Which Patch Cable Should I Choose for My Optical Transceiver?

As bandwidth demands increase, fiber optic patch cables and fiber optic transceivers become more and more important in fiber optic data transmission, especially in data transmission between the switches and equipment. But with so many different kinds of patch cables available in the market, which one is suitable for may optical transceiers? This article may on this issue to provide some solutions. Before starting this topic, it is necessary for us to review the basic knowledge of the fiber optic transceiver and fiber optic patch cable.

Fiber Optic Transceiver Overview
Fiber Optic Transceiver is a self-contained component that can both transmit and receive. Usually, it is inserted in devices such as switches, routers or network interface cards which provide one or more transceiver module slot. There are many optical transceivers types, such as SFP+ transceiver, X2 transceiver, XENPAK transceiver, XFP transceiver, SFP (Mini GBIC) transceiver, GBIC transceiver and so on.

Fiber Optic Patch Cable Overview
Fiber optic patch cable, also known as fiber jumper or fiber optic patch cord. It is composed of a fiber optic cable terminated with different connectors on the ends. Fiber optic patch cables are used in two major application areas: computer work station to outlet and patch panels or optical cross connect distribution center. According to fiber cable mode, cable structure or connector types etc., fiber patch cable can be divided into different types.

1.Single-mode and Multimode Patch Cable
According cable mode, patch cables can be divided into single-mode and multimode fiber patch cable. The word mode means the transmitting mode of the fiber optic light in the fiber optic cable core. Single-mode patch cables are with 9/125 fiber glass and are yellow jacket color, while multimode patch cables are with OM1 62.5/125 or OM2 50/125 fiber glass and are orange color. In addition, there is 10G OM3 and OM4 multimode patch cables which cable jacket are usually aqua.

2.Simplex and Duplex Patch Cable
Simplex fiber patch cable is consist of single fiber core, while duplex fiber patch cable is consist of two fiber cores and can be either singlemode or multimode. Additionally, there is also ribbon fan-out cable assembly (ie. one end is ribbon fiber with multi fibers and one ribbon fiber connector such as MTP connector (12 fibers), the other end is multi simplex fiber cables with connectors such as ST, SC, LC, etc.).

3.LC, SC, ST, FC, MT-RJ, E2000, MU and MPO/MTP Patch Cable
Fiber optic patch cable can be also classified by the types of fiber optic connector. For example, LC fiber optic patch cable is named as it is with LC connector. Similarly, there are SC, ST, FC, MT-RJ, E2000, MU and MPO/MTP fiber optic patch cables. What’s more, there are PC, UPC, APC type fiber patch cords, which are differentiated from the polish of fiber connectors.

Which Patch Cable Should I Choose for My Fiber Optic Transceivers?
Now, I will take the Cisco fiber optic transceiver as an example to discuss this topic. For example, we need to choose a right patch cable to connect Cisco fiber optic transceiver SFP-10G-SR and X2–10GB-SR. Which patch cable to use? According to “Cisco 10-Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver Modules Compatibility Matrix”, we may 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. Obviously, this two knids of optica trancseivers are both for MMF, so we should choose a multimode patch cable. Besides, we know X2–10GB-SR is designed for SC duplex connector and the SFP-10G-SR is designed for duplex LC connector, so we should use a patch cable with SC-LC duplex connector.

The Most Common Used Pacth Cable Selection
In the way mentioned above, you could choose right fiber patch cable for your other transceiver modules. Keep in mind that if your transceiver modules are not Cisco’s, you need to ask your brand supplier to get the corresponding compatibility matrix. In fact, in terms of a same kind of optical transceiver, different supplier may provide the transceiver with different specifications. Here I may list the most common used patch cables selection. Hope to give you smoe reference.

Fiber optic patch cableApplicable fiber optic transceiver connectionLC-LC Simplex 9/125 Single-mode Fiber Patch Cable1.25Gbps 1310nmTX/1490nmRX BiDi SFP10GBASE 1270nmTX/1330nmRX BiDi SFP+LC-LC Duplex 9/125 Single-mode Fiber Patch Cable1000Base-LX/LH 1310nm 10km LC SMF SFPLC-SC Duplex 9/125 Single-mode Fiber Patch CableCisco X2–10GB-LR Compatible X2, Cisco XENPAK-10GB-LR Compatible XENPAK and Cisco SFP-10G-LR Compatible SFP+ connectionSC-LC Duplex 10G OM4 50/125 Multimode Fiber Patch CableCisco XENPAK-10GB-SR Compatible XENPAK, Cisco X2–10GB-SR Compatible X2 and Cisco SFP-10G-SR Compatible SFP+ connectionLC-LC Duplex OM1 62.5/125 Multimode Fiber Patch Cable100Base-FX 2km 1310nm MMF LC SFPLC-LC Duplex OM2 50/125 Multimode Fiber Patch Cable1000Base-SX 850nm 550m LC MMF SFPLC-LC Duplex 10G OM3 50/125 Multimode Fiber Patch Cable10GBASE-SR 850nm 300m Multi-Mode SFP+LC-LC Duplex 10G OM4 50/125 Multimode Fiber Patch CableCisco SFP-10G-SR Compatible 10GBASE-SR SFP+

Source: http://www.cables-solutions.com/