Fiber jumper, sometimes called fiber patch cord or fiber optic cable is a length of fiber cabling fitted with LC, SC, MTRJ or ST connectors at each end. The LC connector is most commonly used. Fiber jumpers also have different varieties. You can choose one type of connector on one end and another type on the other. Fiber jumpers are designed to interconnect or cross connect fiber networks within structured cabling systems. Fiber patch cable can be divided into single mode fiber jumper and multimode fiber jumper. Then how should I choose one over the other? I hope this post may give you some clue.
Single mode fiber jumper (SMF) is a single stand of glass fiber with a diameter of 8 to 10 microns that has one mode of transmission. Single mode fiber has a relatively narrow diameter, through which only one mode will transmit typically 1310nm or 1550nm. Single mode fiber jumper carries higher bandwidth than multimode fiber, but requires a light source with a narrow spectral width. OS1 and OS2 are standard single-mode optical fiber used with wavelengths 1310 nm and 1550 nm (size 9/125 µm) with a maximum attenuation of 1 dB/km (OS1) and 0.4 dB/km (OS2). OS1 is defined in ISO/IEC 11801 and OS2 is defined in ISO/IEC 24702. Most single mode patch cabling is color-coded yellow.
Figure 1: OS2 9/125 LC-SC Single mode fiber jumper
Multi-mode fiber jumpers (MMF) are described by the diameters of their core and cladding. There are two different core sizes of multi-mode fiber patch cords: 50 microns and 62.5 microns. Both 62.5 microns and 50 microns patch cable feature the same glass cladding diameter of 125 microns. Multimode fiber optic cables can be divided into OM1 (62.5/125µm), OM2 (50/125µm), OM3, and OM4 based on the types of multimode fiber. OM1 and OM2 fiber belong to traditional multimode fiber patch cable. Now commonly used are 50/125µm multimode patch cables like OM3 patch cable and OM4 fiber, which provides sufficient bandwidth to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet up to 300 meters. And now OM5 wideband multimode fiber has been released this year to support at least four low-cost wavelengths in the 850-950 nm range and transmit 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s and reduced fiber counts for higher speeds. Multimode patch cables are generally color-coded orange or aqua.
Figure 2: OM4 patch cable
Multimode and singlemode fiber patch cords are different mainly because they have different sizes of cores, which carry light to transmit data. Single mode fiber jumpers have a core of 8 to 10 microns. Multimode fiber jumper allows multiple beams of light passing through, while singlemode fiber cable allows a single beam of light passing through. Single-mode fiber gives you a higher transmission rate and up to 50 times more distance than multimode, but it also costs more. Multimode fiber gives you high bandwidth at high speeds over short distances. Because in long cable runs, multiple paths of light can cause signal distortion at the receiving end, resulting in an unclear and incomplete data transmission.
Figure 3: Technical difference between single-mode and multi-mode cable
Many people may be confused when facing the two kinds of jumpers. Which one should I choose? This is based on transmission distance, application as well as the overall budget allowed. Multimode fiber jumper will allow transmission distances of up to about 10 miles and will allow the use of relatively inexpensive fiber optic transmitters and receivers. They are typically used for data and audio/visual applications in local-area networks and connections within buildings or remote office in close proximity to one another. Single mode fiber jumper on the other hand will be useful for distances over 10 miles but will require the use of single mode transmitters which are far more expensive than multimode equipment. They are usually used for connections over large areas, such as college campuses and remote offices. They have a higher bandwidth than Multi-mode patch cables to deliver up to twice the throughput.
Fiber optic patch cords are designed to interconnect or cross connect fiber networks within structured cabling systems. Typical fiber connector interfaces are SC, ST, and LC in either multimode or singlemode applications. Whether to choose a singlemode or multimode fiber patch cable, it all depends on applications that you need, transmission distance to be covered as well as the overall budget allowed. And if you still don’t know how to choose the right fiber jumpers, you can refer to 6 Steps Help to Choose Right Fiber Optic Patch Cable.