Are MPO and MTP Interchangeable?
While MTP and MPO are very similar, there are slight differences in the physical design and construction. So, what are the fundamental differences between MPO and MTP connectors? This article will determine the compatibility between MPO and MTP.
Primary differences between MPO and MTP connectors
Before describing the differences, we will briefly introduce MPO and MTP connectors. For more information about what an MPO/MTP connector is, see our recent article here.
MPO or Multi-fibre Push-on connector is a special fibre connector containing multiple optical fibres. We can also define it as an array connector with more than two fibres.
MTP or Multi-fibre Termination Push-on connector is a special type of MPO connector developed by US Conec, which has slight enhancements compared with regular MPO connectors and hence provides better mechanical and optical performance.
|Pin Clamp||An MTP connector has a metal pin clamp to ensure a firm clasp on the pins. The metal pin clamp stops the pin from breaking during cable mating.||An MPO connector has a plastic pin clamp, so while it is unlikely, the pin is more susceptible to breaking during cable mating.|
|Guide Pins||An MTP connector uses tightly held tolerance stainless steel elliptical guide pin tips, which helps to reduce the amount of debris that may fall into the guide pin holes or on the ferrule end face.||An MPO connector has flattened guide pins, which present a surface where debris could be present, pushing it into the guide pin holes or ferrule end face. However, if the guide pin is kept clean this usually does not present an issue.|
|Housing||An MTP connector has a removable housing for changing orientation.||An MPO connector does not have a removable housing. This is only of concern if a gender change is needed in the field.|
|Floating Ferrule||An MTP has a floating ferrule, so you can expect better mechanical performance.||An MPO connector is not manufactured with a floating ferrule.|
Are MPO and MTP compatible?
Despite having some differences, MTP and MPO connectors are 100% compatible and interchangeable. However, remember that your network is only as strong as its weakest link. When you are combining MPO and MTP components your system can be said to deliver the expected performance of an MPO network.
MTP and MPO connectors are interchangeable because, over the years, the divergence between them has narrowed significantly, with many MPO connectors presently offering the same or similar performance compared to MTP.
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