How to Choose Fiber Patch Cable for Your Transceiver?

It is generally accepted that fiber patch cable nowadays has captured a major and dominate place in the telecommunication industry. It offers a more appropriate way to transmit signal with higher performance and reliability. Fiber patch cable, together with optical transceiver, are claimed to be vital and indispensable to ensure smooth and valid data transmission, especially for links between the switches and equipment. However, selecting fiber patch cables for the transceiver module can sometimes seem like a daunting task since there exist various kinds of fiber patch cables. Is there any standard or criterion to consider? That’s what we intend to discuss in this article. But at the very beginning, let’s just review something rudimentary.

Basics of Fiber Patch Cable

Fiber patch cable, known as fiber jumper or fiber patch cord as well, is designed to interconnect or cross connect fiber networks within structured cabling systems. It is terminated with fiber connectors at both ends to be connected to an optical switch or other telecom equipment. Classified by fiber types, there are single-mode (OS1, OS2) and multimode (OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4) fiber patch cables, both are available with simplex and duplex transmission. While according to connector types, there are LC, SC, ST, FC and MTP/MPO fiber patch cables. Fiber patch cable usually features good repeatability, and interchange as well as excellent environmental adaptability.

Fiber patch cables

Basics of Fiber Optic Transceiver

Fiber optic transceiver, a self-contained component that allows for both transmitting and receiving signals. Usually, it is inserted in devices such as switches, routers or network interface cards which provide one or more transceiver module slot. During the transmission process, the electrical input can be converted to optical output to achieve fiber transmission. There are many optical transceivers types available on the market, such as SFP+ transceiver, X2 transceiver, XENPAK transceiver, XFP transceiver, SFP (Mini GBIC) transceiver, GBIC transceiver and so on.

Optical transceiver modules

Factors to Consider When Choosing Patch Cable

Since optical transceivers are capable of supporting higher and longer data rates, things can be more complicated when it comes to choose the right patch cable. So, before actually making your decision, here are certain aspects to consider: fiber type, transmission distance and data rate, and transceiver interface.

Fiber type and transmission distance: for optical transceivers, two types of fiber patch cables are used: single-mode (OS1, OS2) and multimode (OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4). Usually for short distance transmission up to 500 meters multimode patch cable is suggested, Whereas for long distance transmission, single-mode fiber patch cable is suggested.

Data rate: basically, as the transmission distance increases in a fiber optic cable, transmission data rate decrease. Compared with multimode, single-mode patch cords offer the best performance for different data rates in both long and short distances, but with higher cost. Therefore, for short distances data transmission with a limited budget, multimode fiber optic cable is likely to be a feasible and optimum option.

Transceiver interfaces: transceiver interface is directly connected to fiber patch cable, it usually uses one port for transmitting and one port for receiving. Generally, fiber optic transceivers usually employ duplex SC or LC interfaces. For BiDi transceivers, simplex patch cord is often adopted since it uses only one port for transmitting and receiving. Some 40G/100GBASE QSFP+ transceivers uses MTP/MPO interfaces, which should be connected to the network with multi-fiber patch cords attached with MTP/MPO connectors. If these ports are used for 40G to 10G or 100G to 10G connection, then fanout patch cable should be used.

Real Case Analysis

In this part, let’s just take a real case for example, to explain how to implement we’ve discussed in reality.

Suppose that we need to choose a right patch cable using between Cisco fiber optic transceiver SFP-10G-SR and X2–10GB-SR. We know that SFP-10G-SR is the 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceiver module for MMF, 850-nm wavelength, LC duplex connector. And X2–10GB-SR is the 10GBASE-SR X2 transceiver module for MMF, 850-nm wavelength, SC duplex connector. So that we would require patch cable with SC-LC connector with MMF, 850-nm wavelength. Likewise, we could choose right fiber patch cable for other transceivers.


Fiber patch cable is a key and indispensable component to achieve network flexibility and reliability, while choosing the right one for your transceivers, do not forget to take fiber type, transmission distance and data rate, as well as transceiver interface into consideration. This article simply offers you a reference guide, for more detailed product solution and tutorial, please visit

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