CABLExpress® Cable Talk™ #2 - Fiber Connectors
Today let’s talk about…
Fiber Optic Connectors
There’s a myriad of connectors on the market. Today I’m going to stick with the most popular ones.
This is the ESCON connector. It’s a two-plex format and it has 2.5 mm ferrule. ESCON stands for enterprise systems connection and it was developed by IBM for use in mainframe computing. It has a large retractable shroud. It’s mostly phased out do to its gargantuan size.
This is an FC connector, it’s in simplex format and it also has a 2.5 mm ferrule. FC stands for ferrule connector; it was developed by NTT, Nippon Telephone and Telegram. It has a screw-on connector that’s designed for high vibration environments. When installed, it’s pull-proof and wiggle-proof.
This is the ST connector which also has a 2.5 mm ferrule; the ST stands for straight tip. It was developed by AT&T shortly after the advent of the FC. The design is very similar to the FC but the quick locking mechanism greatly speeds up installation.
Another connector with a 2.5 mm ferrule is the SC. This one’s typically coming in a duplex format. SC stands for subscriber connector. It was also developed by NTT. Notice the big design change from round to square, and push-pull coupling. This greatly reduces the chance for end face damage during insertion or removal.
Here is an LC connector with 1.5 mm ferrules. LC stands for Lucent connector - aptly named. That’s who it was made by. With push-pull mating like the SC plus small form factor, the LC is becoming the predominant fiber network connection.
This is the MT-RJ connector, it stands for mechanical transfer registered jack. Developed by Amp and Corning, but based on specification from NTT, this looks a lot like an RJ45. That’s where the last part of the name came from. Though very small the MT-RJ has not taken off like the LC due to poor performance characteristics across the board.
MPO & MTP® Connectors
The newest and coolest connector is the MPO or MTP®. MPO stands for multi-fiber push on developed by NTT, but MTP® is the latest generation of MPO connectors developed by US Connect. The MTP® typically holds 12 fibers. Its gender is determined by the pins. The MTP® connector is now widely used for data center backbones due to its size and excellent performance characteristics. CABLExpress® cables offer a Skinny-Trunk® 24 assembly. It’s the first solution in the industry that offers a viable 24 fiber MTP® solution.