fiber (MMF) is a kind of optical fiber mostly used in communication
over short distances, for example, inside a building or for the campus.
Multimode fiber optic cable has a larger core, typically 50 or 62.5
microns that enables multiple light modes to be propagated. Because of
this, more data can pass through the multimode fiber core at a given
time. The maximum transmission distance for MMF cable is around 550m at
the speed of 10Git/s. It can transmit farther at lower data rates, such
as going about 2km at 100Mb/s.
by ISO 11801 standard, multimode fiber optic cables can be classified
into OM1 fiber, OM2 fiber, OM3 fiber, OM4 fiber and newly released OM5
fiber. The next part will compare these fibers from the side of core
size, bandwidth, data rate, distance, color and optical source in
typically comes with an orange jacket and have a core size of 62.5 µm.
It can support 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths of up to 33 meters. It is
most commonly used for 100 Megabit Ethernet applications. This type
commonly uses a LED light source.
also comes with an orange jacket and uses a LED light source but with a
smaller core size of 50 µm. It supports up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet at
lengths up to 82 meters but is more commonly used for 1 Gigabit Ethernet
comes with an aqua color jacket. Like the OM2, its core size is 50 µm,
but the cable is optimized for laser based equipment. OM3 supports 10
Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 300 meters. Besides, OM3 is able to
support 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet up to 100 meters, however,
10 Gigabit Ethernet is most commonly used.
is completely backwards compatible with OM3 fiber and shares the same
distinctive aqua jacket. OM4 was developed specifically for VSCEL laser
transmission and allows 10 Gig/s link distances of up to 550m compared
to 300M with OM3. And it’s able to run 40/100GB up to 150 meters
utilizing a MPO connector.
fiber, also known as WBMMF (wideband multimode fiber), is the newest
type of multimode fiber, and it is backwards compatible with OM4. It has
the same core size as OM2, OM3, and OM4. The color of OM5 fiber jacket
was chosen as lime green. It is designed and specified to support at
least four WDM channels at a minimum speed of 28Gbps per channel through
the 850-953 nm window.
prime distinction between multimode fibers rests on physical
difference. Accordingly, physical difference leads to different
transmission data rate and distance.
difference mainly lies in diameter, jacket color, optical source and
bandwidth, which is described in the following table.
fibers are able to transmit different distance ranges at various data
rate. You can choose the most suited one according to your actual
application. The max multimode fiber distance comparison at different
data rate is specified below.
Diameter—Single mode fiber has a small diametral core(8.3 to 10
microns) that allows only one mode of light to propagate. Multimode
fiber optic cable has a large diametral core(50 to 100 microns) that
allows multiple modes of light to propagate.
Source—Multimode devices usually use a LED or laser as a light source.
While single mode devices use a laser, or laser diode, to produce light
injected into the cable.
travels a longer distance inside single mode cable than it does inside
multimode. So multimode fiber is suitable for short haul application,
allowing transmission distances of up to about 550m at 10Git/s. When
distance is beyond 550m, single mode fiber is preferred.
Price—Multimode fiber usually cost less than single mode fiber.
Bandwidth—The bandwidth of single-mode is higher than multimode as much as 100,000 GHz.
Multimode Fiber Connectors Types
are many multimode fiber connector types in circulation such as ST, SC,
FC, LC, MU, E2000, MTRJ, SMA, DIN as well as MTP & MPO etc.
most commonly used fiber optic connector types include ST, SC, FC and
LC. Each one has its own advantages, disadvantages, and capabilities. So
what are the differences and what do they mean to your implementation?
This table of common multimode fiber connectors gives an overview of
strengths and weaknesses.
||Typical Insertion Loss (dB)
||Mainstream, reliable, fast
deployment, filed fit
||High precision, vibration
environment, field fit
||Military, filed fit
| ||Fibers with Field Terminated Connectors ||Fibers with Factory Terminated Connectors|
|PROS ||Cable Length Flexibility & Precision |
Easy Cable Routing
|Factory Polish Quality|
Minimum Possible Insertion Loss
Always Passes Testing
|CONS ||Time Consuming |
Requires a Kit
Quality Depends on Skill and Components
Can Fail Testing and Must be Redone
|Must-Know Lengths Exactly|
Can be Too Bulky for Cable Tracks
single mode fiber patch cable is advantageous in terms of bandwidth and
reach for longer distances, multimode fiber easily supports most
distances required for enterprise and data center networks at a cost
dramatically less than single mode fiber. Besides, multimode fiber optic cable still has many significant advantages.
fiber features carrying multiple signals at the same time in the same
line. Most importantly, the total power inside the signals carries
almost no loss. Therefore, the network user can send more than one
packet in the cable at the same time, and all information will be
delivered to their destination with out any interference and keep
fiber can support many data transfer protocol, including Ethernet,
Infiniband, and Internet protocols. Therefore, one can use the cable as
the back bone of a series of high value applications.
a larger fiber core and good alignment tolerances, multimode fiber and
components are less expensive and are easier to work with other optical
components like fiber connector and fiber adapter, and multimode patch
cords are less expensive to operate, install and maintain than single
mode fiber cables.
to its high capacity and reliability, multimode fiber is usually used
for backbone applications in buildings. In general, MMF cable continues
to be the most cost-effective choice for enterprise and data center
applications up to the 500-600 meter range. But it’s not to say that we
can substitute single mode fiber with multimode fiber cable, as for
whether to choose a single mode fiber patch cord or multimode patch
cord, it all depends on applications that you need, transmission
distance to be covered as well as the overall budget allowed.