An MTP cable is essentially a multi-strand fiber optic cable terminated with high performance MTP® or MTP Elite® connectors on one or multiple ends. Depending on application and compatibility, different styles of MTP fiber cable assemblies can be identified and rudimentary categorized into: MTP trunk cables, MTP extension harnesses and MTP breakout cables featuring up to 24 fibers per connector and 144 fiber strands per assembly. The MTP fiber cable, basically being an improved MPO fiber cable, meets and exceeds all of the MPO specifications yet provides full compatibility with MPO equipment and accessories. In order to maintain performance, it is recommended to use similar components to avoid complications such as an MTP-MTP connection. Visit our MTP Fiber Connector guide for more information.
Fiber Optic cables come in many varieties and configurations and without going into too much technical detail, this guide provides a basic overview on commonly used terminology , typical configurations and best practice applications of Fiber Optic Cable Assemblies. A Fiber Optic Cable assembly consist of the fiber cable itself terminated with optical connectors on either end. An assembly terminated with merely a connector on one end is commonly referred to as a fiber optic pigtail. The increased popularity of fiber optics in general and optical fiber cables in particular, is driven by the ability to transport electro-magnetic (optical) signals over short and long distances more efficiently (at higher data rates combined with a lower loss rate, attenuation and a smaller footprint) than traditional copper (CAT5/6) cables.
Optical Fiber Cable History and Structure
As light doesn't travel around curves or corners, it is the principle of guiding light by refraction that makes modern Fiber Optic Communication and Cables possible. This “guiding of light” essentially involves confining the light signal to the optical core, which in the case of Single-Mode Fiber features a diameter smaller than a human hair! To prevent light escaping (leaking) from the optical core, a transparent cladding of lower refraction is applied around the glass (silica but sometimes plastic) fiber core so light Is reflected back into the core and leakage is kept to a minimum. The transition between the core and cladding can be sharp (step-index profile) or gradual (graded-index profile) and therefore have different dispersion characteristics and result in different effective propagation distances.
The cladding with a typical diameter of 125 micrometers (µm) is subsequently coated with a tough (modern cables feature a dual layer) resin, in order to protect the fragile core from physical damage due to micro - and macro bending, moisture and to minimize attenuation. To further safeguard the delicate fibers from unwanted damage, modern day optical cables come in a variety of sheathing, (armored) Jackets and insulation. These protective layers provide protection, strength and flexibility to the cable, yet do not compromise the optical wave guide properties.
Fiber Optic Cable Color and Mode
To browse our online catalog of Single- and Multimode fiber optic cable products:
Commercially available fiber cables, assemblies and patch cords can be ordered with jackets in any customized (shade of) color but standardized colors are used to identify the (generation of) Mode of the cable.
MTP® is an acronym for Multi-fiber Termination Push-on and is the standardized terminating end of a multi-fiber cable that supports for all practical intents and purposes up to 24 fiber strands per connector. The MTP fiber connector is an improved, proprietary version of the standard MPO (Multi-Fiber Push-On) connector in respect to attenuation and reflection, yet uses the same form-factor and multiplex push-pul coupling type (SNAP). Developed by US Conec, the MTP connector increases overall performance by implementing structural improvements and higher quality materials.
The ferrule is same as MT (Mechanical Transfer) but is more easily reconnectable. Over time and under load, an MPO connector may show performance degradation and may compromise reliable transmission of high performance signals. Manufacturing improvements of its structural components have led to reduced insertion losses which will not change excessively under possible temperature fluctuations due to high amounts of traffic and a secure reliable connection can be maintained. The MTP optical connector is fully compliant with the MPO standard and therefore fully backwards compatible and capable of intermating with any MPO related equipment. For additional information, see the difference between MTP and MPO Connectors post.
FieldConnect SC/LC Field-Installable Connectors provide clean and professional terminations when creating hybrid solutions, or simply repairing a damaged fiber patch cable. These Field-Installable Connectors use index matching gel as an internal mechanical grip to provide a clean and simple installation, without epoxy curing. All Field-Installable Connectors come color-coded for easy identification, such as aqua for Single-Mode, beige for OM1, black for OM2, Blue for OM3/OM4, and green for APC fiber specifications. Each pack includes 12 pre-assembled, factory-polished field-installable SC or LC connectors, with a 250µm and 900µm tight buffered fiber holder and assembly jig for accurate alignment and fiber cleave when terminating.
In today’s age of cloud computing and HD video streaming, the push for ever increasing bandwidth and ever decreasing footprint of communication equipment has been relentless. While fiber optic networks are superior to copper, they nevertheless pose specific problems inherent to fiber optic communication. One of these problems specifically deals with interconnecting multiple fiber strands to networking equipment and components. For this purpose, the MPO connector was developed. While the MPO connector has been an essential part of current data center applications and implementations, Improvements to the original design resulted in the MTP fiber connector. The MTP® connector is the most technologically advanced multi-fiber connector available today.
While MTP cable connectors and adapters provide significant enhancements, they are fully compatible with generic MPO Cable connectors and can be seamlessly integrate and utilized into existing MPO network design.