标签归档:OM4

How Much Do You Know About Multimode Fiber Optic Cables

If the multimode fiber is mentioned, most of you may be familiar with this term. As a significant member of the large fiber optic cable family, multimode fiber optic cable also consists of many sub-branches. However, not all the people are clear about these subbranches. Therefore, in this article, we will introduce the multimode fiber optic cable and its subbranches to you.

What Are Multimode Fiber Optic Cables

In optical fiber technology, the multimode fiber is a kind of optical fiber that is designed to carry multiple light rays or modes concurrently, each at a slightly different reflection angle within the optical fiber core, typically 50 or 62.5 μm for its core diameter. Mostly, the multimode fiber is used for communications over short distances, such as within a building or on a campus for the reason that its modes tend to disperse over longer lengths (this is called modal dispersion).

Applications of Multimode Fiber

Typical multimode transmission speed and distance limits are 100 Mbit/s for distances up to 2 km (100BASE-FX), 1 Gbit/s up to 1000 m, and 10 Gbit/s up to 550 m. In addition, the equipment used for communications over multimode optical fiber is less expensive than that for single-mode optical fiber. Because of its high capacity, reliability, and cheap price, the multimode optical fiber mostly is used for backbone applications in buildings, aerospace and LAN network, storage area networks.

Types of Multimode Fiber

Identified by ISO 11801 standard, multimode fiber optic cables can be classified into the OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4, and OM5 fiber. Specified by that Standard, “OM” is abbreviated for optical multimode. These five types will be presented in the following parts.

OM1 Fiber

Wearing an orange jacket, OM1 fiber cable possess a core size of 62.5 µm, supporting 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths of up to 33 meters. It is most commonly used for 10/100 Megabit Ethernet applications. This type is commonly used as an LED light source.

OM2 Fiber

Just like OM1, OM2 fiber also comes with an orange jacket and uses an LED light source. But, its core size is 50 µm, supporting up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 82 meters and more commonly used for 1 Gigabit Ethernet applications.

Figure 1: OM2 Fiber
OM3 Fiber

Like OM2, the OM3 fiber cable’s core size is 50 µm, but it wears an aqua jacket and 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.

Figure 2: OM3 Fiber
OM4 Fiber

Being backward compatible with OM3 fiber, the OM4 fiber shares the same aqua jacket with it. The 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 at 40/100GB up to 150 meters utilizing an MPO connector.

Figure3: OM4 Fiber
OM5 Fiber

 

OM5 fiber, also known as WBMMF (wideband multimode fiber), is the newest type of multimode fiber, and it is backward compatible with OM4. It has the same core size as OM2, OM3, and OM4. The color of the OM5 fiber jacket was 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.

Figure 4: OM5 Fiber

Conclusion

Through this article, we will have a basic idea of what the multimode fiber cable is and how many types it has. In general, multimode fiber cable continues to be the most cost-effective choice for enterprise and data center applications up to the 500-600 meter range. However, since the fiber patch cable is a very large family, every kind has its own features. Before making a choice, the key point is we need to understand whether our demands match the patch cable we want to choose.

Comparison of OM1, OM2, OM3 & OM4 Multimode Fiber

Multimode and single-mode optical fiber cables are two different cable types in optical networking. Using a larger core size, multimode fiber cable allows multiple light signals to be transmitted in a single fiber over short distances. Multimode fiber systems offer flexible, reliable and cost effective cabling solutions for local area networks (LANs), storage area networks (SANs), central offices and data centers. Unlike the complex classifications of single-mode fiber, multimode fiber is usually divided into four types of OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4. “OM” is abbreviated for optical multimode, and it is specified by the ISO/IEC 11801 international standard. Of course, these four types of multimode fiber have different specifications (as shown in the following table). The article will compare these four kinds of fibers from the side of core size, bandwidth, data rate, distance, color and optical source in details.

specifications-of-multimode-fiber

Core Size

Multimode fiber is provided with the core diameter from 50 µm to 100 µm. Apart from OM1 with a core size of 62.5 µm, other three types are all using the 50 µm. The thick core size makes them able to carry different light waves along numerous paths without modal dispersion limitation. Nevertheless, in the long cable distance, multiple paths of light can cause signal distortion at the receiving end, resulting in an unclear and incomplete data transmission. And this is why all the types of multimode fiber can only be used for short distance.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the bit-rate of available or consumed information capacity expressed typically in metric multiples of bits per second. The higher bandwidth is, the faster transmission speed can be. According to overfilled launch (OFL) and effective modal bandwidth (EMB) measurements, OM1 and OM2 can only support OFL, but OM3 and OM4 are able to support both measurements. At the wavelengths of 850/1300 nm under OFL, the respective bandwidth of OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4 is 200/500 MHz*km, 500/500 MHz*km, 1500/500 MHz*km and 3500/500 MHz*km. And at the wavelength of 850 nm under EMB, the bandwidth of OM3 is 2000 MHz*km and OM4 even reaches 4700 MHz*km.

Data Rate

Data rate is a technical term that describes how quickly information can be exchanged between electronic devices. With a higher data rate, the transmission can be more effective. OM1 and OM2 support the Ethernet standards from 100BASE to 10GBASE with a minimum data rate of 100 Mbps and a maximum data rate of 10 Gbps. Compare with OM1 and OM2, OM3 and OM4 are enhanced to support much higher data rates of 40 Gbps and 100Gbps in 40G and 100G Ethernet.

Distance

Multimode fiber is typically used for short distance transmission. But the maximum reaches are varied in different multimode fiber types. Also, on account of different data rates, the transmitting distances are different. However, the common feature is that OM1 always supports the shortest distance yet OM4 supports the longest. For instance, based on the same data rate of 10 Gbps, the maximum reach of OM1 is 33 m, OM2 is 82 m, OM3 is 300 m and OM4 is 550 m. Thus, if a medium-sized transmission is required, OM3 and OM4 are the best choices.

Color & Optical Source

The outer jacket can also be a method to distinguish OM1, OM2 from OM3, OM4. The common jacket color of OM1 and OM2 is orange, and OM3, OM4 are in aqua. In addition, OM1 and OM2 are using a light-emitting diodes (LEDs) optical source but OM3 and OM4 adopt the vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSELs) optical source.

color-and-optical-source-of-multimode-fiber

Application

OM1 and OM2 are widely employed for short-haul networks, local area networks (LANs) and private networks. OM3 is applied to a larger private networks. Different from the previous multimode types, OM4 is more advanced to be used for high-speed networks in data centers, financial centers and corporate campuses. The video below demonstrated the applications and differences between OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4 and OM5 multimode fibers.

Conclusion

It is very important to choose the right fiber type for your application. Future-proofing network design is crucial for network planning, but there is often a cost for that speed. With a higher performance, OM3 and OM4 are definitely more expensive than OM1 and OM2. So plan well and spend wisely.

Related Article: Applications of Tight-Buffered Distribution Cable
Multimode Fiber Types: OM1 vs OM2 vs OM3 vs OM4 vs OM5

Guide to Multimode Fiber Cabling in 40/100G Migration

Nowadays one and 10 Gbqs data rates are not adequate to meet the continued requirement for expansion and scalability in the data center, thus technology evolves and standards are completed to define higher data rates such as 40/100G Ethernet. In the meanwhile the cabling infrastructures installed today must provide scalability to accommodate the need for more bandwidth in support of future applications. OM3 and OM4 multimode cabling solutions have been proven to be a cost-effective solution for 40G data center. Today’s article will make you familiarize with this new Gigabit Ethernet and OM3/OM4 cabling to help you smoothly upgrade to 40G Ethernet.

Multimode Fibers in Data Center

Multimode fiber is more popular in data centers than singlemode fiber. Many people may know the reason—budget. Because the price of multimode fiber is typically much lower than singlemode fiber. Additionally, multimode fibers utilizes the low cost 850nm optical transceiver for both serial and parallel transmission. While singlemode fiber uses the expensive 1310nm and 1550nm transceiver and duplex fiber wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) serial transmission. Therefore, most data center designers would choose multimode fiber for 40/100G transmission.

OM3 and OM4 cable

There are four common types of multimode fibers available in the market—OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4. Recently OM3 and OM4 cables are gradually taking place of OM1 and OM2 multimode cable. OM3 and OM4 are laser-optimized multimode fibers with 50/125 core, which are designed to accommodate faster networks such as 10, 40 and 100 Gbps. Compared with OM1 (62.5/125 core) and OM2 (50/125 core), OM3 and OM4 can support high data rate and longer distance. This is why OM3 and OM4 is more popular in data center.

The Ratification of IEEE 802.3ba

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.3ba 40G/100G Ethernet standard was ratified in June 2010. According to this standard, it includes detailed guidance for 40/100G transmission with multimode and singlemode fibers. But the standard does not have guidance for Category-based unshielded twisted-pair or shielded twisted-pair copper cable.

OM3 and OM4 are the only multimode fibers included in 40/100G standard. Because multimode fiber uses parallel-optics transmission instead of serial transmission due to the 850-nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) modulation limits at the time the guidance was developed. Compared to traditional serial transmission, parallel-optics transmission uses a parallel optical interface where data is simultaneously transmitted and received over multiple fibers. Table 2 shows the IEEE standards for 40 and 100 GbE.

IEEE standards for 40 and 100 GbE

The 40G and 100G Ethernet interfaces are 4x10G channels on four fibers per direction, and 10x10G channels on 10 fibers per direction, respectively. For 40GBASE-SR4 transceivers, it utilizes multimode fiber for a link length of 100m over OM3 and 150m over OM4. QSFP-40G-SR4 is Cisco 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ that can both operate over OM3 and OM4 cables to achieve 40G connectivity just as FTL410QE2C.

OM3 or OM4?

As noted before, OM3 and OM4 can meet the requirement for 40G migration cabling performance, that’s why they are being widely utilized in 40/100G migration. But OM3 and OM4, which is better for your infrastructure? There is no exact answer to this question as numerous factors can affect the choice. The working environment and the total costs are always the main factors to be considered when selecting OM3 or OM4 multimode cable.

OM3-and-OM4

OM3 is fully compatible with OM4. They use the same optical connector and termination of connector. The main difference between them is in the construction of fiber cable that makes OM4 cable has better attenuation and can operate higher bandwidth at a longer distance than OM3. On the other hand, the cost for OM4 fiber is higher than OM3. As 90 percent of all data centers have their runs under 100 meters, choosing OM3 comes down to a costing issue. However, in the long term, as the demand increases, the cost will come down. OM4 will become the most viable product in the near future.

Conclusion

No matter choosing OM3 or OM4 for your infrastructure, 40G migration is in the corner. OM3 and OM4 multimode cable featured by the high performance and low cost are the perfect solution for 40/100G migration. Fiberstore is committed to provide the best-service and high-quality products to customers. Our comprehensive range of products in OM3 and OM4 offer customers the ability to create the optimal network. For more information, you are welcome to contact us.

Fiberstore’s 10 Gigabit Ethernet Transceivers and Cables Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between SFP+ and SFP?

The pinouts of SFP and SFP+ connectors are identical. However, SFP has a maximum data rate of 5Gb/s whereas SFP+ is designed for 10Gb/s. The SFP receptacles and plugs are not as well impedance matched as SFP+ receptacles and plugs. Also SFP+ cable is designed for 10Gb/s whereas SFP cable may not be able to satisfactorily transmit that rate.

What is the distance supported by the SFP+ SR transceiver?

The supported distance is up to 300 meters depending on the quality of the multimode fiber (MMF) you use. Quality of MMF is listed as OM1 (up to 33 meters), OM2 (up to 82 meters), OM3 (up to 300 meters), and OM4 (up to 400 meters). Check with the supplier for the cable distance supported. Take GP-10GSFP-1S as an example, it is Dell Force10 10GBASE-SR SFP+ covering a distance of 300m over OM3 multimode cable.

Can I use SFP+ cables in SFP ports?

Yes, SFP+ cables are compatible to SFP ports and will work fine. SFP cables are not compatible to SFP+ ports. SFP+ receptacles have a mechanical feature to prevent engaging SFP plugs.

Do Fiberstore’s SFP+ direct-attach Twinx passive cables work with Cisco or other third-party switches?

Fiberstore’s direct-attach SFP+ Twinx passive cables are fully compatible with the original brand like Cisco. For example, SFP-H10GB-CU3M is Cisco SFP+ to SFP+ passive copper cable from Fiberstore which is fully compatible with Cisco switch. The following image shows that our professional trained staff tests the compatibility and interoperability of each optics to make sure our customers to receiver the optics with superior quality.

Fiberstore test program

What are the distances supported by cables to use with the 10GBase-T ports? Does Fiberstore offer these cables?

Data centers have a large installed base of Cat 5/6/7 twisted pair cables for the last decades—initially for 1000BASE-T and now for use with 1/10GBase-T infrastructure. Fiberstore does offer these cables since they are industry standard and widely available from us in various lengths and colors. Distances supported at 10 Gbps speed:

  • CAT 6A and CAT 7 cables supporting 100 meters
  • CAT 5e and CAT 6 cables supporting 55 meters

Do the SFP+ optical transceivers support 1 GbE operation?

Yes, they support 1GbE and 10 GbE dual rates and can be configured for 1 GbE.

Will the SFP+ optical transceivers auto-negotiate between 1 GbE and 10 GbE?

Auto-negotiation is not supported between the 10 GE and 1 GE speed. The transceiver must be manually configured to operate at 1 GE speed.

How do I use the SFP+ ports for 1000BASE-T?

You need to purchase Fiberstore’s SFP+ to 1000BASE-T Media Converter. (SFP+/Copper RJ45), part number FMC-1SFP/1RJ45-GB.

Is TwinX same as Twinax?

Yes.

Does the Twinx copper cable plug directly into the NIC and the switch?

Yes, the copper cable has an SFP+ or QSFP connector on both ends of the cable that directly plugs into the corresponding ports of the switch and NIC.

Should I use optical transceivers with the SFP+ and QSFP direct-attach Twinx copper cables?

No. These are direct-attach Twinx cables and come with connectors that plug directly into the SFP+ port or the QSFP port of the switch/NIC on either end. Transceiver cannot be used.

What is the advantage of SFP+ Twinx copper cable?

It is a low-cost option for shorter distances up to 5 meters.

Is 10GBase-T same as 10GBASE-T?

Yes. 1GBase-T is shorthand for 1000BASE-T and 10GBase-T is same as 10GBASE-T; they are the twisted pair implementations of 1 GbE and 10 GbE respectively.

What are the SFP+ copper cables provided by Fiberstore?

10G SFP+ copper cable

The above chart lists detailed information about some of the 10G SFP+ cables from Fiberstore. We also offer SFP+ copper cables that are fully compatible with major brand like Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, etc. The supported distance of this cable varies from 0.5m to 7m. Users can connect our SFP+ copper cable with top-of-rack (ToR) switch to realize 10G connectivity. For more information, please contact us directly.

How to Select the Basic Materials of the LAN

Installing or designing network may pose a challenge as there are multiple optical solutions that meet the same specification or requirement. But by understanding the basic optical components and the specific performance requirements, you will be able to generate a cost-efficient bill of materials for your project. Thus before picking any products for your infrastructure, you must read this article.

Fiber Type
There are two basic fiber types: single-mode and multi-mode. Multi-mode fiber is graded by OM (optical multi-mode), the higher the OM grade, the better bandwidth performance you can expect. And it comes in both 50μm and 62.5μm core sizes with 50 μm multi-mode available in both standard (OM2) as well as a laser-optimized version (OM3/OM4). Single-mode are graded by OS (optical single-mode) and can run at OS1 and OS2, as described in TIA-568 C.3. Keep the consistency within your network is critical for long-term performance, therefore you shouldn’t mix new fiber type or performance with your old plant.

single-mode vs.multi-mode fiber transceiver

In addition, the cost of the components should be considered. The transceiver associated with single-mode fiber are more expensive than those for multi-mode. For example, the price of JG661A (compatible HP 40GBASE-LR4/OTU-3 QSFP+ transceiver) is much higher than JG325B (compatible HP 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver). The decision must be made to balance the performance and the cost. Single-mode system will provide for future expansion, yet multi-mode fiber is only for today and the near future. To sum up, single-mode fiber operate better at long reach while multi-mode fiber is ideal for short reach, choosing single-mode or multi-mode depends on your networks needs.

Termination Method
Deciding on a termination methods is typical affected by many factors. If your biggest concern is time, no epoxy/no polish connectors are probably your best choice. The fiber end faces are factory polished and easily installed with a tool kit. This types of termination method allows you to perform terminations quickly, but the cost is usually higher than that of epoxy and polish connector.

If your biggest concern is cost. epoxy and polish connectors might be a good fit because of their low initial price. This type of termination need considerable time to learn how to properly hand-polish connectors that meet specification, and it requires a large workspace to lay out the polishing papers, polishing pucks, epoxy, etc. If your work environment or network condition is not allowed, it is advisable not to select this method.

Fusion Splicer or Optical Connector
Keep in mind that whether to choose fusion splicing or a connector for your network will always need an experienced installer under adequate training. Fusion splicer, as we all know, is very expensive. If your company do not own one, it can be a large investment to make and you need to order the correct splice tray for your hardware and heart-shrinks to keep your splices intact. But if you already have a fusion splicer, fusion-spliced pigtails might be the right choice for you that can provide high quality results and easy to use in areas. The following picture shows a Fujikura FSM-80S Core Alignment Fusion Splicer.

Fujikura FSM-80S Core Alignment Fusion Splicer

Specifications, density, electronics interfaces and existing plant often drive connector choices. LC connector is favored for its maximum density and room-saving. It is also available in duplex from, which allows you to manage polarity by simply reversing the connector via a duplex clip. SC connectors feature an easy push/pull locking mechanism and are available in simplex and duplex forms. ST compatible connectors have a spring-loaded bayonet locking system that helps them stay in place but are only available in simplex versions.

Hardware
To determine the type of hardware you need, take into consideration the space that will be utilized for the network. If you are installing inside of a closet or other cramped quarters and need low density, wall mountable hardware is the best selection as it does not take up a lot of room. If racks are already in place, or if there is enough room to install them, rack-mount hardware is the best selection because it is sturdy and easy to access.

Rack-mount housing

Additional Information
Designing a network may be a big project as you should take a lot of things into consideration. To make sure the high performance of you network, please think about all the aspects that I have written in this text. What’s more, there are three basic categories for cable: indoor, outdoor and indoor/outdoor. The types of cables you have to choose for your infrastructure depend on where the cables will be run. Fiberstore supplies a whole variety of optical equipment including fiber optical cables, optical transceivers, fusion splicer and optical connectors. Come to us to help your data transmission initiatives for future proof.