Various Multimode and Single-Mode Fiber Optics and Their Specifications

Various Multimode and Single Mode Fiber Optics and Their Specifications

Fiber optic cables, or fiber optics, are the latest and greatest in network cabling and they offer far better performance, durability, and efficiency compared to their copper-based Ethernet cable alternatives.

However, there are many different types of fiber optics and they can be categorized into multimode and single-mode fiber optics.

Today, we will discuss the various multimode and single-mode fiber optics and their specifications to give you a better idea of each different fiber optic cable and its performance for your requirements.

However, if your home or business is in or around Jacksonville, Florida, always remember to consult the experts at Communications Solutions Inc. for the best advice on the type of fiber optic cable for your needs.

Various Multimode and Single-Mode Fiber Optics and Their Specifications

Most often you will have to rely on professionals to decide the type of fiber optic cable need but, the following are the specifications of various multimode and single-mode fiber optics to help you better understand which cable will fulfill your requirements.

Multimode Fiber Optic Cables

Multimode fiber optic cables come in 2 core sizes – 50um and 62.5um. The measurement “um” stands for microns. Typically, a multimode fiber optic will use an LED light source and is the preferred option for shorter distances in applications that require high-speed transmissions like in a data center.

The LED light source emits multiple light signals that can easily travel down the wider core of the multimode fibers. This enables more bandwidth capacity compared to a single-mode cable that only has a single light signal traveling at any given time.

However, the wider core in multimode fibers means that signals are prone to distortion over longer distances and thus these fiber optic cables should be used for shorter distances. However, you can opt for repeaters, or amplifiers at short intervals to increase cable length.

Multimode fiber optics are easily identifiable by their “OM” designation, which means “optical mode” fiber. They come in a variety of colored jackets and specifications that range from “OM1” to “OM5”.

  • OM1

OM1 multimode fiber optic cables typically have orange-colored jackets and they are the only fiber optic cable with a core size of 62.5 microns. They use an LED source and are capable of supporting data transmission up to 10Gb at shorter lengths of 33 meters, up to 1Gb at 300 meters, and 100Mb at 2,000 meters.

  • OM2

OM2 multimode fiber optics also have an orange-colored jacket but with a core size of 50 microns. They also use an LED source and are capable of supporting data transmission up to 10Gb at 82 meters, up to 1Gb at 600 meters, and 100Mb at 2,000 meters.

They can cover twice the distance of an OM1 fiber for short to medium distances applications.

  • OM3

OM3 multimode fiber optic cables have aqua-colored jackets and a core size of 50 microns. Unlike the previous optic fibers, they are optimized for laser-based equipment. They can support data transmission up to 100Gb and 40Gb at 100 meters, and 10Gb up to 300 meters, which is their most common application.

  • OM4

OM4 fiber optics also have aqua-colored jackets and a core size of 50 microns. They are similar to OM3 fiber but with extended distance capabilities. They can support data transmission up to 100Gb and 40Gb at 150 meters, and 10Gb up to 550 meters.

  • OM5

OM5, also known as Wideband Multimode Fiber (WBMMF) is the latest and greatest fiber optic in multimode fiber optic cable technology. It typically comes in a lime green jacket with a core of 50 microns.

OM5 fiber optics are compatible with OM3 and OM4 cabling but are designed to support Short Wavelength Division Multiplexing (SWDM) that allows more bandwidth and distance. They support the same speed and distance of an OM4 fiber optic with the additional support of SWDM for use of fewer fiber counts to transmit 100Gb and 40Gb at longer distances.

Single-Mode Fiber Optic Cables

Single-mode optic fibers have a smaller core size between 8-9 microns which is a tighter space that allows a “single” course to transmit the light signals. This single course, or path, allows for the light signal to travel much longer distances without needing a signal amplifier, or extender.

There are just two types of single-mode fiber optic cables – OS1 and OS2. The “OS” stands for “Optical Single” mode fiber. The specifications of both cables are the same but their constructions are different, which are designed for different applications.

  • OS1

The OS1 single-mode fiber optic cable has a tight-buffered construction. It can support data transmission speeds up to 10G at up to 10,000 meters, or 10km. Each fiber within the OS1 cable has its own protective coating and they are all color-coded for easy identification.

The result is a tight-buffered cable that is lighter, smaller, and relatively more flexible than its sister OS2 fiber optic cable. This makes installation relatively easier and OS1 fiber optics are the preferred choice for medium to long-distance indoor applications. 

  • OS2

OS2 fiber optics have a loose tube construction. It can support data transmission speeds of up to 100G at up to 200,000 meters, or 200km. While each fiber within an OS2 fiber optic cable is color-coded for identification, they do not have their own protective layering.

The fibers are loosely traveling inside an oversized rugged tube, that is filled with optical gel. Installation is relatively more difficult compared to an OS1 cable because OS2 requires cleaning up the gel and fan-out kit.

OS2 fiber optics are typically used for outdoor applications at longer distances.

Conclusion

Fiber optic cables are currently the fastest, most reliable, and efficient option when it comes to network cabling for any home or business. The various multimode and single-mode fiber optics and their specifications will help you better understand which ones you require for what type of application.

However, specifications are not the only factor to be considered and it is always better to consult professionals and experts. If your home or business is in or around Jacksonville, Florida, this means contacting Communications Solutions Inc., for the best fiber optic solutions.

If you want to learn more about the various multimode and single-mode fiber optics and their specifications, or about the best fiber optic solutions in Jacksonville, Florida, Contact Us Today.

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