10 Types of Fiber Optic Connectors

Issue Time:2018-03-13

10 Types of Fiber Optic Connectors

Numerous connectors, both standard andproprietary, are used in the field of telecommunication equipment, data lines,television and cable, and other industrial fields. The connectors described inthis text are the ones that have been used most extensively in the past, andmany are still being used to this day. Various connectors that couldpotentially have a big influence in the future are also discussed.

Some of the common connector types arelisted below: Standard Connector (SC), Ferrule CoreConnector (FC), ST Connector (ST), SMA Connector, Lucent Connector (LC),MT-RJConnector, MU Connector, MT Connector, E2000 ConnectorMPO/MTPConnector. 

And description of the connectors is asbelow:

1.      Standard Connector (SC)

Low cost, simple, rugged and SC connectorsuse a ceramic ferrule to deliver accurate alignment of the SMF. The SCconnector comes with a locking tab that enables push on / pull off operation.

At the time of writing the most popularchoice for such equipment like Fiber Multiplexers, GPON and EPON ONU’s, FiberMedia Converters and more. 

2.      Ferrule Core Connector (FC)

Although the FC connector was widely usedin fiber optic networks until of late, its use is dwindling fast. This connectoruses a threaded container and a position locatable notch to achieve exactlocating of the SMF in relation to the receiver and the optical source. Oncethe connector is installed, its position is maintained with total precision.

FC connector is pretty common choice forexample in Video over Fiber Transmission Equipment. 

3.      ST Connector

The ST connector’s keyed bayonet design issimilar to that of a BNC (Bayonet Nut Connector or Bayonet Neill-Concelman)connector. The connector is used widely for MMF and SMF FOC and is extremelyeasy to use. The ST connector is manufactured in two versions – the ST and theST-II. Both types are keyed and spring loaded, and use a “push-in and twist”mechanism. 

4.      SMA Connector

The obsolete SMA connector was theforerunner to the ST connector which we discussed above. This connector waseventually replaced by the ST, and later by SC connectors.

SMA connector is semi-precision coaxial RFconnectors developed in the 1960s as a minimal connector interface for coaxialcable with a screw-type coupling mechanism. The connector has a 50 Ω impedance.SMA is designed for use from DC to 18 GHz, but is most commonly used forhand-held radio and mobile telephone antennas, and more recently with WiFiantenna systems. It is also commonly used in radio astronomy, particularly athigher frequencies (5GHz+).

SMA connectors can be visually confusedwith the standard household 75-ohm type F coax connector (diameters: Male 7⁄16inch (11 mm) circular or hex; female 3⁄8 in (9.5 mm) external threads), asthere is only about a 2 mm difference overall in the specifications. Type Fcannot be mated with SMA connectors without the use of an adapter.

5.      Lucent Connector (LC)

The Lucent Connector, sometimes referred toas the Little Connector, is a small form factor FOC that uses a 1.25 mmferrule. There are 3 different types of LC connectors:

       Single Mode LC APC

       Single Mode LC UPC

       Multi-Mode LC UPC

If you had used any SFP module, you havesure seen this connector.

LC connector is always present on SFP’s,and if some equipment uses SFP as transmitter, like for example our USB overfiber transmitters, then you can recognize it easily. 

6.      MT-RJ connector

The single polymer ferrule duplex MT-RJconnector includes alignment. It is available in female / male connectors, or aplug-and-jack format. 

7.      MU Connector

MU Connectors have a reduced footprint andare new generation connectors used mainly in dense applications. The connectoris square and employs a push-pull mating mechanism. The different variations ofthis connector are listed below:

       Single Mode APC

       Single Mode UPC

       Multi Mode UPC

This connector is used for SONET, SDH, LAN,WDM, CATV as well as ATM applications. 

8.      MT Connector

The MT connector is a ribbon cable that has12 fiber connectors. They are used for factory terminated cable assemblies andcabling systems. 

9.      E2000 Connector

Modern day telecommunication networksincreasingly make use of E2000 connectors. The inclusion of an integratedspring loaded shutter is a unique feature of this connector. It protects theferrule from dirt, dust and scratches. As this connector uses a monoblocceramic ferrule, problems associated with different co-efficient of expansionare eliminated. The E2000 is a latched push-pull locking connector. The E2000is trademarked by Diamond SA, based in Losone Switzerland.

This connector is available in thefollowing variations:

       Single Mode APC

       Single Mode UPC

       Multi Mode UPC

The major advantages of this connector arethe enhanced safety and high performance due the shutter mechanism and themonobloc ferrule. The E2000 connector supports color keying and its return lossof 0.1 db is one of the lowest in the industry. This connector is used in broadbandapplications, telecommunication networks, LAN (Fiber-In-the-loop [FITL], FiberCATV, Fiber-to-the-Desk [FTTD], Fiber-to-the-Home [FTTH] and data networks. 

10.   MPO/MTP Connector 

MPO/MTP Connector is originally designed for ribbon fiber and available in 12, 24, 48and 72 fiber variants. Generally, there are two popular MPO connector types:12-fiber MPO connector and 24-fiber MPO connector.

MPO connector delivers the optical,mechanical and environmental performance that service providers need toexpedite the addition of fiber capacity and to support higher data-rateservices. It plays an important role in the high-density cabling solutions.

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