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MTP/MPO Cable Assembly – the Game Changer of Data Center Cabling

Posted on by FS.COM

Data centers are striding forward to support increasingly faster speeds and higher density throughout the network. With 40G and 100G emerging as the irreversible trend scales data transmission, legacy LC cabling just fails to handle the density needs created by it. Thus the improved option—MTP/MPO cable assemblies have developed as an optimum solution for fiber migration to 40G and 100G. This post presents a closer look at each of the factory terminated MTP/MPO cabling assembly.

What Is MTP/MPO Cable Assembly?

The core of MTP/MPO cable assembly lies in its connector—MTP/MPO connector. MTP/MPO connector factory terminated assembly can house 6 to 72 fibers, with 12-fiber and 24-fiber arrays being the most common. MTP/MPO connector is available in a male version (with pins) or a female version (without pins). The pins ensure that the fronts of the connectors are exactly aligned on contact and that the endfaces of the fibers are not offset. There are guide grooves (keys) on the top side of the factory terminated MTP/MPO connector, which ensures that the adapter holds the connector with the correct ends aligned with each other. The push-pull design of MTP/MPO connector facilitates easier insertion and removal, making it a breeze when using with QSFP+ transceiver modules in 40/100G network.


MTP/MPO Cable Assembly: A Mix of High Density and Scalability

MPO (Multiple-Fiber Push-on/Pull-off) is a technology deployed for multi-fiber application required by high-speed 40/100G transmission and beyond. MTP, on the other hand, is a registered trademark of US Conec, which complies with the MPO standard. These two terms are often used interchangeably. MTP/MPO cable assemblies have gained momentum inside data center due to several distinct benefits.

Rapid Deployment: MPO/MTP cabling factory terminated assemblies allows for fast and easy installation. The push-and-pull design enables simple and intuitive insertion and removal. Hence MTP/MPO assemblies contribute to 75% the reduction of the installation time compared to traditional field-termination.

Higher Density and Scalability: With the same size as SC connector, the factory terminated MTP/MPO connector can accommodate 12 or 24 fibers. Therefore allows for higher-density connections between network equipment while saves significant circuit card and rack space. Moreover, MTP/MPO  cable assemblies are generally with modular designs, which are proven feasible for future expansion and quicker system reconfiguration.

Cost Saving: Features a module plug-and-play design, factory terminated MTP/MPO cable installation is fairly easy. Thus reduces on-site installation time, and the cost associated with MTP/MPO cable assembly deployment and maintenance can be kept minimum.

MTP/MPO Cable Solutions: Various Options for Different Need

The increase in fiber volume and bandwidth, coupled with the restrictions of space within data centers drove the growth of MTP/MPO cable assemblies. There exists a broad array of MTP/MPO cabling solutions to fit different application demands, we’re going to explore each in the following.

1. MTP/MPO Cable: A Clear Winner of High-Density Cabling

MTP/MPO cable comes in various types and configurations, which plays a prominent role in different cabling scenarios. Here we introduce three of the common MTP/MPO cable types: MTP/MPO trunk cable, MTP/MPO breakout cable and MTP/MPO conversion cable.

MTP/MPO Trunk Cable

MTP/MPO trunk cable works to connect modules together as a permanent link. The trunk cables are available with 12, 24, 48 and 72 fibers. They are often used to interconnect cassettes, panels or ruggedized MPO fan-outs, and to facilitate rapid deployment of high-density backbone cabling in data centers and other high fiber environments. The MTP/MPO trunk cables are constructed from loose tube, gel-filled indoor/outdoor rated cables and are used for interconnect spanning MDA, HAD and EDA zones.


MTP/ MPO Harness Cable

MTP/MPO harness cable, known as MTP/MPO breakout cable or MTP/MPO fan-out cable, offers a transition from multi-fiber cables to individual fibers or duplex connectors. MTP/MPO harness cable has a single MTP connector on one end that breaks out into 6 or 12 connectors, and these connector types can be LC, SC, ST, etc. MTP/MPO harness is available in 4, 6, 8, or 12 fiber ribbon configurations with lengths about 10, 20, 30 meters and other customized lengths. Harness cable provides a reliable, cost-effective cabling option for 10G-40G migration.


2. MTP/MPO-LC Cassette: Plug-and-Play for Fast Installation

MTP/MPO cassette modules are fitted with 12 or 24 fibers and have LC, SC or E2000 adapters on the front side and MTP/MPO connector at the rear. Thus enables users to take the fibers brought by a trunk cable and distribute them to a duplex LC cable. MTP/MPO cassette allows for rapid deployment of high-density data center infrastructure and supports improved troubleshooting and reconfiguration during MACs.


3. MTP-LC Breakout Patch Panel: Pave the Way for 40/100G Migration

Data traffic keeps accelerating and legacy 10/25G systems are hardly enough for it, making migration to higher-speed 40/100G imperative. The 96-fiber MTP-LC breakout patch panel can assist in making the transition: use MTP cables to connect your 40/100Gb switches to the rear ports of the panel, then add duplex LC cables to connect your 10 Gb devices to the breakout panel’s front ports. This MTP-LC breakout patch panel is designed with a removable cable management plate at the back, it effectively simplifies trunk cable organization, facilitates installation and reduces cable clutter.


Move to MTP/MPO Cable Assembly with FS.COM

MTP/MPO cable assemblies deliver exceptional value for a vast range of network applications, and they have become a reliable alternative to speed deployment and installation in data center.   The optimum solution for upgrade your network is to use high quality MTP/MPO cable assemblies. FS.COM provides comprehensive MTP/MPO cabling solutions, including MTP/MPO trunk cable, MTP/MPO harness cable, MTP/MPO cassette & enclosure and MTP/MPO-LC breakout panels. Each of our MTP/MPO cable assemblies are tested with best-in-class performance.


Speed is paramount to a data center, therefore data center are always on the road to higher density data rates. MTP/MPO cable assembly appears to be the best option to improve speed, agility and performance of the system. Considering the time saving, space efficiency and flexibility, it is worthwhile to make MTP/MPO cabling a part of your data center.

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