Wireless AP vs. Router: Make the Right Choice

Wireless access points (WAP or AP) and routers are often thought of as the same thing. In fact, a wireless access point is similar to a router but there are some differences. Technically, any router with Wi-Fi onboard can be called a wireless access point, but that’s not their only definition. For example, a router can be an access point, but an access point can’t be a router. This post will cover both wireless AP and router, explaining each of their roles and advanced features. Then you can decide which one is best suited for your wireless network.

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What Is A Wireless Access Point(AP)?

An access point is a networking hardware appliance that can be used as either an independent device or a component of a router. A WAP performs two major functions in a network. First, it enables devices that don’t have inbuilt Wi-Fi connection to access a wireless network. Once you connect a WAP to a router (that don’t have an inbuilt WI-FI ability) with an Ethernet cable, it becomes a wireless device which will connect to your network. Secondly, WAP is used as a wireless range extender, increasing the coverage of your existing WI-FI network. If you connect your router to a wireless access point through an Ethernet cable, you will be able to increase the area of your Wi-Fi access.

What Is A Router?

A router acts as a gateway in a computer network by connecting various devices wirelessly. A wireless router is a basic router with an added feature on an inbuilt access point. It allows a wireless communication and sharing of data amongst devices and computers that are connected to a particular network. The wireless router achieves this by allocating IP addresses to the computers and devices. Additionally, a router helps these computers that are within the wireless network to share devices such as scanners and printers wirelessly.

Wireless AP vs. Router: What’s the Difference?
Appearance

Almost anyone who has an internet connection has a router nowadays. So I guess everyone is quite familiar with it. The commonly used router usually has antennas ranging from 1 to 4. And it has four more wired network ports compare to a wireless AP, except one WAN port for connecting upper network equipment, and the rest four LAN ports for connecting a computer with a wired network card in an intranet. Additionally, it has more indicators than wireless AP.

TP-Link-Launches-the-N750-Dual-Band-Gigabit-Router33

A simple wireless access point usually has a wired RJ45 network port, power interface, configuration port (USB port or through the web interface configuration) and several status indicators. Apart from the common configuration, a wireless access point can be designed into different types:

Ceiling-mount Wireless AP

Wall-mount Wireless AP

Outdoor Wireless AP

Application

A wireless AP is widely used in large enterprises, because large companies need a large number of wireless access node to achieve a large network coverage. And all access terminal belong to the same network, which is convenient for the company network administrator to realize network control and management.

A wireless router is generally used in homes and SOHO environments where the coverage is narrow and users account for a small part. Under such kind of circumstances, only one wireless AP is enough.

Connection Mode

A wireless AP can’t be connected to ADSLMODE, unless a switch or hub or router is used as a medium. While the wireless router is endowed with broadband dial-up function, you can directly connect to the ADSLMODEM and achieve dial-up Internet access.

Function

The function of wireless AP is to convert a wired network into a wireless network. To put it simply, wireless AP serves as a bridge between wireless networks and wired networks. Its signal range is spherical, so it is better to be placed in a higher point, which can increase network coverage. Wireless AP is a wireless switch, which is connected to a wired switch or router, and the wireless terminal and the original network belong to the same subnet.

A wireless router is a wireless AP with routing function, which is connected to ADSL broadband lines. Through the router function, an independent wireless home networking is built.

Wireless AP vs. Router: Which One should I Buy?

Typically, wireless routers are used in residential and small businesses, where all users can be supported by one combined AP and router. Wireless APs are used in larger businesses and venues, where many APs are required to provide service, for example, to cover a bigger area or to support thousands of users. In larger WLANs, it usually makes sense to have several APs feeding into a single, separate router.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you want to build more reliable wireless network, you may need a wireless access point. If you just want a wireless network at home to cover only several people, the wireless router is enough. If you are looking for a good wireless AP supplier, FS. COM is a good choice. FS.COM provides several wireless access points with high performance to support resilient wireless access services for use in enterprise offices, schools, hospitals, hotels and more.

What Kind of Switches and Patch Cables Should I Choose for SFP Transceiver?

Gigabit Ethernet has supplanted Fast Ethernet in wired local networks and becomes ubiquitous throughout the world, serving as one of the most prevalent enterprise communication standard. The Gigabit Ethernet standard supports a maximum data rate of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps)(1000 Mbps), 10 times faster than Fast Ethernet, yet is compatible with existing Ethernet. To link your switches and routers to a Gigabit Ethernet network, you need a Gigabit Ethernet transceiver as a transmission medium. This article intends to introduce the most commonly used one—SFP transceivers.

sfp

What Is SFP Transceiver?

SFP, short for small form-factor pluggable is a compact, hot-pluggable transceiver used for both telecommunication and data communications applications. SFP transceiver can be regarded as the upgrade version of GBIC module. Unlike GBIC with SC fiber optic interface, SFP module is with LC interface and the main body size of SFP is only about half of GBIC so that it can save more space. SFP interfaces a network device mother board (for a router, switch, media converter or similar devices) to a fiber optic or copper networking cable. It is designed to support SONET, Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and other communications standards.

Types & Applications of SFP transceivers

SFP transceivers are available with various transmitter and receiver types, which facilitates users to select the appropriate optical transceiver for different optical reach and optical fiber type (single-mode fiber or multimode fiber) required by different link. SFP transceiver modules can be divided into several different categories:

Types Transmission Medium Wavelength Distance
1000BASE-T SFP Twisted-pair cabling / 100 m
1000BASE-SX SFP Multimode fiber 770-860 nm OM1-275 m/OM2-550 m
1000BASE-LX/LH SFP SMF & MMF 1270-1355 nm MMF-550 m/SMF-5 km
1000BASE-ZX SFP Single mode fiber 1550 nm 70 km
1000BASE-EX SFP Single mode fiber 1310 nm 40 km
1000BASE-BX10 SFP Single mode fiber 1480-1500 nm downstream, 1260-1,360 nm upstream 10 km
CWDM and DWDM SFP Single optical fiber various wavelengths various maximum distances

SFP transceivers are found in Ethernet switches, routers, firewalls and network interface cards. Storage interface cards, also called HBAs or Fibre Channel storage switches, also make use of these modules. Because of their low cost, low profile, and ability to provide a connection to different types of optical fiber, SFP transceiver provides such equipment with enhanced flexibility.

FS.COM Compatible SFP Transceivers for Popular Switches

FS.COM offers a full range of SFP transceivers compatible with major brands, such as Cisco, Juniper, Arista, Brocade, HPE, etc. All of these cost-effective compatible SFPs have been strictly tested to make sure 100% compatibility. The table below listed a small part of compatible SFPs supported on major branded switches.

Brand Switch Series Model Port Description
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series WS-SUP720-3BXL 2 SFP Port
VS-S720-10G-3C 4 SFP Port
WS-X6724-SFP 24 SFP Port
Nexus 9000 Series N9K-C9396PX 48 SFP Port
IE3010 Series IE-3010-24TC 2 SFP Port
ASR 9000 Series Router A9K-MPA-20X1GE 20 SFP Port
Juniper EX 4200 Series EX4200-24T 2 SFP Port
EX4200-48T 4 SFP Port
EX4200-24T-DC 2 SFP Port
MX480 Router MX480 Router 4 SFP Port
SRX Series SRX210 1 SFP Port (Option)
QFX 5100 QFX5100-48S 48 SFP Port
Arista 7500 Series DCS-7504 48 SFP Port (Option)
DCS-7508 48 SFP Port (Option)
7050SX Series 7050SX-64 48 SFP Port
7100 Series DCS-7124S 24 SFP Port
Brocade VDX 6720 BR-VDX6720-16-R 16 SFP Port
BR-VDX6720-24-F 24 SFP Port
BR-VDX6720-40-F 40 SFP Port
SX Series SX-424F 24 SFP Port
SX-FI12GM-4-PREM 12 SFP Port
Brocade BI-RX-8 NI-MLX-1Gx20-SFP 20 SFP Port
HPE ProCurve 5400zl Series J8697A 2 SFP Port
J9548A 144 SFP Port
FlexFabric 5800 Series JC101B 4 SFP Port
JG225B 6 SFP Port
5400R zl2 Series J9584A 24 SFP Port
StorageWorks edge 2/12 348406-B21 12 SFP Port

FS.COM Patch Cables for SFP Transceivers

FS.COM offers comprehensive fiber patch cables for common and special types of SFPs, including singlemode & multimode, simplex & duplex, UPC & APC, lengths from 1 meter to 30 meters in large stocks. We also provides Cat 5e patch cables for 10/100/1000BASE-T SFPs.

Fiber Mode Connector Jacket
9/125 SMF LC Duplex PVC/LSZH/OFNP
9/125 SMF LC Simplex PVC/LSZH
9/125 SMF SC Simplex PVC/LSZH
50/125 OM2 LC Duplex PVC/LSZH
62.5/125 OM1 LC Duplex PVC
Cat5e Patch Cables Max Distance Data Rate
Unshielded (UTP) 100m 1000Mbps
Shielded (FTP) 100m 1000Mbps

Summary

This article offers switch and fiber patch cabling solution for SFP transceivers. Besides the major brands mentioned above, we also provide SFP transceivers compatible with other brands, such as Dell, Extreme, H3C, Huawei, Intel, IBM, Netgear, Ciena, D-Link, Avago, and so on. As to special requirements, please contact Sales@fs.com for suggestion.

Proper Cabling Solutions for PoE Network

Ethernet cables

By running power and data transmission over a single Ethernet cable, PoE (Power over Ethernet) has found success across a variety of applications such as IP surveillance cameras, IP phones and wireless access points. However, without the right cabling and network design in place, PoE can encounter cable heating and connectivity issues that may adversely affect performance. So in this post, some cabling recommendations for PoE will be listed for your reference.

working principle of PoE switch

Issues Affect PoE Performance

Heat generation in cable bundles is one of the biggest issues that affect PoE performance. When power is added to balanced twisted-pair cabling, the copper conductors generate heat and temperatures rise. High temperatures will lead to higher insertion loss, and in turn shorter permissible cable lengths. It can also increase bit error rates, and create higher power costs due to more power dissipated in the cabling.

Cabling Recommendations for PoE

Some cabling recommendations for PoE are suggested to help lower cabling temperature.

Use Higher Category Cabling

Higher category-rated cable typically means larger gauge sizes, and as power currents increase, these larger conductors will perform better than smaller cable. Generally, higher category cabling will be necessary to minimize temperature increases while supporting PDs that require more power.

Reduce the Number of Cables per Bundle

If cables are bundled or closely grouped with other cables, cables near the center of the bundle have difficulty radiating heat out into the environment. Therefore, the cables in the middle of the bundle heat up more than those toward the outer layers of the bundle. Separating large cable bundles into smaller bundles or avoiding tight bundles will reduce temperature rise.

Design Pathways to Support Airflow

Enclosed conduit can contribute to heat issues. When possible, using ventilated cable trays would get better airflow. Open mesh cable trays and ladder racks will improve heat dissipation and create more opportunities for loosely grouping cables instead of tight bundling.

Cat 5e vs. Cat 6a: Which Is Better for PoE Cabling?

The type of cabling selected can make a big difference in terms of how heat inside the cable is managed, and how it impacts performance. Typically, Cat 5e and Cat 6a cable can be used to support PoE devices. But it’s better to use Cat 6a for PoE cabling.

With larger-gauge diameter, Cat 6a can reduce resistance and keep power waste to a minimum as it has a lower temperature increase compared to smaller-gauge Cat 5e. This better performance will provide additional flexibility, including larger bundle sizes, closed installation conditions and higher ambient temperatures. For instance, when comparing 23-gauge and 24-gauge cabling, there is a large variance in how power is handled. As much as 20% of the power through the cable can get “lost” in a 24-gauge Cat 5e cable, leading to inefficiency. In addition, less power is dissipated in a 23-gauge Cat 6a cable, which means that more of the power being transferred through the cable is actually being used, improving energy efficiency and lowering operating costs.

FS PoE Switches & Ethernet Cables Solution

FS offers fully managed PoE Gigabit switches, which delivers robust performance and intelligent switching for growing networks. Available with 8, 24, or 48 PoE Gigabit Ethernet ports, the model details of our PoE switches are listed below. Among them, the PS130-8 and PS400-24 are PoE switches, while PS650-48, PS250-8 and PS650-24 are PoE+ switches. Reliable & economical, our PoE switches are ideal for SME networks and can expand your network much more easily than ever.

FS PoE switches specification

Besides PoE, we also have various types of Ethernet cables including Cat 6a, Cat 6, Cat 5e and Cat 7 Ethernet patch cables. Most of them are in large stock and multiple cable colors are available. For more details, please visit www.fs.com.

IP67 Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable– A Survival In Harsh Environment

IP67 waterproof fiber optic patch cable can be used in harsh environment, providing more convenience and extra protection for network systems. Even if there are various patch cables available on the market, which can be used in different applications, in most cases, they can only be installed in relatively protected environment where stay away from liquid, chemicals and animal biting. What if I want to use it in military network or extremely harsh environment? The following text will introduce a saviour in hostile surroundings—IP67 waterproof fiber optic patch cable.

Overview of IP67 Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable

Waterproof fiber optic patch cable is mainly used in outdoor connection. It is designed with a stainless steel strengthened waterproof unit and armored outdoor PU jacketed cables. It can resist high temperature, and is suitable for use in harsh environments. Similar to standard fiber optic patch cables, waterproof fiber cables also have various types, including simplex, duplex, 12 fibers, 24 fibers, and various kinds of connect interfaces are optional, such as LC, SC, FC, ST, MPO, etc.

IP67 waterproof fiber cable meets ODVA (Open DeviceNet Vendors Association) standards and the IP66/67 environmental sealing ratings. IP67 waterproof fiber jumper connectors are designed according to the IEC60603-7 interface standard, which allows mating to other similar mechanical locking systems. In all, IP67 waterproof fiber optic patch cable is a low-cost and ideal alternative for industry, FTTA, or other harsh environmental conditions.

IP67 Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable–What Does IP Mean?

Here IP is referred to as Ingress Protection rating (or International Protection code), which is an important parameter showing the degrees of protection from solid objects and liquids. IP rating code is usually followed by two digits. The first digit indicates degree of protection against solids, which is raging from 0 to 6. The second digit represents degree of protection against liquids, which is raging from 0 to 8. The larger the number is, the higher the protection level is. The following two tables explain the two types of protection levels in details.

Table 1: Protection levels against solid objects.

Protection levels against solid objects

Table 2: Protection levels against liquids.

Protection levels against liquids

Why & Where to Use IP67 Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable?

Compared to common fiber optic cables, IP67 waterproof fiber cables are endowed with the following features:

  • Corrosion-resistant, waterproof, dust-proof
  • High temperature stability, low insertion loss
  • Easy operation, reliable and cost-effective installation
  • Thread locking mechanism to ensure long-term reliable connection
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Rugged design for extreme environments
  • High sealing performances for vacuum & under water applications

All of the above features make waterproof fiber cables suitable for outdoor application, such as:

  • Emergency repair quick connection system
  • Radio and television industry
  • Military exercise communication devices
  • Power industry emergency communication system
  • Oilfield, mining communication connection
  • Remote wireless base station
  • Railway signal control application
  • Intelligent substation communication
  • Video monitoring system
FS.COM IP67 Waterproof Fiber Optic Cable Component Details

Since IP67 waterproof fiber optic patch cables have various connectors and types. IP67 LC to IP67 LC duplex single mode waterproof fiber optic patch cable from FS.COM will be taken as an example for your reference.

IP67 LC Component Details

In FS.COM, IP67LC cable connector is the LC connector whose optical channels are based on the convention with duplex, single mode APC. The aluminum frame has a spring-loaded push-pull locking mechanism and possesses the excellent cable retention because of an aramid yarn within the cable. When there is no connection by the automatically operated sealing-cover, both chassis and connector can protect against dirt and dust. In addition to the automatic sealing shutters, rubber outer sheath and steel, the automatic protective cap is fitted for using when unconnected. When connected or capped, the sealing connection environment amounts to IP67.

Summary

With the rapid development of optical communication, more and more fiber optic cables are increasingly used in different environments. Under harsh conditions, the ruggedness and durability of common fiber optic cables cannot meet operators’ requirements, especially for exceptional demanding applications. This post mainly introduces IP67 waterproof fiber optic cable suitable in harsh environment. All the types of waterproof fiber optic cables are available in FS.COM. If you have any problem about them, please contact us via sales@fs.com.

The Need for Ultra Low Loss Fiber Patch Cables in Data Center

Fiber optic cables are now indispensable transmission media in data center. But during the transmission, attenuation of optical fibers becomes one of the top concerns since it greatly impacts the signal transmission, and what’s worse, it’s difficult to avoid, especially in the long distance transmission of high-speed backbone network. Under such a background, the introduction of ultra low loss fiber patch cables provides a new way to solve this problem. This post will reveal why ultra low loss fiber patch cable is superior and different types of ultra low loss fiber patch cables provided by FS.COM.

Why Ultra Low Loss Fiber Patch Cable is Advantageous?

Lower Attenuation—According to the loss of optical fiber, the optical fiber is divided into common fiber, low loss fiber and ultra low loss fiber. Among them, the attenuation of common optical fiber is about 0.20dB/km, and the attenuation of low loss fiber and ultra low loss fiber is lower than 0.185dB/km and 0.170dB/km respectively. Compared with common fiber, low loss fiber and ultra low loss fiber can respectively reduce cross section loss of 2dB and 3dB. For the future transmission rate of 400G, low loss optical fiber can reduce about 20% of regeneration stations, while ultra low loss optical fiber about 40%. The benefits and advantages of ultra low loss fiber cable are obvious and noticeable.

Network Redundancy—Compared with common fiber, the excellent characteristics of ultra low loss fiber provides network redundancy for expansion of network transition span and site, for upgrading to the faster bit rate and an increase of network components’ flexibility or extension of the distance between regenerators in order to achieve longer and wider regional network and satisfy the global increasing demand for bandwidth capacity.

Low Cost—In addition to aforementioned advantages, the use of ultra low loss fiber cable can greatly reduce cost. The reduction of a regeneration station means saving millions of dollars. With the forthcoming of 400G, compared to common fiber, low loss fiber can reduce 20% (about 0.3 billion dollars) of 400G regeneration station, while ultra low loss fiber cable about 40%.

Types of Ultra Low Loss Fiber Patch Cable

In order to offer better performance for our customers, FS.COM introduced two types of ultra low loss fiber optic patch cables.

Ultra Low Loss Single Mode Fiber Patch Cable

FS ultra low loss single mode fiber (SMF)features a typical insertion loss of 0.12dB. The cable is designed for signal transmission over the 1310nm and 1550nm wavelength. And it has Grade B connector which can ensure ultra low IL (insertion loss) and RL (return loss) and avoid the production of error code and worse signal. In addition, the material of the single mode fiber is G.657.A1 (Compatible with G.652.D)which allows the cable to be bent more severely than standard patch cables.

Enhance Grade-B LC Data Center Premium Patch Cable

Ultra Low Loss Multimode Fiber Patch Cable

Multimode fiber (MMF) is a cost-effective solution for short-reach optical interconnects of up to a few hundred meters. The low insertion loss MMF from FS.COM ensures ultra low maximum loss of 0.15dB at the wavelengths of 850nm or 1300nm. The common types of low insertion loss MMF include OM2, OM3 and OM4. With special material design, it also offers excellent hydrogen aging characteristics, which guarantee stability of fiber application. All in all, this ultra low insertion loss MMF cable fully meets the demands for transmitting signals with high speed and high capacity.

Enhance LC Data Center Premium Patch Cable

Summary

Since attenuation is a key factor impacting signal transmission, it’s crucial to select ultra low loss fiber patch cables to deploy future proof cabling infrastructure. If you are in need of any suggestions on network deployment, feel free to contact us via sales@fs.com or directly visit www.fs.com.

Bend Insensitive Fiber–A Perfect Solution For FTTH

It’s known that almost all fiber optic cables have one common weakness when deploying FTTH (Fiber to the Home): attenuation. Any accidentally twisting or bending of cable too much will generate attenuation that can ruin your application with signal loss. If the damage is severe, the user is usually faced with an option: either dump it or buy a new one. In order to solve the problem, bend insensitive fiber is designed to cause much lower optical power loss under bend conditions. In this way, cable bending won’t be an obstacle for your cable installation.

bend sensitive fiber cables

What is Bend Insensitive Fiber?

Bend insensitive fibers can produce minimum loss while transmitting light even if they are bent beyond the bend radius. In bend insensitive fibers, an optical trench is built with a lower refractive index material around the core so that the lost light can be reflected back in, thus minimizing data loss. At the same time, other factors like core diameter, wavelengths, single mode or multimode, etc are also optimized to minimize the losses due to excessive fiber cable bends during installation or maintenance.

Advantages of Bend Insensitive Fiber
  • Fiber cable installation errors due to steep cable bends (inside patch panels, racks, entrance/exit points, etc) can be avoided.
  • Bend insensitive fiber cables are very useful for indoor fiber cable installations as they can now be taken around walls, pillars, ceilings, ducts, and other uneven surfaces within the buildings.
  • Higher bandwidth applications can be confidently deployed using bend insensitive fibers as accidental excessive bending of fibers does not cause much of performance degradation.
  • Bend insensitive fibers also show a great deal of resilience in situations where fibers are fixed to surfaces using clamping, tie-wrapping or stapling.
  • Bend insensitive fibers can be spliced with the same methods used for normal cables, and in most cases, the normal fiber connectors and accessories are compatible to be used with bend insensitive fibers.

BIF cable for ftth

Why Choose Bend Insensitive Fiber For FTTH?

With the continuous demand of higher bandwidth, copper cables are reaching their limit to do the job. FTTH (Fiber to the Home) networks are expected to replace the copper networks with bend insensitive fibers. The bend insensitive cable has less attenuation compared with traditional fiber cables and this will make the installation and maintenance of the fiber optic cables more efficient.

In FTTH networks, people require the fiber optic cables to be bend-insensitive so that it is easier to deploy in the house, such as at the angled points inside the rooms along the walls. Another benefit we can get from bend insensitive fiber cables is that they are space saving. This is also the trend of future fiber optic network—smaller, denser and more efficient. Many companies such as FS.COM are able to provide the bend insensitive fiber optic cables compliant to ITU-T G657 standards.

Conclusion

Bend insensitive fibers can keep lower power loss under bend conditions. This kind of cable is quite necessary to the application of FTTH (Fiber to the Home) access network. FS.COM bend insensitive fiber patch cables are available for multimode (OM2, OM3 and OM4) and single-mode (OS2) networks. Each bend insensitive cable is manufactured with high-quality components and is thoroughly hand-tested for optimum optical performance. For more information, please contact us at sales@fs.com.

Comparison Between OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4

Multimode fibers are identified by the OM (optical mode) designation as outlined in the ISO/IEC 11801 standard. Multimode fiber cables can be found in OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4 types. Each type has different properties. This post will reveal a comparison between the four different multimode fibers.

development of multimode fibers

Parameters & Specification

The original multimode fiber (MMF) standard ANSI/TIA-492AAAA5 for OM1 fiber, was released in 1989 to support Fast Ethernet 100BASE-FX and 1000BASE-SX Ethernet. It’s a kind of multimode fiber with 200/500 MHz.km overfilled launch (OFL) bandwidth at 850/1300nm.

The ANSI/TIA-492AAAB standard for OM2 fiber was released in 1998, with an improved modal bandwidth to support higher data transmission, such as 1 Gbps VCSEL with longer reach. It’s a kind of multimode fiber with 500/500 MHz.km OFL bandwidth at 850/1300nm.

To meet growing bandwidth requirements, laser-optimized multimode fiber (LOMMF) standards OM3 and OM4 fiber cable were developed in 2002 and 2009 respectively. OM3 cable refers to laser-optimized 50µm fiber having 2000 MHz.km effective modal bandwidth (EMB, also known as laser bandwidth) designed for 10 Gb/s transmission. OM4 cable means laser-optimized 50µm fiber having 4700 MHz.km EMB bandwidth designed for 10 Gb/s, 40 Gb/s, and 100 Gb/s transmission.

specification

Design & Application

OM1 cable typically comes with an orange jacket and has a core size of 62.5 micrometers (µm). It can support 100 Megabit Ethernet at lengths up 33 meters. It is most commonly used for 100 Megabit Ethernet applications.

OM2 fiber also has a suggested jacket color of orange. Its core size is 50µm, smaller than OM1 fiber. It supports 1 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 82 meters but is more commonly used for 1 Gigabit Ethernet applications. Both OM1 and OM2 work well with LED based equipment that can send hundreds of modes of light down the cable. And for yeas they have been widely deployed in the interior of the building.

OM3 multimode fiber has a suggested jacket color of aqua. Like OM2, its core size is 50µm, but the cable is optimized for laser based equipment that uses fewer modes of light. As a result of this optimization, it is capable of running 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 300 meters. Besides, OM3 cable is able to support 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet up to 100 meters if a MPO connector is utilized. 10 Gigabit Ethernet is its most common use.

OM4 fiber also has a suggested jacket color of aqua. It is a further improvement to OM3. It also uses a 50µm core but it supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up 550 meters and it supports 100 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 150 meters utilizing a MPO connector. Generally, OM3 and OM4 fiber optic cables are typically used in the data center wiring environment to support the transmission of 10G, even the 40/100G high speed Ethernet network.

design

Limitations

OM1 fiber can cause excessive signal loss, even at a short reach when mating with newer MMF types (core diameter 50µm). Both OM1 and OM2 can only support very limited reach for links above 1G, and can no longer support system speed upgrades. In today’s data center, OM1 and OM2 MMF types aren’t recommended for new greenfield installation.

OM1 and OM2 have higher fiber cable attenuation (3.5 dB/km) compared to OM3 and OM4 (3.0dB/km); therefore, the appropriate link budget may not be met.

Currently, OM3 and OM4 are the most popular MMF types deployed in modern data centers. OM3 MMF can support the latest Ethernet and Fibre Channel applications with reduced reach; however, cautions must be taken when mating legacy OM3 MMF with new bend-insensitive MMF (BI-MMF). The slight difference in fiber geometry could cause additional loss, negatively impacting cable performance.

OM4 BI-MMF is recommended for new fiber installation or fiber upgrade and replacement projects because the latest application standards are developed based on OM4 specifications.

Summary

In a nutshell, Multi-mode fiber is typically cost effective for inside buildings or corporate campuses where the lengths don’t exceed a few hundred meters. When it comes to network speed upgrades, our recommendation is that you replace old OM1/OM2 or legacy OM3 with high-quality OM4 BI-MMF cabling to prevent light from escaping and causing bend-induced attenuation. This leads to better performance, higher bandwidth capabilities and improved optical performance. FS.COM will always offer a best cabling solution for you. For more details, please contact sale@fs.com.

What Are MPO Fiber Connectors?

MPO fiber connector is a passive component for optical fiber cable connection. It has been widely used in many projects and plays an important role in the optical fiber transmission system. In order to give full play to the role of MPO fiber connector in engineering applications, technicians should pay attention to the main structure and features of this connector, and master the basic working principle of MPO fiber connector so that the application of MPO fiber connector can be better put in practice and the development and innovation of optical fiber transmission system can be better promoted.

You may also see the term MTP used interchangeably with MPO. The term MTP is a registered trademark of the MPO connector offered by US Conec. The MTP is fully compliant with MPO standards and is described by US Conec as an MPO that has been engineered to very tight tolerances for improved performance. For the purpose of this discussion, we will refer to only MPO connectors since MTP connectors are considered to be MPO connectors.

MPO connector

Structure of MPO Fiber Connector

MPO is short for the industry acronym— “multi-fiber push on”. The MPO connector is a multi-fiber, and multichannel pluggable connector which is most commonly defined by two documents: IEC-61754-7 (the commonly sited standard for MPO connectors internationally) and EIA/TIA-604-5 (also known as FOCIS 5, is the most common standard sited for in the US). It is made up of a male plug , a female plug, and an adapter. The end of the male plug has two guide pins and a maximum of 72 guide holes, but the most common are 12 holes. When mating the connector, the spring mounted at the end of the core insert will provide a thrust on the core insert to lock it up with the adapter. The guide pins of the plug can restrict the relative position between the connectors, and ensure the optical fiber mating sequence is correct.

APC-MPO-connector-structure

Figure 1: Structure of MPO fiber connector

Features & Specifications

MPO connectors utilize precision molded MT ferrules, with metal guide pins and precise housing dimensions to ensure fiber alignment when mating. The MPO can be mass terminated in combinations of 4, 8, or 12 fiber ribbon cables. The MPO adapter comes standard in black. The single mode or multimode MPO products available from FS.COM are multifiber connections used in high-density backplane and Printed Circuit Board (PCB) applications in data and telecommunications system. The MPO connector, combined with lightweight ribbon cable, represents a huge technological advance over traditional multifiber cables. It’s lighter, more compact, easier to install, and less expensive, and it has lower insertion loss over traditional multifiber cables.

MPO connector specification

Figure 2: MPO connector specification

Application of MPO Fiber Connector

As mentioned, MPO connectors are compatible ribbon fiber connectors. MPO fiber connectors cannot be field terminated, thus MPO connector is usually assembled with fiber optic cable. MPO fiber optic cable is one of the most popular MPO fiber optic cable assemblies, which are now being widely used in data center to provide quick and reliable operation during signal transmission. MPO connectors can be found in the following applications:

  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • CATV and Multimedia
  • Active Device Interface
  • Premise installations
  • Optical Switch interframe connections
  • Interconnection for O/E modules
  • Telecommunication Networks
  • Industrial & Medical, etc.
Considerations to Select MPO Fiber Connector

With the drive of market requests. Various types of MPO connectors are being provided. Some basic aspects should be considered during the selection of a MPO connector. Firstly, pin option. MPO connectors have male and female design (as showed in the figure 1). Male connectors have two guide pins and female connectors do not. Alignment between mating ferrules of MPO connectors is accomplished using two precision guide pins that are pre-installed into the designated male connector. Secondly, fiber count. MPO connector could provide 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 36, 64 or more interconnections, among which 12 and 24 are the most popular MPO connectors. In addition, like other fiber optic connectors, the selection of MPO fiber connectors should also consider fiber type and simplex or duplex design.

Conclusion

According to aforementioned introduction, we can see that MPO connector plays an important role in optical telecommunication as well as the high-density cabling solutions. If you are preparing to deploy network, it’s advisable that you can purchase quality MPO connector, MPO cables and MPO cassettes from FS.COM. For more details, please visit www.fs.com or contact us over sales@fs.com.

A Brief Overview to Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM)

In fiber optic communications, WDM (wavelength-division multiplexing) is a technology which multiplexes a number of optical carrier signals onto a single optical fiber by using different wavelengths (i.e., colors) of laser light. This technique enables bidirectional communications over one strand of fiber as well as multiplication of capacity. Generally, WDM could be divided into CWDM (coarse wavelength division multiplexing) and DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing). Below part will give a brief introduction to DWDM.

Introduction

Dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) is a technology that puts data from different sources together on an optical fiber, with each signal carried at the same time on its own separate light wavelength. Using DWDM, up to 80 separate wavelengths or channels of data can be multiplexed into a light stream and transmitted on a single optical fiber. This process allows for multiple video, audio, and data channels to be transmitted over one fiber while maintaining system performance and enhancing transport systems. This technology responds to the growing need for efficient and capable data transmission by working with different formats, such as SONET/SDH, while increasing bandwidth.

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The fiber optic amplifier in DWDM system provides a cost efficient method of taking in and amplifying optical signals without converting them into electrical signals. In addition, DWDM amplifies a broad range of wavelengths in the 1550nm region. For example, with a DWDM system multiplexing 16 wavelengths on a single optical fiber, carriers can decrease the number of amplifiers by a factor of 16 at each regenerator site. Using fewer regenerators in long-distance networks results in fewer interruptions and enhanced efficiency.

Components

A basic Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing contains five main components:

1. DWDM Terminal Multiplexer: This device contains one wavelength converting transponder for each wavelength carried. It receives an input optical signal, converts it to an electrical signal and then retransmits it as an optical signal (a process abbreviated as O/E/O) using a 1550nm laser beam. The MUX (multiplexer) takes a number of 1550nm optical signals and places them on a single optical fiber. This terminal multiplexer may also contain an EDFA (Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier) to amplify the optical signal.

2. Intermediate Line Repeater: These are amplifiers placed every 80 to 100 kilometers to compensate for loss of optical power; amplification is done by an EDFA, usually consisting of several amplifier stages.

3. Intermediate Optical Terminal, or Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer: This is a remote site amplifier placed where the signal may have traveled up to 140 kilometers; diagnostics and telemetry signals are extracted or inserted.

4. DWDM Terminal Demultiplexer: This device breaks the multi-wave signal back into individual signals; these may be sent to O/E/O output transponders before being relayed to their intended destinations, i.e. client-layer systems.

5. Optical Supervisory Channel (OSC): This channel carries information about the multi-wave optical signal and may provide data about conditions at the site of the intermediate line repeater.

Features

DWDM has several key advantages:

  • Transparency—Because DWDM is a physical layer architecture, it can transparently support both TDM (Time Division Multiplex) and data formats such as asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), Gigabit Ethernet, Enterprise System Connection (ESCON), and Fibre Channel with open interfaces over a common physical layer.
  • Scalability—DWDM can leverage the abundance of dark fiber in many metropolitan area and enterprise networks to quickly meet demand for capacity on point-to-point links and on spans of existing SONET/SDH rings.
  • Dynamic provisioning—Fast, simple, and dynamic provisioning of network connections give providers the ability to provide high-bandwidth services in days rather than months.
  • Robust and reliable—Well-engineered DWDM systems offer component reliability, system availability and system margin.
Conclusion

To sum up, DWDM system is very important in optical communication. If you are still confused about it, feel free to consult customer service at FS.COM. We are willing to solve your puzzles and offer the right solution for you. FS.COM provides various kinds of WDM products, such as 10GBASE DWDM, 40 channel DWDM Mux, CWDM Mux/Demux module and so on. It is an excellent option for choosing CWDM and DWDM equipment.

CFP vs CXP: Complementary or Competitive?

Now, with the rapid development of technology, 100G Ethernet is becoming closer and closer to us. Fiber connectivity in higher-speed active equipment is being condensed and simplified with plug-and-play and hot-swap transceivers. And these transceivers are necessary to achieve the reliable and effective 100G Ethernet. Interfaces for 100G active equipment include CFP and CXP. So, what are CFP and CXP? And what’s the relationship between CFP and CXP? You may find the answer in this post.

Multipurpose CFP

The C form-factor pluggable (CFP) is a multi-source agreement (MSA) to produce a common form-factor for the transmission of high-speed digital signals. CFP was designed after the small form-factor pluggable transceiver (SFP) interface, but is significantly larger to support 100 Gbit/s.

The CFP form factor, as detailed in the MSA, supports both single mode and multimode fiber and a variety of data rates, protocols, and link lengths, including all the physical media-dependent (PMD) interfaces encompassed in the IEEE 802.3ba Task Force. For 40GbE, the optical interface of CFP transceiver consists of 40Gbase-SR4 for 100m and 40Gbase-LR4 for 10 km. The CFP 100GbE module has three kinds of PMD interfaces: 100Gbase-SR10 for 100 m, 100Gbase-LR4 for 10 km and 100Gbase-ER4 for 40 km. Its size of CFP is optimized for longer-reach interfaces and single-mode fiber applications. It is 120 mm long and 86 mm wide, which is twice the length and six times the width of a 10GbE SFP+. The package includes two electrical connectors. The connector itself has two rows of metal connectors located at the top and bottom, which greatly increased the density of the overall surface area.

CFP Huawei CFP-100G-LR4

Meanwhile, CFP transceiver has good performance in heat dissipation, which can result in less power consumption. The available optical modules of 100G in FS.COM includes CFP-100G-SR10, CFP-100G-LR4, CFP-100G-ER4, and CFP2-100G-LR4 (The following figure takes the HUAWEI optical module as an example). These transceivers can achieve different transmission distance by connecting to different optical fibers.

Product Number Interface Transmission Distance
CFP-100G-SR10 MTP/MPO 150m(OM4), 100m(OM3)
CFP-100G-LR4 LC duplex 10km
CFP-100G-ER4 LC duplex 40km
CFP2-100G-LR4 LC duplex 10km
High Density CXP

CXP optical modules are designed for use in data center, core-routing, and high-performance computing applications up to 120 Gigabit per second links over multimode fiber. They are compliant with the InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) CXP Specification, IEEE 802.3ba 100GBASE-SR10 and CPPI interfaces supporting 12 parallel, bi-directional data channels at rates from 1G/bs to 11.3Gb/s per channel.

The CXP transceiver is 45 mm in length and 27 mm in width, making it slightly larger than an CFP module. It includes 12 transmit and 12 receive channels in its compact package. This is achieved via a connector configuration similar to that of the CFP transceiver. It’s typically used with parallel multimode fibers, and the transmission distance is as high as 100 meters. Also take HUAWEI optical module (CXP-100G-SR10) as an example, and the parameters of this optical module is shown as follows.

Product Number CXP-100G-SR10 Supplier FS.COM
Package CXF Speed 120 Gbps
Wavelength 850nm Maximum Transmission Distance 150m(OM4), 100m(OM3)
Interface MTP/MPO-24 Laser Type 12x VCSEL
What’s the Relationship Between CFP and CXP?

Technically, the CFP optical modules will work with multimode fiber for short-reach applications, but it is not really optimized in size for the multimode fiber market, most notably because the multimode fiber market requires high faceplate density. The CXP optical module was created to satisfy the high-density requirements of the data center, targeting parallel interconnections for 12x QDR InfiniBand (120 Gbps), 100 GbE, and proprietary links between systems collocated in the same facility.

CFP transceiver and CXP transceiver not only share something in common but also share differences. In some cases, there exists competition between them, because CFP can also work with multimode fibers. And in some cases the CFP and CXP form factors are complementary, with the CFP likely gaining traction in applications like Ethernet switches, core routers, and optical transport equipment, and the CXP module covering the data center market. But in general, it depends on customers’ choice. If you are constructing a network that can accommodate a wide range of speeds,then CFP optical module is preferred; If it’s used for short distance, then CXP is needed.

Summary

According to the aforementioned introduction, I hope it will help you understand the 100GbE transceivers, whether CFP or CXP. Similarly, you could know the 40GbE transceiver through this post as the CFP and CXP also support the 40GbE. If you have any requirement of the related products, please contact us over sales@fs.com.