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Fiber Optic Cable Core-How Much Do You Know About It?

For anyone who wants to know fiber optic cable core, it’s a must to know the structure of a fiber optic cable. For a fiber optic cable, it consists of three basic parts: the core, the fiber optic cable core cladding, and the coating layer outside the cladding.

What Is Fiber Optic Cable Core?

A conventional fiber optic cable core is a glass or plastic made cylinder running along the fiber’s length. This part is designed for light transmission. Therefore, the larger the core, the more light that will be transmitted into the fiber. As we mentioned before, the core is surrounded by the cladding layer to provide a lower fiber optic cable core index of refraction. So more light can be transmitted into the fiber.

The structure of the fiber optic cable

Figure 1: the structure of the fiber optic cable

Fiber Optic Cable Core Types

According to different standards or features, the fiber optic cable can be grouped into different types. For example, classified by connectors, we can get LC fiber, SC fiber, etc; classified by transmission mode, we can get multimode fiber and single mode fiber. Likewise, with different features, the fiber optic cable core can also be divided into different types.

Fiber Optic Cable Core Material

According to the material, plastic and glass cores can be found. When the core is made from pure glass, the cladding is from the less pure glass. Glass type has the lowest attenuation over long distances but comes at the highest cost. As for the plastic core type, it is not as clear as glass one but is more flexible and easier to handle. Moreover, the plastic type is more affordable for us.

Fiber Optic Cable Core Size

Based on sizes, the fiber optic core can be grouped into quite a lot of types. Basically, the most common core sizes are 9 µm in diameter (single mode), 50 µm in diameter (multimode), 62.5 µm in diameter (multimode). For your better understanding, please look at Figure 2 as below. It’s a comparison of the three common sizes when they are inside the same cladding layer diameters (125 µm).

A comparison of optical fiber core diameters

Figure 2: A comparison of optical fiber core diameters

Fiber Optic Cable Core Numbers

Featured by how many cores in fiber optic cables, two kinds of cable cores can be arranged: the single core and the multicore. The single core type refers to the fiber cable that consists of a core and a cladding layer, which is the most common type in the market. However, the multicore fiber optic cable means that in the same cladding layer, there are more than one core in it. The commonly used cables are four, six, eight, twelve, twenty-four cores.

Multicore Fiber Cable

Figure 3: Multicore fiber cable


Based on the knowledge about fiber optic cables, we have a basic idea about its structure and functions each part has played, especially the fiber optic cable core. After knowing what the core is, we also introduce the types of the fiber optic core. Classified by different features, such as core material and size, we can get different types. Hoping after this article, you will have a much clearer vision about the fiber optic core.

Single Mode Fiber Distance

Fiber optic cable is the essential media in telecommunication system for transmitting information. According to different categories, while depending on fiber connectors, patch cable can be considered as LC fiber, FC fiber, SC fiber, ST fiber and so on, it is well known that fiber optic cable can be divided into single mode fiber and multimode fiber based on transmission paths. Today, we will learn more about the single mode fiber distance.

Single Mode Fiber Overview

Single mode fiber derives its name from the fact that it only allows one mode of light to pass through their core at a time. Commonly, single mode fiber is designed with a narrow core diameter of 8 to 10 micrometers, which is much smaller than multimode fiber of 50 or 62.5 micrometers.

Before we continue, we need to be clear that due to different mode of propagation, there is modal dispersion during the signal spreading. And transmission distance is greatly influenced by the dispersion. Luckily, because of the allowance of just one mode of light, single mode fiber have the ability to transmitting data for miles without losing too much data. Thus it can readily carry information for a longer distance than the light used in the multimode fiber.

single mode fiber

OS1 vs OS2

OS1 and OS2 are the two types of single mode fiber, here the term OS refers to optical single mode fiber. Both of them are suitable for Gigabit applications and have the same jacket color.

OS1 cable is indoor tight buffered fiber that is compliant with ITU-T G.652A or ITU-T G.652B standards. The attenuation of this type is 1dB per kilometer with a top transmission distance of 2 km at 10 Gigabit Ethernet. It works between 1310 nm and 1550 nm.

OS2 cable is outdoor loose tube fiber optic cable that comply with ITU-T G.652C and ITU-T G.652D specifications. It has an attenuation of 0.4 dB between 1310 nm and 1550 nm, with a maximum transmission distance of 10 km at 10Gigabit Ethernet.

Selection on Different Distances

Single mode fiber provides a greater transmission distance. When choosing the right fiber cable, the most crucial thing that must be taken into consideration is how far the cable could support. In addition, the transmission distance is also related to the optics that users apply in the equipment.

Technology Bandwidth Wavelength Distance
1000BASE-LX 1000Mbps 1310nm 10km
10GBASE-LR 10Gbps 1310nm 10km
40GBASE-ER4 40Gbps 1310nm 40km
40GBASE-LR4 40Gbps 1310nm 10km

According to the above form, we can clearly see that transmission distance varies greatly. At different transmission rate, the distance changes. Distance of single mode fiber can reach 40km at the speed of 40gigabit Ethernet, and it will be 10km with the speed of 10gigabit Ethernet. Thus, try to buy fiber cable of suitable length for your project based on your network speed and some other actual situations. Thus, try to buy fiber cable of suitable length for your project based on your network speed and some other actual situations.


Transmission distance of single mode fiber is an important factor when people set up a network especially in data center that requires data to deliver over long distances. FS.COM provides a number set of OS1 fiber, OS2 fiber, LC fiber, SC fiber and so on. The products have passed many quality system verification such as CE, FCC. Come and choose your favored cables at FS.COM.

Introduction of Single mode Fiber Patch Cable

When signals are transmitted over a long distance, single mode fiber patch cable which plays a vital part in the remote telecommunication should not be ignored. Singlemode fiber patch cable is a single strand (most applications use 2 fibers) of glass fiber with a diameter of 8.3 to 10 microns, which only transmits single mode on a given operating wavelength. The dispersion in it is little, so that single mode fiber cable can support Gigabit Ethernet data transfer up to 10 kilometers in distance.

Comparison With Multimode Fiber Patch Cable

Single mode fiber patch cable which we discussed before is one type of fiber patch cables, and another type is multimode fiber patch cable. Different from single mode fiber patch cable, multimode fiber patch cable can transmit multimode on a given operating wavelength. But what is the main difference between them? And how can we tell them apart?

The main difference between them is the size of their respective cores. Singlemode fiber has a smaller core than multimode’s. As we said before, the diameter of its core is about 8.3 to 10 microns, while the core of multimode fiber is about 50, 62.5 mm or even higher. As a result, the larger core gathers more light in multimode fiber patch cables than single mode cables, and this light reflects off the core and allows more signals to be transmitted. In a word, the size of the cores determines their nature.

Another difference is the transmission distance. Due to the smaller core, single mode fiber patch cable has less signal attenuation than multimode fiber patch cable, so that it can be applied for long distance transmission. On the other hand, although multimode fiber patch cable can transmit multimode, the dispersion between modes is large, which would be a limitation for transmission frequency of digital signals. Therefore, multimode fiber patch cable is usually used for short distance transmission.

Types of Single mode Fiber Patch Cable

According to the different specification, single mode fiber can be divided into different kinds. In the picture below, there are three specifications which defined the single mode fiber. They are IEC (short for International Electrotechnical Commission), ITU (short for International Telecommunication Union) and TIA (short for Telecommunications Industry Association). You can have a visual description from this picture.

types of single mode fiber patch cable

In order to help you to have a better understanding of the types of single mode fiber, we will take G.652 for an example. G.652 covers single mode NDSF (non-dispersion-shifted fiber), which has no attenuation coefficient in the 1310 nm range. And low water peak fiber has been specifically processed to reduce the water peak at 1400 nm to allow use in that range.

When put into practice, single mode fiber cable is often connected with connectors to transmit data. For example, LC fiber to ST fiber patch cable is a cable with LC connector on the one end and ST connector on the other end. Also, the connectors to connect the cables have various kinds, such as SC, FC, etc. And if you want to buy these cables with good quality, Fiberstore is a good choice.

Why is Fiber Optic Cable a Better Choice Than Copper Cable?

Nowadays, you can see fiber optics is deployed in many industries, most notably in telecommunications and computer networks. As a result, fiber optic cable is widely used. On the contrast, the utilization of copper cable declines. And as the construction of fiber optics develops further, some entrepreneurs even announced that fiber optic cable will replace copper cables. In spite that these words are not authoritative and unbelievable, we still can see the prospect of fiber optic cable is excellent. So here comes the question: Why is fiber optic cable a better choice than copper cable?

What Are Fiber Optic Cable and Copper Cable?

Fiber optic cable is a cable containing one or more optical fibers that are used to carry light. (And it can be connected with LC, ST and some other connectors. For example, LC fiber optic cable, one kind of fiber optic patch cord, consists of optical fiber with a connector whose type is LC.) Commonly, fiber optic cable can be divided into single mode fiber and multi-mode fiber. Single mode fiber cable sends signals with laser light, while multi-mode fiber sends signals with light-emitting diodes or LEDs. The thickness and diameter of multi-mode cable are bigger than the single-mode cable’s.

Copper cable is a cable made by copper medium. In copper networks, copper cable is the key component which can be divided into three sub-types: unshielded twisted pair (UTP), screened twisted pair (F/UTP) and shielded twisted pair (S/FTP). And the main medium of signal transmission in copper cable is twisted pair.

Advantages of Fiber Optic Cable Over Copper Cable

There are some aspects that can show fiber optic cable is a better choice than copper cable. And in order to give you a visual description, here is a table below of the comparison of fiber optic cable and copper cable so that you can know it clearly. Also, we will talk about some relative importance of these points in detail.

optical cable vs. copper cable

Higher carrying capacity and wider transmission band: Optical fibers are thinner than copper wires, so more fibers can be bundled into a given-diameter cable than copper wires, allowing more phone lines to go over the same cable or more channels to come through the cable into your business or home. The bandwidth of fiber optics can be up to 50000GHz. For instance, optical fiber system with speed of 2.4Gb/s can transmit more than 3000 phone lines at the same time.

Less signal degradation: The loss of signal in optical fiber is less than in copper wire. Recently, the attenuation of optical fiber is declined to 0.2dB/KM. Therefore, the distance of signal transmission can be longer, even more than a few hundred kilometers because of less attenuation. And also, because the signals degrade less, it can use low power transmitter to transmit signals instead of the high-voltage electrical transmitters needed for copper wires so that it can save some cost.

Light signals: In fiber optic cables, light signals from one fiber do not interfere with those of other fibers in the same cable, which is greatly different from the electric signals in copper cables. This feature means there would be a clearer phone conversation or TV reception using fiber optic cables.

At present, there is a point we should admit that copper cable shares most parts of the market. But with so many advantages over copper cable, fiber optic cable will have a bright future.