Multi-mode fiber patch cable, which is composed of a fiber optic cable terminated with multi-mode fiber optic connectors at both ends, is a type of optical fiber mostly employed for communication over short distances, such as within a building or on the campus. There are four common kinds of multi-mode fiber patch cable: OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4 fiber patch cables. OM1 and OM2 fiber patch cables are commonly used in premises applications supporting Ethernet rates of 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps. While OM3 and OM4 fiber patch cables are developed to accommodate faster networks such as 10, 40, and 100 Gbps. The following figure shows the differences between OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4 cables on diameter, jacket color, optical source and bandwidth:
Compared with OM1 and OM2 fiber patch cables, OM3 and OM4 fiber patch cables are more suitable for today’s higher-speed networks. This article will give a brief introduction to the similarities and differences of OM3 and OM4 fiber patch cables.
The first thing to note is that the connectors of OM3 and OM4 fiber patch cables are the same. The commonly used connectors are LC, SC, FC and so on. In addition, the termination of the connectors is the same as well. As for the fiber optic cable, both OM3 and OM4 fiber patch cables use 50/125 micron (“50” represents the diameter of the core, and “125” represents the diameter of the cladding) multi-mode fiber cables. Furthermore, the fibers of OM3 and OM4 fiber patch cables are all laser optimized multi-mode fibers (LOMMF), which are designed for use with 850nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELS). Last but not least, OM3 and OM4 fiber patch cables have the same aqua sheaths.
Compared with the OM3 fiber patch cables, the cable of OM4 fiber patch cables has a lower attenuation and operates at a higher bandwidth. Both these two factors mean that less power is lost in the transmission of signal. That’s to say, the transmission distance of OM4 fiber patch cables is further than that of OM3 fiber patch cables. Furthermore, the effective modal bandwidth (EMB) of OM3 and OM4 fiber patch cables is different as well. The followings are detailed information about the EMB and transmission distances of 10G OM3 fiber patch cables and 10G OM4 fiber patch cables.
The 10G OM3 fiber patch cable specifies an 850nm laser-optimized 50 micron cable with an effective modal bandwidth (EMB) of 2000 MHz/km. It can support 10 Gbps link distances up to 300 meters.
The 10G OM4 fiber patch cable specifies a high-bandwidth 850nm laser-optimized 50 micron cable with an effective modal bandwidth of 4700 MHz/km. It can support 10 Gbps link distances of 550 meters.
Fiberstore offers both OM3 fiber patch cables and OM4 fiber patch cables terminated with different fiber optic connectors (LC/SC/ST/FC/MTRJ/MU/E2000/SMA). These cables, which can be simplex or duplex and customized in optical lengths, are 100% optically tested for maximum performance before shipping worldwide.