All You Need To Know About Fiber Optic Cables

A fiber optic cable comprises small glass strands that are used to carry information as data. The center of these tiny strands known as the core is covered by a glass layer. This glass layer is called cladding. Because of their superior performance, it uses these cables for high-speed network applications and in data centers. 


Different Types of Fiber Optic Cables?

There are two main types of fiber optic cables. Both of them are listed below.

  • Single Mode Fiber Optic Cables
  • Multi-Mode Fiber Optic Cables 


Single Mode Fiber Optic  Multimode Fiber Optic
A Fiber Optic cable that has smaller core size (9μm). The light carrying signals travel in one unidirectional path.  A fiber optic cable with 50 μm or above core diameter is called multimode fiber optic cable. Data carrying Light Signals travel in multiple path ways. 


The Different Types Of Single Mode Fiber Optic Cables 

Single-mode fiber optic cables come in two types, OS1, and OS2. Here are both these cables defined. 

OS1 Singel Mode Fiber Optic 

The internals of OS1 single-mode fiber optic cables are designed in a tight buffer construction. This is the only difference between the two single-mode fiber optic cables. The core diameter of OS1 cables is the same i.e., 9/125 μm. These cables are recommended for indoor networking such as in offices or data centers. The OS1 single-mode fiber optic cables can be used up to 10kms range.

OS2 Single Mode Fiber Optic 

Physically the OS2 fiber optic cables might seem the same but these cables do have a difference. The internals of this single-mode fiber optic are aligned together in a loose buffered construction. These single-mode fiber optic cables are ideal for outdoor use age and for longer distances up to 200km. 


Advantages Of Single-Mode Fiber Optic Cables


  • The Single-mode Fiber optic cables offer low attenuation (Loss of signal strength). Therefore, they are ideal for greater distances.
  • Single Mode Cables also offer enhanced bandwidth speeds compared to multimode fiber optics.
  • These cables also have low data dispersion as they carry light wave in a single path.


The Different Types Of Multimode Fiber Optic Cables 

OM1 Cables

The most basic type of multimode fiber optic cable, the OM1 fiber optic cables come with 62.5 μm core diameter and have orange outer jacketing. It supports bandwidths speeds for 10 Gigabit Ethernet applications up to 33 meters. The OM1 fiber optic cables use LED (Light Emitting Diode) as a light source for carrying data. Whenever we talk about multimode fiber optic cables, the OM1 cables come to our mind as these are one traditional and tested type of multimode fiber cable. 

OM2 Cables

The biggest difference between the OM1 and OM2 fiber optic cables is the difference in their core size. The OM2 multimode fiber optic cables have a core diameter of 50 μm. The smaller the core size of a fiber optic cable, the chances of insertion loss get minimized. 

Therefore, fiber optic cables with less core diameter are always preferred. Like the OM1 cables, the OM2 Fiber optic cables also have an orange color jacket. These cables can transfer data up to 82 meters 10G base Applications. The smaller core size in OM2 Fiber optic cables means no to minimum signal loss. 


OM3 Cables

The OM3 fiber optic cables were a significant update over the previous generation of multimode fiber optic cables. These cables come in aqua color jacketing. The core size of OM3 Cables is the same but they use a laser light source for carrying data signals which is the main difference. 

The Laser light source is one faster light source compared to LED Light. Therefore, they are ideal for 10 Gigabit Ethernet applications. The OM3 category cables can support 10 Gigabit applications up to 300 meters distance which is a great improvement over the OM2 category cables.


OM4 Cables

OM4 fiber optic cables are further enhanced and they use the same aqua jacketing as the OM3 cables. The key difference is the distance up to which they support 10 Gigabit network applications. You can use OM4 fiber optic cables up to 400 meters on 10G base Ethernet applications. Also, the maximum bandwidths speed of OM4 cables is much superior i.e., 4700 MHz compared to the 2500 MHz of OM3 cables. 

Similarities Between OM1, OM2, OM3, and OM4 Multimode Fiber Optic Cables


  • All these cables are of the same category i.e., multimode fiber optic cables category.
  • The All Fiber optic cables support 10Gbps Applications.
  • These cables are available with a variety of fiber optic cable connectors.



Advantages Of Multimode Fiber Optic Cables 


  • Multimode fiber optic cables are generally inexpensive than single-mode fiber optic cables because of their larger core size.
  • They are much less critical, hence easy to install and work with in the future. Fewer complexities mean fewer problems. 
  • As indicated by their names, these cables allow multiple optical signals to pass through at one time.

Understanding The Concept Of Simplex And Duplex Communication Standards

Many networking channels and cables offer two-way communication i.e., simplex and duplex. These two terminologies are not new when we talk about the networking niche. In the simplex channel, the signals can travel in one direction whereas, in the duplex channels, the data-carrying signals can travel in multi directions. That means a duplex fiber optic cable will send and receive data signals simultaneously.

Simplex Vs Duplex Fiber Optic Cables?

In simple words, we can say that the simplex fiber optic cables let the data carrying light signals travel in one channel only. The signals can carry data from one point to another or either receive the data signals from two defined ends. The duplex mode fiber optic offers two-way data transfer compatibility. It can send and receive the data signals at the same time. The Half-duplex mode cables can send the data signals in both directions but only one at one time, that’s the only difference.


So, the fiber optic cables are one superior and enhanced cabling option for long-distance networking. Their enhanced data-carrying medium, i.e., light lets them offer much better data transfer rate and bandwidth speeds. They are further divided into different types as explained above. As a user or business person, you can buy your desired fiber optic cables with ease once you know the major difference between them.


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