The most common multimode transmission fibre used in Data Center is currently OM3/OM4 which can transmit data rates for 10/40/100 Gbps.
As Data Center bandwidth requirements increase due to requirements for additional switching and routing, virtualization, convergence, video-on-demand (VoD) and high performance cloud computing, the need for reliable and high performance cabling infrastructure to support these applications becomes more important. The IEEE 802.3ba 40G/100G Ethernet standard provides guidance for 40G/100G transmission with multimode and singlemode fibre. OM3 and OM4 are the only multimode fibres included in the standard.
In addition to the cable performance, the choice of physical connection interface is also important.
Since parallel-optics technology requires data transmission across multiple fibres simultaneously, a multifibre connector is required. Factory terminated MPO/MTP connectors which have either 12 fibre or 24 fibre array, will support this solution. For example, a 10G system would utilise a single MPO/MTP (12 Fibre) connector between the 2 switches. Modules are placed on the end of the MPO
connector to transition from a MPO connector to a 12 Fibre breakout LC duplex or SC duplex cable assembly. This enables connectivity to the switch. 40G and 100G systems require a slightly different configuration. Individual modules and subracks as well as various cable assemblies are available which provide an MPO/MTP interface and which also provide connectivity to LC, SC connectors.
40G MPO system – An MPO connector (12 Fibre) is used. 10G is sent along each
channel/fibre strand in a send and receive direction. This ‘lights up’ 8 of the 12 fibres
providing 40G parallel transmission.
100G MPO system – An MPO connector (24 Fibre) is used (or alternatively 2 x 12F MPO
Connector). 10G is sent along each channel/fibre strand in a send and receive direction.
This ‘lights up’ 20 of the 24 fibres providing 100G parallel transmission.
Duplex links carried over cabling using MTP/MPO connectors can be managed in various ways.
Three standard methods for managing two fibre duplex links in multi-fibre are defined in TIA/EIA 568-C.3. All three methods are used in data centre design. In order to ensure the correct connectivity, it is most important to confirm the appropriate method when placing orders for MTP/MPO cassettes and trunk cables.
Structured cabling fully supports 1G and 10G systems today and if the correct multimode fibre is utilised, can also support 40GB/100GB communications. OM3 Multimode (2000MH2/RM bandwidth at 800Nm) fibre is the minimum cable requirement in order to ensure a performance level of a high quality and to support 10G up to 100 metres. OM4 Multimode (4700MH/RM bandwidth at 850Nm) enables longer distances and additional mating/connector options.
OM4 promises greater configuration flexibility for 40G or 100G architectures. 100G future connectivity would utilise a 24 fibre array configuration.This can be provided via either 2 x 12 fibre MPO/MTP connectors or 1 x 24 fibre MTP connector configuration. Currently,either though both options can be utilised a 2 x 12 fibre MTP connector provides better insertion and return loss performance.
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