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Why MPO Connectors are so useful (and popular!)

by Stuart Berry January 01, 2020

There is a Fibre connector that enables you to save time, give you extra space, and gives you great performance. The connector in question is the Multi-fiber push on (MPO) connector. The MPO Connector has become spectacularly popular over the last few years and is now the primary multiple fiber connector used globally for high-speed data and telecom communications networks. These fibre connectors come in a wide range of options. Using them has become a no-brainer, as they make life easier while delivering the increasingly fast speeds needed for today’s technological environments. So why have they become so popular?

MPO Cables and Connectors

The first reason is the design. MPO connectors combine multiple fibres in one connector, which cuts down on the amount of time you need for splicing and connecting fibres. An added benefit is that it also saves space. Each connectors has a key on one side. A “key up” position has the key on top, “key down” position has the key on the bottom. Each fiber in the connector is numbered left to right (P1, P2, etc.) and there is a white dot on the connector body to show where position 1 is located.

MPO Pin Location Diagram

In the old days, MPO connectors were only manufactured as single-row, 12-fiber connectors, but now there are many variations available. You can now utilise 8 and 16 single-row options that can then be stacked to create 24, 36 and 72 fiber connectors with multiple precision ferrules. Mating these connectors is made simple through the IEC 61754-7 and EIA/TIA-604-5 (FOCSI 5) standards that ensure all MPO connectors meet performance and compatibility requirements. It's important to remember that the wider connectors and stacked ferrules may be subject to greater insertion loss and reflection problems because holding the outer fibers alignment tolerances can be an issue.

MPO connectors are also a popular choice for high-speed telecom and data communications. They have been utilized in duplex 10 Gig fiber applications as a means to ease cable management, save money, speed-up installation and take-up less space. Twelve-fiber MPO connectors can supply six-10 Gig transmit fibers and six-10 Gig receive fibers. Eight-fiber MPOs are capable of 40 Gig speeds and 24 fibers deliver 100 Gig speeds. With connectors able to be combined and stacked to increase speed and capabilities, MPO connectors can deliver the performance requirements needed to keep up with advancing technologies.

Having the combined features of great flexibility and ease of use, MPO connectors are a superb option for multiple diverse connecting needs and it is guaranteed that they will be a viable option in the fiber optic marketplace for many years to come.

Stuart Berry
Stuart Berry


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