-out cable

(25G-100G direct connection using MTP/MPO breakout fan-out cable)

3.1.4 MPO/MTP direct fan-out cable

The application scenarios of MPO/MTP direct fan-out cables are similar to those of branch fan-out cables, except that they are usually used in MPO/MTP plug-in boxes.

MPO MTP direct fan-out cable

3.1.5 MTP/MPO conversion cable

MTP/MPO conversion cables have the same fan-out design as MTP/MPO fan-out cables, but with different fiber counts and types. They are terminated on both ends with MTP/MPO connectors. Specifically, commonly used MTP/MPO conversion cables include 24 cores to 2×12 cores, 24 cores to 3×8 cores, and 2×12 cores to 3×8 cores. These connections eliminate fiber waste and greatly increase the flexibility of existing 12-core and 24-core fiber MTP/MPO cabling systems.

40G-120G direct connection using MTPMPO conversion cable

(40G-120G direct connection using MTP/MPO conversion cable)

3.2 By polarity

Polarity refers to the matching of optical transmitters and receivers at both ends of a fiber link. In traditional wiring systems, connectors like LC/SC can be easily mated, so there are no polarity issues.

However, due to the special design of MTP/MPO connectors, polarity issues must be resolved in high-density MTP/MPO wiring systems. To ensure correct polarity, the TIA 568 standard defines three connection methods, called Method A, Method B, and Method C.

Therefore, according to these methods, there are Type A, Type B and Type C MTP/MPO cables with different structures. These MTP/MPO cables are usually connected with different MTP/MPO cassettes and fiber patch cables to ensure the correct polarity of the optical path.

12-core MTPMPO cable polarity

(12-core MTP/MPO cable polarity)

3.3 By fiber type

MTP/MPO optical cables are divided into multi-mode OM3/OM4 and single-mode OS2 optical cables. Multimode OM3/OM4 MTP/MPO cables are mainly used for short distances, such as in buildings or campuses, with a maximum transmission distance of 100m (OM3) or 150m (OM4) at 40Git/s.

OS2 MTP/MPO single-mode fiber optic cables are suitable for long-distance transmission and are widely deployed in carrier networks, metropolitan area networks and PONs (passive optical networks). When the modal dispersion is small, the bandwidth of OS2 is higher than that of OM3/OM4.

3.4 By jackets grade

According to different fire rating requirements, MTP/MPO jackets are divided into LSZH (low smoke zero halogen), OFNP (optical fiber non-conductivity, interlayer), CMP (communication multipurpose optical cable, interlayer), etc.

LSZH MTP/MPO cable does not contain halide-like materials (toxic and corrosive when burning), and is very suitable for use in confined places due to better protection of personnel and equipment in the event of fire.

OFNP MTP/MPO cables contain no conductive elements and are designed with the highest fire rating for installation in ducts and other spaces used for building ventilation.

CMP MTP/MPO cables can limit flame spread and smoke emission rates in fires and are suitable for use in ventilated spaces where air circulation for heating and air conditioning systems is facilitated.

3.5 By the number of fiber cores

Commonly used MTP/MPO has 8/12/24 fibers.

12 fiber MTP/MPO cable is the earliest developed and most commonly used solution in 10G-40G, 40G-100G connection. However, when using it to connect 40G QSFP+ modules or 100G QSFP28 modules, the 4 fibers in the middle will not be used, resulting in much lower fiber utilization than 8-fiber cables.

An 8-fiber MTP/MPO cable system can transmit the same data rates as 12-fiber, but with lower cost and insertion loss, making it a more cost-effective solution.

24-core MTP/MPO fiber optic cable is typically used to establish 100GBASE-SR10 connections or 400G connections between CFPs and CFP optical modules, it allows the use of approved 100GBASE-SR10 fiber optic technology.

4. Products used with MPO/MTP cables

4.1 MPO/MTP junction box

2x MPOMTP to 12x Duplex LC Breakout Box

(2x MPO/MTP to 12x Duplex LC Breakout Box)

MPO/MTP junction box is mainly used for the transfer between multi-core fiber connectors (MPO/MTP) and single-core fiber connectors (LC/SC) (for example, 1 MPO12 to 12 LC, 1 MPO24 24 LC, 2 MPO12 to 24 LC), or the transfer between high-core MPO/MTP and low-core MPO/MTP (for example, 1 MPO24 to 3 MPO8, 2 MPO12 to 3 MPO8).

4.2 MPO/MTP patch panel

1 unit 3 slot MPOMTP patch panel

(1 unit 3 slot MPO/MTP patch panel)

MPO/MTP patch panels are standard 19-inch rack-mount designs to accommodate MPO/MTP breakout boxes to optimize network space and enable rapid deployment of MPO/MTP high-density cabling. The front of the rack provides 3, 4 or 12 slots, each of which can accommodate an MPO/MTP breakout box. With highly integrated design and manufacturing capabilities,

4.3 MPO/MTP loopback

MPO MTP loopback

(MPO/MTP loopback)

MPO/MTP loopback components are used for MPO/MTP link testing. By creating a signal loop from transceiver to reception within an MPO/MTP connector to form a complete optical link, the optical network can be tested segment by segment. This product provides an effective method to test the transmission cad receiver sensitivity of networkability ank equipment.

4.4 MPO/MTP Polarity checker

MPO MTP Polarity checker

MPO/MTP polarity checker is used to detect the polarity and connection status of MPO/MTP multimode optical cables (4-core, 8-core and 12-core), and display the connection status of MPO/MTP optical cables through the user interface (GUI). The maximum length that can be detected is 450 meters. In the close inspection mode, the single inspection time is less than 1 second; in the long distance inspection mode, the single inspection time is less than 4 seconds. The product can work continuously for more than 20 hours without USB power.

5.  Application scenarios of MPO/MTP fiber optic patch cords

It can be applied to different wiring scenarios according to the performance of MPO/MTP and the number of fiber cores. 9 typical applications are summarized below.

SR series optical modules generally use 8-core, 16-core, 20-core or 24-core MPO/MTP OM3/OM4 multimode fiber jumpers to connect, while DR and PSM series optical modules generally use 8-core or 16-core MPO/MTP single-mode fiber patch cord connection.

5.1 Short-distance direct connection in racks or cabinets

Duplex fiber optic interconnection Short-distance direct connection in racks or cabinets

5.2 Duplex fiber optic interconnection method

Duplex fiber optic interconnection

5.3 25G-100G direct connection

1 100G QSFP28 SR4 optical module can be connected to 4 25G SFP28 SR optical modules through 8-core MPO/MTP to 4 duplex LC multimode breakout fan-out cables. Similarly, connect 1 100G QSFP28 PSM4 optical module to 4 25G SFP28 LR optical modules through 8-core MPO/MTP to 4 duplex LC single-mode breakout fan-out cables.

25G-100G direct connection
5.4 100G-CFR & SR interconnection mode

The solution is the connection from one 100G CFP optical module to another CFP, using 24-pin MPO/MTP to 3×8-pin MPO/MTP breakout jumpers.

100G-CFR & SR interconnection
5.5 SPIN-LEAF connection method

SPIN-LEAF connection SPIN-LEAF connection

5.6 400G-400G direct connection

When the 400G QSFP-DD DR4 optical modules at both ends in the equipment room can be connected by MPO/MTP-8 single-mode fiber jumpers to achieve 400G transmission.

400G-400G direct connection
5.7 400G single-mode connection

400G single-mode connection

5.8 400G multi-mode connection

400G multi-mode connection

5.9 400G-SR8 interconnection method

400G-SR8 interconnection

The 400G QSFP-DD SR8 optical module adopts standard MPO-16 connector connection to realize 400G transmission, and the transmission distance through multimode fiber can reach up to 70m (OM3) or 100m (OM4).

MTP/MPO fiber patch cords are well-received in high-density cabling in data centers because of their ability to accommodate multiple fibers in a single interface, which greatly increases network capacity, saves a lot of space, and simplifies cabling management. The great flexibility and scalability also make the cabling deployment simpler and more adaptable to the needs of future network upgrades, expansions and changes.

Bonelinks focuses on the research and development and manufacture of optical communication devices. The fiber patch cord products conform to IEC, RoHS and other international standards. MPO fiber optic connectors can achieve ultra-low loss.

The loss of SM single-mode 12-core MPO connector is reduced to below 0.25dB, which is 28% lower than the industry low loss value of 0.35dB; the loss of SM single-mode 24-core is reduced to 0.35dB, far lower than the industry standard. We are delicated to provide good quality MPO/MTP  fiber optic connectors for data center. Contact us if you need it.

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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