Multimode fiber is a common choice to achieve 10 Gbit/s speed over distances required by LAN enterprise and data center applications. There are several kinds of multimode fiber types available for high-speed network installations, and each with a different reach and data-rate capability. With so many options, it can be tough to select the most suitable multimode fiber. OM1 vs OM2 vs OM3 vs OM4 vs OM5, which to choose? You may get answer in this article .
What Is Multimode Fiber ?
Multimode fiber (MMF) is a kind of optical fiber mostly used in communication over short distances, for example, inside a building or for the campus. Multimode fiber optic cable has a larger core, typically 50 or 62.5 microns that enables multiple light modes to be propagated. Because of this, more data can pass through the multimode fiber core at a given time. The maximum transmission distance for MMF cable is around 550m at the speed of 10Git/s. It can transmit farther at lower data rates, such as going about 2km at 100Mb/s.
physical difference leads to different transmission data rate and distance. Watch the following video to learn the differences between OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4 & OM5 multimode fibers.
How Many Types of Multimode Fiber?
Identified by ISO 11801 standard, multimode fiber optic cables can be classified into OM1 fiber, OM2 fiber, OM3 fiber, OM4 fiber and newly released OM5 fiber. The next part will compare these fibers from the side of core size, bandwidth, data rate, distance, color and optical source in details.
OM1 fiber typically comes with an orange jacket and have a core size of 62.5 µm. It can support 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths of up to 33 meters. It is most commonly used for 100 Megabit Ethernet applications. This type commonly uses a LED light source.
Likewise, OM2 fiber also comes with an orange jacket and uses a LED light source but with a smaller core size of 50 µm. It supports up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 82 meters but is more commonly used for 1 Gigabit Ethernet applications.
OM3 fiber comes with an aqua color jacket. Like the OM2, its core size is 50 µm, but the cable is optimized for laser based equipment. OM3 supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 300 meters. Besides, OM3 is able to support 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet up to 100 meters, however, 10 Gigabit Ethernet is most commonly used.
OM4 fiber is completely backwards compatible with OM3 fiber and shares the same distinctive aqua jacket. OM4 was developed specifically for VSCEL laser transmission and allows 10 Gig/s link distances of up to 550m compared to 300M with OM3. And it’s able to run 40/100GB up to 150 meters utilizing a MPO connector.
OM5 fiber, also known as WBMMF (wideband multimode fiber), is the newest type of multimode fiber, and it is backwards compatible with OM4. It has the same core size as OM2, OM3, and OM4. The color of OM5 fiber jacket was chosen as lime green. It is designed and specified to support at least four WDM channels at a minimum speed of 28Gbps per channel through the 850-953 nm window. More details can be found at: Three Critical Focuses on OM5 Fiber Optic Cable
|MMF Cable Type||Diameter||Jacket Color||Optical Source||Bandwidth|
|MMF category||Fast Ethernet||1GbE||10GbE||40GbE||100GbE|
What’s the Differences Between Single Mode and Multimode Fiber?
Core Diameter—Single mode fiber has a small diametral core(8.3 to 10 microns) that allows only one mode of light to propagate. Multimode fiber optic cable has a large diametral core(50 to 100 microns) that allows multiple modes of light to propagate.
Light Source—Multimode devices usually use a LED or laser as a light source. While single mode devices use a laser, or laser diode, to produce light injected into the cable.
Distance—Light travels a longer distance inside single mode cable than it does inside multimode. So multimode fiber is suitable for short haul application, allowing transmission distances of up to about 550m at 10Git/s. When distance is beyond 550m, single mode fiber is preferred.
Price—Multimode fiber usually cost less than single mode fiber.
Bandwidth—The bandwidth of single-mode is higher than multimode as much as 100,000 GHz
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