Data Center Cabling Solutions
How Does Fiber Type Effect Distance?

How Does Fiber Type Effect Distance?

  • Oct 4, 2010
  • pbelyea
I am often asked are there different types of optical glass in fiber cables or are all fiber cables made with the same glass?   The simple answer to this question is NO not all glass in fiber-optic cables are the same. The three main differences  relate to:

  1. Type - Single or Multimode

  2. Core Size

  3. Laser Optimized or Not

Laser optimized fiber cables are typically have an Aqua Jacket with a core size of 50/125 and referred to as OM3 ( an EIA/TIA Standard).  In August 2005 the TIA adopted a new, higher performance standard the OM4 laser-optimized standard.

What do all of these fiber types mean to you and why should you care?  The answer comes down to transmission speed and distance.  The chart below illustrates two different transmission standards Fiber Channel and Ethernet as well as different transmission rates.  Each fiber type is represented by a color and demonstrates the distance supported by the standards.