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Base-8 MTP/MPO Structured Cabling Solutions

Apr. 12, 2021

In recent years, Base-12 MTP/MPO structured cabling has been the solution for building high-density networks, but as bandwidth demands continue to increase and the industry is moving from 10G to 40G, 100G and even 400G Ethernet, Base-8 MTP/MPO structured cabling is entering the market. Compared to Base-12 MTP/MPO structured cabling, Base-8 MTP/MPO structured cabling uses only eight fibres to provide a more efficient and economical fibre link for optical modules such as 40G QSFP+, 100G QSFP28 and 400G QSFP-DD, replacing Base-12 MTP/MPO structured cabling to some extent. structured cabling. This article will focus on the application of Base-8 MTP/MPO based structured cabling.

Application of Base-8 MTP/MPO structured cabling

Currently, there are three types of transmission links based on Base-8 MTP/MPO structured cabling: dual-fibre transmission links (i.e. 10G to 10G), parallel multi-fibre transmission links (i.e. 40G-40G or 100G-100G), and dual-fibre to parallel multi-fibre transmission links (i.e. 10G-40G or 10G/25G-100G network upgrades).

Base-8 MTP/MPO structured cabling for 10G

As the interface of 10G optical modules is LC duplex, a dual fibre transmission link is generally used in 10G interconnections. As shown in the diagram below, for structured cabling, an 8-core MTP/MPO-LC fibre patch cable and an 8-core MTP/MPO fibre adapter panel are required at one end, an LC duplex fibre patch cable and an 8-core MTP/MPO-LC fibre distribution box at the other end, and an 8-core MTP/MPO patch cord cable in the middle to connect the two ends for communication.

MTP/MPO Patch Cord Cables

The 8-core MTP/MPO-LC fibre patch cable and MTP/MPO fibre adapter panel can be replaced with an LC duplex fibre patch cable and an 8-core MTP/MPO-LC fibre distribution box. The use of MTP/MPO fibre patch cords provides a more reliable solution for 10G applications, as the intermediate deployment of fibre adapter panels and fibre distribution boxes are installed in cable management frames or fibre distribution boxes, which prevents damage to fibre patch cords caused by crushing or excessive bending. At the same time, structured cabling in this way makes it easy to remove components from the link or add new ones. This solution can be considered as a 2 core to 2 core solution for Base-8 MTP/MPO structured cabling.

Base-8 MTP/MPO structured cabling for 40G/100G

Currently, there are two main solutions for parallel multi-fibre transmission links: the first is an 8-core to 8-core fibre connection solution for 40G-40G (4 cores transmit and 4 cores receive); the second is a 20-core to 20-core fibre connection solution for 100G-100G (10 cores transmit and 10 cores receive) or a 24-core to 24-core fibre connection solution (12 cores transmit and 12 cores receive).

8-core to 8-core fibre connection for 40G-40G

The 8 core to 8 core fibre connection is the simplest application for Base-8 MTP/MPO structured cabling, directly connecting QSFP+ optical modules (e.g. 40GBASE-SR4) at both ends using 8 core MTP/MPO fibre patch cables, but this solution is more suitable for short-distance applications such as interconnections between switches in point-to-point racks or cabinets.

Of course, you can also use MTP/MPO backbone fibre patch cables and MTP/MPO fibre adapter panels instead of 8 core MTP/MPO fibre patch cables, which would be a more practical and robust solution for connecting more QSFP optical modules to create multiple 40G links via trunk MTP/MPO fibre patch cables. At the same time, you no longer have to worry about crushed MTP/MPO fibre patch cords.