Advice on Patch Cable Selection for Optical Transceiver

Fiber optic network connection can’t be achieved without fiber optic transceivers and fiber patch cables. Fiber optic transceivers vary from transmission media, interface, transmission distance, data rate, and brand, for example, SFP for 1000Mbps, SFP+ for 10G, QSFP+ for 40G, CFP and QSFP28 for 100G. It’s not difficult to identify these transceivers. But when you connect the transceiver to the patch cable, many details need to be noticed. This article will give you advice on how to choose the suitable patch cable for your transceivers.

Transmission Media—Copper & Fiber

According to transmission media of fiber optic and copper, transceivers can be divided into two kinds, copper based transceivers and fiber optic based transceivers. MSA has defined several copper based transceiver like: 100BASE-T, 1000BASE-T and 10GBASE-T. Copper transceivers are available in GBIC, SFP and SFP+ form factors, which usually has a RJ45 interface. So Cat5/6/7 cables are typically used to connect with the transceivers. Maybe Cat8 will be researched and developed to support higher data rate up to 40G sooner or later.

transceiver-rj45-interface

As to fiber optic transceivers, things are more complex. For that fiber optic transceivers require different fiber patch cords which have more types. Fiber patch cables cover single-mode and multimode. Single-mode patch cable can be classified into OS1 and OS2. While multimode cables can be divided into OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4 cable. Different cables are used in different applications. Single-mode cable can support long distance transmission and multimode cable for short distance link. If the transmission distance is shorter than 500 meters, multimode patch cable is suggested. For long distance transmission, single-mode transmission is suggested. You fiber-patch-cordsshould also consider that the transmission data rate can also affect the transmission distance. Let’s look at the following point.

Supported Distance and Data Rate

MSA has defined a variety of transceivers that can support different transmission distances and data rates. When you buy a fiber optic transceiver, you will find the data rate, wavelength, distance, etc. on its labeling. The following table show the basic information of most often used transceivers and supported cable type.

Description Wavelengh Data Rate Cable Type Distance
SX 850nm 1G MM 500 m
LX 1310nm 1G SM 8 km
EX 1310nm 1G SM 40 km
ZX 1550nm 1G SM 70 km
SR 850nm 10G MM 300 m
LR 1310nm 10G SM 10 km
ER 1550nm 10G SM 40 km
ZR 1550nm 10G SM 80 km
SR4 850nm 40G MM 100 m
SR10 850nm 100G MM 100 m
LR4 1310nm 40G SM 10 km

As mentioned before, single-mode patch cable is better for long distance transmission and multimode patch cable for short distance transmission. Actually single-mode patch cords can be used for different data rates in both long and short distances. But single-mode fiber optic cable will cost more. To achieve reliable performance in short distances with cost effective solutions, you should know the performance of multimode fiber optic cables. The following chart provides the detailed transmission distances and data rates information for different multimode fiber optic cables over wavelength of 850 nm for your reference.

Fiber Type 1G 10G 40/100G
OM1 300 m 36 m N/A
OM2 500 m 86 m N/A
OM3 1 km 300 m 100 m
OM4 1 km 550 m 150 m
Transceiver Interfaces

The selection of patch cable for transceiver should also consider the interfaces through which patch cords is connected to the transceiver. In addition, transceiver usually used one port for transmitting and one port for receiving. Generally, fiber optic transceivers usually employs duplex SC or LC interfaces. However, for BiDi transceivers only one port is used for both transmitting and receiving. Thus, simplex patch cord is used with BiDi transceiver.

Some 40G/100GBASE QSFP+ transceivers used MTP/MPO interfaces, which should be connected to the network with multi-fiber patch cords attached with MTP/MPO connectors. If these ports are used for 40G to 10G or 100G to 10G connection, then fanout patch cable should be used. For example, a MTP to 8 LC fanout cable can splitter 40G data rate to four 10G data rate.

Summary

Next time when you select patch cords for your fiber optic transceivers, you can consider these factors like transmission media, transmission data rate and distance, transceiver interfaces. FS.COM offers a wide range of fiber optic transceivers and patch cords. Custom service is also available. Any problem, please contact us via sales@fs.com.

Originally published at http://www.fiber-optic-equipment.com

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