Choose the Right Patch Cable for Your Transceiver Module

To a large extent, a fluent data transmission relies on the seamless transition between patch cables and fiber optic transceivers. As high bandwidth gradually dominates the market, patch cables and transceivers become much more essential to data transmission, especially for data transmission between the switches and equipment. But when you try to find the right patch cable for your transceiver, you may feel dazzling about the great variety of products. Don’t worry, this article will help you find the quickest way to choose the suitable product. But first, let’s have a look at the basic knowledge about patch cables and transceiver modules.

Overview of Patch Cables and Transceiver Modules

A patch cable or patch cord is an electrical or optical cable used to connect one electronic or optical device to another for signal routing. It is composed of an electrical or optic cable terminated with connectors on the ends. Optical patch cables are now widely used in data centers for data transmission. They have different fiber connectors including LC, SC, ST, FC, MTRJ, E2000, MU, MPO/MTP, etc. As for fiber types, there are also single-mode patch cables and multimode patch cables. Single-mode patch cables can further be classified into OS1 and OS2. While the multimode can be further divided into OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4.

fiber-vs.-copper

Transceiver is a self-contained component that can both transmit and receive. It is often inserted in devices such as switches, routers or network interface cards which provide one or more transceiver module slot. Many transceivers types, such as SFP, X2, XENPAK, XFP, SFP+, QSFP+, CFP, etc. are used for various applications. The transceiver accepts digital signals from the Ethernet device and converts them to optical signals for transmission over the fiber.

Several Aspects to Consider
Transmission Media

Two kinds of transmission media can be found in the network. They are optic fiber cable and copper cable. Therefore, transceivers also have two types based on transmission media — copper based transceivers and fiber optic based transceivers. Copper based transceivers like 100BASE-T SFP, 1000BASE-T SFP are the commonly used types. They have a RJ45 interface to connect with the copper cables. Generally, cat 5, cat 6 and cat 7 cables attached with RJ45 connectors are typically linked to the copper based transceivers.

Compared with copper based transceivers, fiber optic transceivers support higher data rates for over 100 Gbps. The supported fiber patch cables are more complicated for selection. Usually single-mode and multimode fiber patch cables are used. But according to different transmission rates and transmission distance, further choices should be made.

Transmission Rate and Distance

It is known that data rate decreases as the transmission distance increases in fiber optic cables. Multimode fiber optic cables are often used for short distances due to the high cost of single-mode optical cables. But single-mode patch cables have better performance for different data rates in both long and short distances. Thus, if your transceiver supports high data rate over long distance, single-mode should be a better choice, and vice versa.

Transceiver Interface

Interfaces are also important to the selection of patch cables that match with transceivers. Optical transceivers usually use one port for transmitting and one port for receiving. Cables with duplex SC or LC connectors are typically employed to connect with this type of fiber optic transceivers. However, for BiDi transceivers only one port is used for both transmitting and receiving. Thus, simplex patch cables are used with BiDi transceivers.

Other high data rate transceivers like 40G/100GBASE QSFP+ often use MTP/MPO interfaces. They should be connected to the network with multi-fiber patch cords attached with MTP/MPO connectors. If these ports are used for 40 G to 10 G or 100 G to 10 G connections, fanout patch cables should be used.

transceiver-and-patch-cords

Conclusion

Knowing the transmission media, transmission data rate and distance, transceiver interfaces can give you a general direction of which type of patch cables should be chosen. Only matched patch cables and transceiver modules can provide better performance.

Applications of Special-Purpose Fiber Patch Cables

Fiber patch cable is an indispensable part for fiber optic communication. Signals are depending on this device to finish data transmission. Standard fiber patch cables are the most common patch cables in the market. However, there are some specific applications that need special treatment. Therefore, a range of special-purpose fiber patch cables have emerged as required. This article will recommend several unique but useful fiber patch cables. Maybe one of them will suit your needs.

HD TAB Fiber Patch Cable

As the name suggests, HD TAB fiber patch cable has a special push-pull tab which provides great convenience for high-density installations. Technicians can have easier finger access to installing or releasing the cables without using any additional tools. In today’s market, HD TAB fiber patch cables are usually terminated with LC or MTP/MPO connectors. If you are seeking for a high-density and space-saving solution, HD TAB fiber patch cable is highly recommended.

HD-TAB-fiber-patch-cable

The uniboot LC fiber patch cable bundles two fibers in a single patch cord which saves much space for cabling. The changing of its LC uniboot connector polarity is easy ,which skips the using of tools. Uniboot LC fiber patch cable is available in different fiber types of single-mode, OM3 and OM4. The purpose of this cable is to deliver maximum connectivity performance in a minimal footprint. If you want to achieve an easier cable management, this is definitely a good choice.

In addition, there is an upgraded version of uniboot LC fiber patch cable – HD uniboot LC fiber patch cable. You can’t miss this one if you are looking for the extreme space saving solution. It is basically the combination of uniboot LC fiber patch cable and HD TAB fiber patch cable. Likewise, two optical fibers are wrapped together in a single strand. The difference is that its connector is attached with a push-pull tab which is more flexible for releasing the connector. It can be applied to data centers and high-density environments.

uniboot-LC-fiber-patch-cable

Keyed LC Fiber Patch Cable

In terms of data security, keyed LC fiber patch cable or secured LC fiber patch cable is the perfect solution. It is designed to prevent unauthorized and inadvertent changes in highly sensitive applications. Keyed LC fiber patch cable is identified by the connector color. Each color of a set of keyed LC connectivity products represents a unique keying pattern that only allows matched color mating. Multiple keyed LC connectivity products are included in this family. The picture below gives an example of the simplex keyed LC connectivity.

keyed-lc-connector-and-adapter

Originally, when bending an optical fiber by stress, there will be a bend loss. This sensitive nature of optical fiber causes low efficiency in optical transmission. But it is hard to deal with the problem as bend loss issue is difficult to locate. Fortunately, bend insensitive fiber patch cable is designed to solve this problem. In this kind of cable, a layer of glass is added around the core of the fiber which has a lower index of refraction that literally “reflects” the weakly guided modes back into the core. Many data centers and FTTH systems are deploying this cable to reach lower signal loss.

Conclusion

From this article, we can see that there still exists many other types of fiber patch cables. And special fiber optic cable solutions are always more effective to special applications. By the way, if you just want a standard optical cable, you may consider from the aspects of fiber type, connector type, connector polishing type, fiber count, cable jacket, etc. These options are fit for average circumstances when choosing the optical cables. Hope you choose the right one according to your requirements!

Which Do You Prefer: 10GBASE-T or SFP+ DAC?

A variety of technological advancements and trends are driving the increasing need for 10 GbE in the data center. IT managers are now faced with the challenge of selecting the appropriate 10-gigabit physical media, as 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GE) is offered in two broad categories, optical and copper, with the latter being the most commonly used means for connectivity in data centers. This article addresses the tradeoffs between the effective choices in copper connectivity 10GBase-T and SFP+ direct attach cable (DAC fiber).

10G SFP+ and DAC cables

What is 10GBASE-T and Why Choose It?

10GBASE-T is an IEEE 802.3an standard which supports the creation of technology that is capable of transmitting 10 Gigabit Ethernet up to 100 meters over four pairs of CAT5 balanced copper cabling system. It is an exciting technology that provides end users with cost-effective media to achieve 10Gbps data rates.

Like all BASE-T implementations, 10GBASE-T works for lengths up to 100 meters, giving IT managers a far greater level of flexibility in connecting devices in the data center. With flexibility in reach, 10GBASE-T can accommodate either top of the rack, middle of row, or end of the row network topologies. This gives IT managers the most flexibility in server placement since it will work with existing structured cabling systems. Because 10GBASE-T is backward-compatible with 1000BASE-T, it can be deployed in existing 1 GbE switch infrastructures in data centers that are cabled with CAT6 and CAT6A (or above) cabling, enabling IT to keep costs down while offering an easy migration path to 10 GbE.

What is SFP+ DAC Fiber and the Benefits of It?

SFP+ direct attach cable (DAC) is a fixed assembly that is purchased at a given length, with the SFP+ connector modules permanently attached to each end of the cable. SFP+ DAC provides high performance in 10 Gigabit Ethernet network applications, using an enhanced SFP+ connector to send 10 Gbps data through one paired transmitters and receivers over a thin twinax cable or fiber optic cable. The 10G SFP+ DAC is designed to use the same port as an optical transceiver, but compared with optical transceivers, the connector modules attached to the cable leave out the expensive optical lasers and other electronic components, thus achieving significant cost savings and power savings in short reach applications.

SFP DAC fiber H10GB-CU5M

SFP+ DAC is a low cost alternative to traditional fiber and twisted-pair copper cabling in data center deployments. SFP+ DAC provides better cable management for high-density deployments and enhanced electrical characteristics for the most reliable signal transmission.

10GBASE-T vs 10GBASE SFP + DAC

SFP+ DAC fiber has significantly lower overall cost when you include switch, NIC and cable, however, 10GBase-T has more flexibility and can reach longer distance. For data centers, the advantages of SFP+ with DAC are a very good match for today’ s requirements and emerging trends. That’s why SFP+ DAC is being adopted rapidly as best practice for new data centers. For wiring closets, 10GBase – T will be the obvious choice once the demand for bandwidth becomes more acute and once the price and power for 10GBase-T technology comes down.

As one of the most professional optical manufacturers in China, FS solutions for 10 Gigabit Ethernet include 10G SFP+ DAC fiber, 10G SFP+ direct attach copper cable. Besides, we also provide high-quality 10G SFP transceivers, like EX-SFP-10GE-LR, SFP-10G-LR-X, SFP-10G-SR-X, etc.

Related Articles:
What’s DAC Cable And Why Choose It Over Fiber Transceiver?
Running 10GBASE-T Over Cat6 vs Cat6a vs Cat7 Cabling?

Single-mode Fiber Patch Cable VS Multi-mode Fiber Patch Cable

Fiber patch cable, also called fiber optic jumper or fiber optic patch cord, is designed to interconnect or cross connect fiber networks within structured cabling systems. The connectors capped at either end of the fiber patch cable allow it to be rapidly and conveniently connected to an optical switch, cable television (CATV) or other telecommunication equipment. Depending on transmission medium, the fiber patch cable can be classified into single-mode fiber patch cable and multimode patch cord.

What is Single mode Fiber Patch Cable

Single-mode fiber patch cable, which is generally yellow, is composed of a fiber optic cable terminated with single mode fiber optic connectors at both ends. It is usually used for connections over large areas, such as college campuses and cable television networks. Compared with multimode fiber patch cable, single-mode fiber patch cable have a higher bandwidth. The following figure shows the common single-mode fiber patch cable which is with blue connectors at both ends.

single mode

What is Multimode Patch Cord

Multimode fiber patch cable, which is generally orange or grey, is composed of a fiber optic cable terminated with multimode fiber optic connectors at both ends. Its connectors are generally cream or black (as shown below). It is a type of optical fiber mostly employed for communication over short distances, such as within a building or on the campus. Due to its high capacity and high reliability, multimode optical fiber is used for building the backbone network application.

multimode patch cord

Difference between Single-mode and Multimode Fiber Patch Cables

The main difference between single-mode and multi-mode fiber patch cables is the size of their respective cores.

Single-mode fiber optic patch cables use 9/125 (“9” represents the diameter of the core, and “125” represents the diameter of the cladding) micron bulk single-mode fiber cables. The most common type of single-mode fiber has a core diameter of 8 to 10 microns. In single-mode cables, light travels toward the center of the core in a single wavelength, allowing the signal to travel faster and over longer distances without a loss of signal quality than is possible with multimode cabling.

Multimode patch cord uses 62.5/125 (“62.5” represents the diameter of the core, and “125” represents the diameter of the cladding) micron or 50/125 (“50” represents the diameter of the core, and “125” represents the diameter of the cladding) micron multimode fiber cables. In other words, the core of the multimode fiber patch cable is either 50 or 62.5 microns. Compared with single-mode cable, the larger core of the multimode cable gathers more light, and this light reflects off the core and allows more signals to be transmitted. Although it is more cost-effective than single-mode cable, the multimode cabling does not maintain signal quality over long distances.

Both single-mode fiber patch cable and multimode patch cord can be used in computer workstation to outlet and patch panels or optical cross connect distribution center. A large number of fiber optic patch cables are supplied by Fiberstore, including the above said single-mode and multimode fiber patch cables.

Related Articles:
Single Mode vs Multimode Fiber: What’s the Difference?
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Fiber Optics Based on Multi Point Fiber Distribution Systems

Multi point distribution system is the broad wireless technology used to deliver voice, data, Internet, and video services. It has been allocated for that deliever broadband services in a point to point or point to multi point configuration to residential and commercial customers. As a result of the propagating characteristics of signals so that the systems use a cellular like network architecture, though services provided are fixed, not mobile.

In some cases fiber distribution systems have an ability to connect several remote sites to one base station. One common application is that the repeaters based on a major building and others building such as RF shielding areas and basement which all located in a few miles repeater building. A and the repeater use the head end. A multiple fiber optic transceiver assembly at the base station is commonly called a “head end” The distance end of the fiber is called “remote hub” equipment.

fiber distribution systems

We need to pay attention to that each fiber optic receiver output at the repeater site has individual pads to reduce the composite noise floor. For example, if used the 40dB, an additional 80 dB of combiner port-to-port isolation occurs. In real application, it is a good idea, including regard the taps at test point to read the RF levels. Just used for testing and protection. A similar system that when we used the WDM, if the numbers of fibers are reduced by 50% but a WDM must be added at each remote site and another WDM for each fiber added at the repeater site. In the 4 remote site example, it would be taking 8 WDM’s to operate all the fibers full duplex and 4 fiber optic transmitters would have to be 1550nm models. Then there also a point we need to be careful. Fiber optic transceiver is not frequency selective and the same unit can receive 1330 or 1550nm optical signals equally well. We also measured the noise performance and we are happy to inform you that in line with theory, optic splitters practically do not add any noise. No matter what output we tested, this means that your receiver connected to such network would also show very high quality readings.

When we use the fiber optic links in the fiber distribution system, sometimes we need fiber optical splitter to split the signal which carried. The systems designer has the choice of splitting either the optical or RF domain. The function of optical splitter is familiar to RF splitter. Other parts of the incoming fiber optic network are connected to the transmission of output, and the terminal device is connected and the another main part is its direct part. There are also splitters that divided the input into 2, 4 or more outputs. According to the structure and locations of fiber optic splitter, in the fiber optic network, we need different split ratios of splitter, such as 1×2, 1×4 and 1×8 splitter and so on. Moreover unused single mode fiber cable, specific products can see at 50m single mode, it also can strengthen the signal used for the RF over fiber systems between the connected buildings for data communication and spare fibers.