What is an MPO Connector?
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what is an MPO connectorwhat is an MPO connector
Nov 2022 4 min read

What is an MPO Connector?

In response to the ever-increasing need for bandwidth in applications such as data centres, consumers are turning to newer technologies to meet demand. MPO cables, accommodating more fibres in one multi-fibre MPO connector, are increasingly being used as an alternative to conventional multi-fibre cables.

This article covers what an MPO connector is, the main advantages of MPO cables and the differences between MPO and MTP technology. Once you understand the key advantages of MPO technology, it will be clear why this is becoming the cabling system of choice.

What is an MPO Connector?

An MPO connector or Multi-fibre Push-On connector is a fibre connector comprised of multiple optical fibres. In data centres you will find MPO connectors with 8, 12, or 24 fibres. Larger core counts are also available and are typically found in super high-density applications.

An MPO cable assembly contains optical fibres, sheath, dust cap and the connector coupling components, which include metal spring, guide pins and ferrules. MPO connectors are either male or female. The male connector has two pins, whereas the female connector does not have any pins.

MPO connectors have a key on one side of the connector body which helps to determine the fibre positions and ensures that the connector can be inserted only one way into an MPO adapter or transceiver port. An MPO connector with 8, 12, and 24 fibres will have the key in the center of the housing.

Advantages of MPO connectors

  • An MPO connector has many fibres in one connector, and hence reduces the amount of time required to connect fibres.
  • An MPO connector takes up less space, so it is significantly effective in reducing space required for your cabling architecture.
  • An MPO connector is more cost effective than individual connectorised cable assemblies.
  • Having 12 fibre channels in one connector enables higher rates of transmission using different protocols.

What is an MTP connector?

An MTP connector or Multi-fibre Termination Push-on connector is a brand name for an MPO connector manufactured by US Conec. MTP connectors are engineered to higher mechanical and optical specifications and are therefore sometimes preferred over MPO for critical infrastructure, however are not as cost effective as MPO.

Advantages of an MTP connector

  • Like MPO connectors, the installation time of an MTP system is shorter than traditional fibre systems.
  • Like MPO connectors, MTP technology allows optical fibre networks to run more efficiently, especially at high data transfer rates of 40G and 100G.
  • An MTP connector contains a floating ferrule which improves both mechanical and optical performance.
  • You can easily remove and rotate the housing of an MTP connector.
  • The oval spring design maximizes ribbon clearance and hence prevents fibre damage.
  • MTP connectors include a recessed pin clamp to ensure the spring is seated securely.
  • MTP guide pins are elliptical and use tight tolerance stainless steel to reduce the amount of debris that may fall into the guide pin holes or the ferrule end-face.

In conclusion, there is a big move to MPO connectivity in data centres and other cabling infrastructures. The advantages being greater bandwidth, higher density and cost-effectiveness. More and more active equipment is being built using MPO technology, making traditional cabling methods less common and maybe redundant in the near future.

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2022-11-04 02:41:00
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