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A Comprehensive Guide to MTP® Connector

Updated on Dec 11, 2021
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MTP® connector is a component widely applied in high-density network applications such as most data centers, broadcast communications, and industrial control applications. Since MTP® cabling came to the scene, it has been welcomed by a large number of network installers for 40G/100G/400G high speed network systems. So how much do you know about this high-performance and high-density featured cabling solution? This post covers a comprehensive introduction about MTP® connector and the related information about it.

What Is MTP® Connector?

MTP® is the acronym for Multi-fiber Termination Push- on, which is a registered trademark of US Conec. The MTP® connector is a high performance MPO connector with multiple engineered product enhancements to improve optical and mechanical performance when compared to generic MPO connectors. In MTP® vs MPO Cable, there is a concrete comparison in all respects.

When MTP® fiber connectors evolve with the emerging needs of stable connection and high network performance, MTP® Elite connectors appeared. Compared with the standard MTP® connectors and traditional MPO connectors, MTP® Elite connectors are manufactured under an even more stringent and higher quality standard, and the insertion loss of MTP® Elite connectors are lower than the traditional ones. The specific comparative analysis of MTP® vs MTP® Elite connector is shown in the following chart.

MTP® MTP® Elite
Single Mode Multi-mode Single Mode Multi-mode
Insertion Loss 0.20 dB Typical (All Fibers) 0.25 dB Typical (All Fibers) 0.10 dB Typical (All Fibers) 0.10 dB Typical (All Fibers)
0.60 dB Maximum (Single Fiber) 0.75 dB Maximum (Single Fiber) 0.35 dB Maximum (Single Fiber) 0.35 dB Maximum (Single Fiber)
Optical Return Loss > 20dB > 60 dB (8° Angle Polish) > 20dB > 60 dB (8° Angle Polish)

Both MTP® and MPO fiber optic connectors comply with the international standard "IEC-61754-5" and the American standard "TIA-604-5 (FOCIS5)", which shows that the two are compatible to some extent. Although MTP®/MPO connectors dimensions are similar to ordinary SC connectors‘, the density of MTP®/MPO connectors has increased several times compared with ordinary SC connectors, which can save a lot of space and resources for optical fiber wiring. The deconstruction of MTP® cable connector is illustrated below.


Figure 1: Deconstruction of MTP® fiber connector


What Are Male MTP® Connector and Female Connector?

The MTP® optical fiber connector includes optical fiber, sheath, coupling components, metal ring, pin (PIN needle), dust cap, etc. The pin part is divided into two forms: male and female. The male connector has two pins, while the female connector does not. The connection between MTP® connectors is precisely aligned through pins, and the two MTP® connectors connected to each other must be a male and a female. In an MTP®system, the gender (male/female), the orientation (KeyUp/KeyUp, or KeyUp/KeyDown) and endface alignment (straight or angled) will all impact the MTP® polarity.

Polarity is the match from transmitter(Tx) to the receiver (Rx) of the optical fiber link. Only when the connector is connected with the right polarity will the transmission process get normal. There are three methods for configuring system polarity approved by TIA-568 standard—Type A, Type B and Type C, which can be used for different MTP® trunk cables. To know more information about fiber polarity in detail, you can check out this post: Understanding Polarity in MTP/MPO System.

Figure 2: Male MTP® Connector And Female Connector


Features of MTP® Connectors

Though MPO connectors and MTP® connectors use the same form factor and multiplex push-pull coupling type (SNAP), to improve optical and mechanical performance, MTP® connectors developed by US Conec feature some unique design characteristics. Three features will be introduced in detail below:

Simple and Fast Installation

Compared with traditional fiber systems, the installation time of the MTP system is shorter, which can be reduced by up to 75%. MTP® connector is designed with removable housing, which not only enables re-working and re-polishing the MT ferrule but also achieves quick transition of gender from male to female. No matter if it's after assembly or not, the MTP® connectors with removable housing offers easy and effective solutions to users.

Figure 3: Removable housing of MTP® connector


Flexibility

The MTP® connector is offered with four standard variations of strain relief boot, which gives more flexibility over the cable used in a wide array of applications. Additionally, flexible strain relief boots enable cables stretch in varying positions, from 0 to 90°, which greatly improve cable management in tight-space configurations.

Stability

  • Within the MTP® connector, there is a metal pin clamp helping eliminate lost pins and center spring force. The spring design maximizes ribbon clearance for multi-fiber ribbon applications to prevent fiber damage.

  • MTP® connectors use ferrules molded from thermoplastic, which are more resilient to varying temperatures. Such ferrule material maintains a constant diameter for the guide holes, which creates more reliable physical connections.

  • The MTP® connector adopts a slidable locking structure, which allows the two connectors to maintain good physical contact with the ferrule under the influence of external force during connection.

  • After countless accumulation of experience, the alignment guide-pin was later optimized into a more accurate elliptical guide-pin, which greatly reduced the wear and dust on the guide hole caused by multiple insertion and removal, thereby improving stability and durability.

FAQs on MTP® Connectors

This section provides answers to frequently asked questions relating to MTP® connector components and maintenance.

What is the MT ferrule?

MT is the abbreviation for mechanically transferable. MT ferrule is a multi-fiber, plastic ferrule with a square end-face of 6.4x2.5mm and fiber pitch 0.25mm widely used in MPO/MTP® connectors. Different from ferrule used in other fiber connectors, MT ferrule within an MPO/MTP® connector is made from a monolithic, high precision glass-filled polymer rather than a ceramic material. It is able to connect multiple fiber with high-precision and high-density technology to achieve the low loss in each fiber.

Figure 4: MT ferrule within an MTP® connector


How to clean MTP® connectors?

It is a must to do fiber cleaning in the fiber connector manufacturing process or during the usage of fiber connectors, so do MTP® connectors. The cleaning process for MTP® connectors always goes through three stages: inspect, clean and reinspect. Correctly use the microscope to inspect and make sure there is no dust in either of two mating connectors because once one of them is polluted, the dirt can migrate to another one. Clean the endface of the MTP® connectors with the use of the MTP® cleaning tools designed for MTP connectors until the contaminants are removed. For more concrete information about the MTP® connector cleaning solutions and the cleaning steps, refer to A Full Introduction of MTP/MPO Connector Cleaning Solutions.

Conclusion

Through the above introduction, I believe everyone has a clearer understanding of MTP® connectors. MTP® connector and MTP® cabling system provide a simple and reliable optical fiber cabling solution. MTP® connector, as effective and future-proof solutions will thrive in many network applications in the near future.

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