Fiber Optic Cable Guide


Fiber Optic Cable Guide


  • Data networks
  • Telecommunication systems
  • Cable television transmission


  • Factory assembled in controlled conditions
  • End-face geometry inspection using latest interferometer techniques
  • Assemblies tested using RIFOCS automated bench-top insertion loss and back reflection test methods.

Components & Assembly:

  • Unless otherwise stated, all optical cable assemblies use either ceramic ferrules or MT ferrules based on NTT's form factor polished with our proprietary termination process.
    • 100% microscopic inspection of face at 200X power minimum, and many at 400X
    • 100% insertion loss testing with each ferrule subject to light launch
    • Loss and back-reflection data supplied with assembly (where applicable)
    • Precision end face geometry process-verified by interferometric measurement of apex offset, concentricity, radius and fiber protusion
    • SPC process control checks at key stages of the assembly process

Connector Types Available Cable Available:
  • ST type
  • SC simplex
  • SC duplex
  • FC
  • MT-RJ
  • LC
  • ESCON style duplex
  • FDDI style duplex
  • MU
  • Duplex zipcord style (2mm & 3mm diameter legs)
  • Simplex (2mm & 3mm diameter)
  • Duplex round style (2.8mm diameter)
  • Duplex round style (4.8mm diameter)
  • 900 micron buffered glass
  • Parallel ribbon & jacketed ribbon cable
  • Trunk cable up to 144 fibers

Assembly Styles:
Duplex Connector Assembly
Duplex Assembly with Simplex Connectors
Simplex Jumper Assembly
Simplex Pigtail Assembly
Optical Assembly Terminology:
Optical jumpers can take many forms. The most common form is a duplex jumper, with one fiber acting as a Tx (transmit leg) and the other fiber acting as the Rx (Receive leg).

Optical jumper users must understand the relationship between the connectors, cable style and glass fiber. The term "Simplex" indicates that a single optical fiber is being used in the assembly but does not mention what type of glass is to be used (e.g. singlemode, multimode, etc...). The term "Duplex" indicates that the assembly contains two optical fibers.

"Duplex" connectors allow two fibers to be terminated while "Simplex" connectors allow just one. Some simplex connectors can be joined together to form a quasi-duplex connector.

Optical Fiber Jumper Cable Design Terminology:
A duplex cable contains two fibers while a simplex cable contains just one. However, jumper cable design varies based on the primary applications. The most common jumper styles are:
Duplex Round
Duplex "Zipcord" Style

Certain fiber optical connectors require ribbon cable constructions. In such cases, ribbon cables can take jacketed or unjacketed forms. Below, you will find the construction of a typical jacketed 12 fiber ribbon cable.

Optical Glass Fiber Basics:
  An optical fiber is comprised of two inseparable sections - a core and it's cladding. Light propagates through the core section and the cladding provides an internal reflection boundary. Light will propagate through the cladding layer but poorly.

multimode fiber has a large core thus allowing many light rays (modes) to propagate.

singlemode fiber has a very small core, allowing only one mode of light to be transmitted.

Optical glass is sold based on the core / cladding dimensions. The most common multimode fiber is 62.5 /125 microns where 62.5 is the size of the core while the 125 microns is the size over the cladding. Over the past few years, 50/125 glass has grown in popularity due to it's exceptional performance at the 850 nm window. The core size of a singlemode fiber is called the mode diameter and ranges between 8.3 and 10 microns. It may be written 9/125 or 8.3-10/125.
To protect the glass fiber, a coating is applied over the glass by the fiber manufacturer.

For additional protection, a cable manufacturer may apply a buffer layer (typically 900 microns diameter)

Typical Assembly Performance For Ceramic Ferrule Based Assemblies:
  Insertion Loss: Return Loss:
Multimode PC finish 0.5 dB max. >20 dB
Singlemode Super PC finish 0.30 dB max. >42 dB
Singlemode Ultra PC finish 0.30 dB max. >50 dB
Singlemode Angle (APC) finish 0.30 dB max. >55 dB


Connector Styles:

SC Simplex Type
SC styles: 
Originally developed by NTT, the SC connector has a push/pull snap fit. The duplex SC connector uses the same mating profile as the simplex design. A number of SC suppliers actually clip simplex SC connectors together to form the duplex version.

SC Duplex Type

ST Simplex Type
ST style:
Developed by AT&T, the ST connector (for Straight Tip) has been a perennial favorite for its termination simplicity and low cost.

FC Simplex Type
FC style:
The FC connector has a screw-on mating style. Primarily used in the telecom industry, the FC is a robust, highly reliable design.

MTRJ Duplex Type
MT-RJ style:
This connector is radically different than the other connectors shown, in large part, due to the single ferrule that handles two fibers. This is the first of the Small Form Factor (SFF) connector designs to reach a measure of market acceptance. The MT-RJ is a variation of the reliable MT-ferrule connector series, the first major multi-fiber ferrule design.

FDDI Duplex Type
FDDI (MIC) style:
A ceramic ferrule based, duplex connector system.

Escon Duplex Type
ESCON style:
A ceramic ferrule based, duplex connector system developed by IBM for use in mainframe connectivity systems.

LC Type
LC style:
A small form factor ceramic based connector developed by Lucent.

MTP® Type
MTP®/MPO Style:
The term MPO refers to an NTT developed optical connector built around the MT ferrule. There are different ferrules developed capable of holding specific numbers of fibers. For example, the MPO12 connector can house up to 12 fibers. Other MPO fiber counts exist covering the range of 4-72 fibers currently, in one ferrule . The MTP connector, compatible with the MPO, is an enhanced version of the MPO created by USConec and is a registered name of USConec. Though some people in the industry use the MPO and MTP terms interchangeably, technically speaking they should not.

SMC X 3 Type
SMC style: 
The SMC connector, developed by Infineon Technologies, has been submitted to the TIA 604 standards body for review as an industry standard connector. The SMC connector is based on the MT ferrule and incorporates design features of the ESCON type connector. The SMC connector has several configuration styles, resulting in 3 body lengths, to allow for internal and external applications, on jacketed and / or unjacketed 12 fiber ribbon cable.

MMC Type
MMC style: 
The MMC connector is the industry's first viable 72 fiber connector. Utilizing 6 – 12 fiber MT ferrules, the MMC connector will find its way into high density interconnect applications in the telco and data center cabling environment.

MU Connector
MU Connector: 
The MU connector, developed by NTT in Japan, is a Small Form Factor (SFF) connector, and can be considered a smaller SC style connector. It is based on a 1.25mm ceramic ferrule and is available in simplex, duplex and higher gangable styles.
Other Connectors (not shown):
  • SMA 905/906: one of the first major connector styles used in optical interconnect
  • Mini-BNC: a high quality optical connector but costly and rarely used
  • D4: a good optical connector used occasionally in telephony applications
  • Biconic style: the de-facto standard connector in the early years of telephony optics

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