Data Center Cabling Solutions

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.

ESCON Connectors

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.

FC Connectors

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.

ST Connectors

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.

SC Connectors

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.

LC Connectors

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.

MT-RJ Connectors

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.