Focus on MTP-link

Characterized by providing ideal plug-and-play solutions for structure cabling, pre-terminated cabling system has gained great popularity among data center manager in recent years, and it is considered as the norm for data center network deployment. In this cabling system, optical link is accomplished by pre-terminated cabling assemblies, such as MTP/MPO trunk cable, MTP/MPO to LC breakout cable, MTP/MPO cassette and MTP/MPO fiber optic patch panel. It not difficult to find that all these MTP/MPO fiber optic cable assemblies are based on the structure of MTP/MPO connector. And two types of MTP/MPO connectors—12 fiber MTP connector and 24 fiber MTP connector are commonly used for 40G and 100G transmission. This article will focus on MTP-link and share share some opinions about MTP-link performance with you.

12-fiber MTP connector vs. 24-fiber MTP connector

About Space Utilization

High-density cabling makes the available space in data centers always precious. MTP/MPO fiber optic cable assemblies used in MTP-link that contributes to promoting space utilization are reputably appraised by data center managers. With massive cables being adopted in the data centers to carry out data transmission, MTP-link offers cabling solutions with much higher density and flexibility for data center upgrades.

About Insertion Loss

As well know that insertion loss is inevitable during the cabling. Generally, lower overall optical loss allows more margin for the network to operate, or in the case for some users, offers the option of more connections for patching locations. Therefore, components characterized by low insertion loss will be preferred. For both 12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP/MPO connector performance, the industry standard product rating is 0.5 dB maximum. And using low-loss ferrules, both 12 fiber MPO connector and 24 fiber MPO connector can be rated at 0.35 dB maximum. What’s more, there is no need to worry about higher fiber count will lead to higher insertion loss, because when using proper polishing techniques, 24-fiber MPO/MTP terminations can meet the same performance levels as 12-fiber MPO/MTP assemblies.

About Fiber Utilization

Both 12-fiber MPO cable and 24-fiber MPO cable can be used in 100G applications. When used in 4x25G solutions, 4 fibers of 12-fiber MPO cable will remain unused. As for 24-fiber MPO cable, it can be converted into three 8-fiber 100G channels that run over one cable, with all 24 fibers used to support data transmission. Maybe you feel confused about this, let me take an example. If you need to support twelve 100G channels with the 4x25G standard, by using 12-fiber MPO cable, you will need to install 12 connectors, or 144 fibers total, with 33% of the fiber wasted; while by using 24-fiber MPO cable supporting the same 12 channels, only 4 cables would be required, using 96 fibers total, at 100% fiber utilization.

About Network Performance

It is self-evident that MTP-link offers consistent high levels of network performance for improved network integrity, because the assemblies are factory terminated and the transmission testing is performed by the manufacturer before shipment. This will reduce the likelihood of many problems that may occur with field terminations. Also, testing and troubleshooting time can be greatly saved.


By using MTP components, MTP-link can provide fast installation, high density and high performance cabling for data centers. As 40G and 100G Ethernet is now a trend and hotspot for data center cabling system, MTP-link is a great option for data center managers and the network deployment will benefit a lot from this cabling solution. I hope after reading this article, you can have an in-depth understanding of MTP-link.

Talk About MPO Connector

As high-density cabling in data center has become a trend, network components characterized by saving space become popular among data center managers. There is a type of multi-fiber connector—MPO connector, which is now widely used around the world. MPO connector not only allows for more fiber ports per unit of rack space, but also satisfies the need of parallel optical interconnections for multi-fiber connection. This article is going to introduce the detailed information about MPO connector.

Structure of MPO Connector

Each MPO connector has a key on one side of the connector body. When the key sits on top, this is referred to as the key up position. On the contrary, when the key sits on bottom, we call it key down position. Each of the fiber holes in the connector is numbered in sequence from left to right, and we call these fiber holes as positions, or P1, P2, etc. Besides, as shown in the following figure, there is a white dot on the connector body to designate the position 1 side of the connector when it is plugged in. Generally, MPO connector is pin and socket connector, which requires a male side and a female side. From the figure below we can find that MPO male connector has pins, while MPO female connector has no pins.

MPO Connector Types

Originally designed for ribbon fiber, MPO connector is available in 12, 24, 48 and 72 fiber variants. Generally, there are two popular MPO connector types: 12 fiber MPO connector and 24 fiber MPO connector. The following part will introduce these two types of MPO connectors to you.

12 Fiber MPO Connector

In theory, the 12 fiber MPO connector can deliver 6x10G transmit fibers and 6x10G receive fibers. However, it actually only delivers 40G since the transceivers and the equipment are only capable of supporting 40G data rates. That means 33% fibers of the connector are not being used, only 8 fibers are being used at the transceiver while the other 4 fibers are just spares. From the figure below, you can have a better understanding of this.

12 fiber MPO connector

Accommodating 12 fibers, the 12 fiber MPO connector provides up to 12 times the density, thereby it can save space in the rack. It is the first connector which has enough repeatable performance to be accepted in data centers. If you build a backbone with a 12 fiber MPO connector, basically you can put any connection on the end to be future proofed, such as LC, SC, etc. Thus most of data centers choose 12 fiber MPO connector cabling in the backbone and MPO-LC harnesses cable connecting to equipment like switches and servers. Many equipment today still has LC transceiver interface, therefore the harness is required to convert from MPO in the backbone to LC at the port.

24 Fiber MPO Connector

With development of data centers, many data center managers come across the problem that the promoted 12 fiber MPO connector no longer matches the requirement of the data centers. Every equipment applied in the data center is either 40G (8 fibers) or 100G (24 fibers). 12 is not divisible by 8, but 24 is. If you combine 2×12 fiber MPO connectors in the backbone, you can connect 3×8 fiber MPO connectors with zero fiber waste at the switch. The 24 fiber MPO connector has similar performance to the 12 if not exactly the same.

24 fiber MPO connector

As shown in the above figure, the 24 fiber MPO connector has two rows of 12 fibers. And this additional row of fibers require an increase in the spring force to push all of those fibers together, actually double what you need for 12. With the same size as a 12 fiber MPO connector, the 24 fiber MPO connector has double the amount of fibers and reduces the amount of cable required at the back end because a 24 fiber cable is only marginally bigger than a 12 fiber cable. Moreover, when you can just have 1×24 fiber MPO connector converting to 3×8, there is no need to combine 2×12 fiber MPO connectors to make 3×8. The 24 fiber MPO connector can also satisfy the demand for 100G data rates over a single connector and 20 fibers are used for 100G (10x transmit and 10x receive).


MPO connector delivers the optical, mechanical and environmental performance that service providers need to expedite the addition of fiber capacity and to support higher data-rate services. It plays an important role in the high-density cabling solutions. I hope after reading this article, you can have in-depth understanding of MPO connector.