An Alternative Reading of Fiber Optic Connector

Being a part of the fiber patch cable, the fiber optic connector is utilized to achieve accurate and precise connections of the fiber ends. Now there are many kinds of fiber optic connectors in the market, such as ST, FC, SC, LC and so on (as shown in the following figure). Since the fiber cable transmits pulses of light instead of electrical signals, it is important to choose a good fiber optic connector that aligns microscopic glass fibers perfectly in order to allow for communication. This post will introduce fiber optic connector in an alternative way.

Structure of Fiber Optic Connector

Though the mechanical design varies a lot among different connector types, the most common elements in a fiber connector can be similar. That’s to say, the connector is mainly composed of fiber ferrule, connector sub-assembly body, connector housing, fiber cable and stress relief boot. The following figure takes SC connector as example to show the general components of the connectors.

SC connector
Typical Types of Fiber Optic Connector

Different kinds of optical fiber cables may need different connectors. Seen from the types of optical fiber, the fiber optic connectors may be loosely classified into standard fiber optic connectors, small form factor fiber optic connectors and ribbon fiber connectors. These family types of fiber connectors sometimes may overlap with each other.

Standard Fiber Optic Connectors

Generally having a ferrule of 2.5mm, standard fiber optic connectors are connectors commonly used in the fiber network. They can be both simplex and duplex and available in single mode and multi-mode fibers. ST, FC, SC, FDDI and ESCON are all standard fiber connectors. But they also differ from each other. ST connector is the most popular connector for multi-mode fiber optic LAN applications. FC connector is specifically designed for telecommunication applications and provides non-optical disconnect performance. SC connector is widely used in single mode applications for its excellent performance. FDDI connector, which is a duplex multi-mode connector, utilizes two 2.5mm ferrules and is designed to used in FDDI network. ESCON connectors are similar to FDDI connectors, but contain a retractable shroud instead of a fixed shroud.

Small Form Factor Fiber Optic Connectors

To meet the demand for devices that can fit into tight spaces and allow denser packing of connections, a number of small form factor fiber optic connectors have been developed since the 1990s. In this type of small form factor fiber optic connectors, some are miniaturized versions of older connectors, built around a 1.25mm ferrule rather than the 2.5mm ferrule. For example, the LC, MU, E2000 connectors. While the others are based on smaller versions of MT-type ferrule for multi-mode fiber connections, or other brand new designs. For example, the MT-RJ connector, which has a miniature two-fiber ferrule with two guide pins parallel to the fibers on the outside. Its overall size is about the same as a RJ45 connector.

Ribbon Fiber Connectors

MTP and MPO are compatible ribbon fiber connectors based on MT ferrules which allow quick and reliable connections for up to 12 fibers. Since the MTP product complies with the MPO standard, the MTP connector is an MPO connector. Along with the MTP patch cables (for example, MTP-MTP fiber trunk cable), MTP connectors can upgrade the 10G network to 40G/100G.


The fiber optic connector is an essential part in fiber optical network. As the popularity of fiber optical network, about 100 fiber optic connectors have been introduced to the market. FS.COM is the main professional fiber optic products supplier in China, and we offers various kinds of fiber cable connectors, especially the commonly used FC, LC, SC, ST and MPO connectors.

How to Select the Right Fiber Patch Cable

A fiber patch cable, also known as fiber patch cord, which is widely applied to connect telecommunication equipment and backbone cabling, is a length of fiber optic cable capped at either end with connectors that allow it to be rapidly and conveniently connected to CATV, an optical switch or other telecommunication equipment.

As the fiber patch cables are used to cross-connect installed cables and connect communications equipment. The choice of fiber patch cable is very important to the performance of the network. Currently vendors offer fiber optic patch cables in a variety of cable and connector types. In order to select the right patch cable, some attributes needed to be obtained. They are fiber type, connector type on each end, simplex or duplex, jacket type and length. Fiberstore offers you the following tips to choose the proper fiber patch cable for your applications.

Choose the right fiber type—fiber patch cable should use the same fiber type as the fiber optic cabling that it is connected to. Fiber optic cable comes in two general types which are single-mode and multi-mode fiber.

LC-ST Duplex Multimode Fiber Patch Cable

Choose the correct connector type—the connectors on both end of fiber patch cable are used to connect to the patch panels and equipment. Connector types of the patch cable must match the patch panels and equipment. They can be the same and can also be different. For example, a fiber patch cable with a ST connector on each end is known as ST to ST patch cable. A fiber patch cable with a LC connector on one end and a ST connector on the other end is known as LC to ST patch cable.

Simplex or duplex—unlike copper patch cable which sends information in both directions, most fiber patch cord cables have a single strand of fiber allowing for signal flow in one direction only. A simplex patch cord is a single-fiber cable with simplex connection terminations. A duplex patch cord is a two-fiber cable with duplex connectors. Connecting equipment so that it can send and receive information requires two strands of fiber (one to transmit and one to receive information). This can be accommodated by using two “Simplex” (single strand of fiber) cables for each equipment interconnection or a “Duplex” cable, with conductors and/or connectors bonded together in pairs.


Jacket of fiber patch cable—flammability of the jacket material could become an issue if the area they are in has special requirements for flame spread or products of combustion in case of a fire. To answer the market call, there are LSZH (low smoke zero halogen) fiber patch cable whose jacket is made of materials free of halogenated materials like fluorine (F), Chlorine (Cl), Bromine (Br), Iodine (I) and Astatine (At). This type of fiber patch cord won’t release low smoke zero halogen when it’s on fire.

Length—overall length of the patch cable may be specified in feet or meters, depending on your preference.

Fiberstore provides various types of fiber optic patch cables including single-mode, multi-mode, multi-core, armored patch cables, as well as fiber optic pigtails and other special patch cables. For most of the patch cables, the SC, ST, FC, LC, MU, MTRJ, E2000 connectors (APC/UPC polish) are all available. In addition, we also have MTP/MPO cables in stock.