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How much do you know about Fiber Connector?

How Many Fiber Connector Types Do You Know?

Utilization: Fiber Connectors Connect with Adapter Panel

The following fiber connector types, such as LC/SC/MTP/MPO/ST fiber optic connectors, require an adapter panel when connecting. Fiber cables with these optical connector types are usually used in data centers, telecom rooms, enterprise networks and so on.

A Rundown of Fiber Optic Connectors  

During the rapid development of fiber optic technologies over the past decades, fiber product manufacturers and companies have released countless sophisticated equipment, during which the so-called “better mousetrap”—fiber optic connectors attract users’ attention. These smart connectors are used to terminate at the ends of fiber optic cables to form fiber optic jumper, like fiber cable LC to LC. Since a variety of splice options are available to fiber network planners today, connector types are diversified, eg. ST, SC, LC, MTP/MPO connectors. Each connector has its own unique design and therefore, pros and cons. Then question occurs, how to choose the suitable ones that are lower loss, lower cost, easier to terminate or to solve some other perceived problems? Have some ideas? If not, don’t worry. Here is a rundown of several leading connector types.

Utilization: Fiber Connectors Connect with Adapter Panel

The following fiber connector types, such as LC/SC/MTP/MPO/ST fiber optic connectors, require an adapter panel when connecting. Fiber cables with these optical connector types are usually used in data centers, telecom rooms, enterprise networks and so on.

LC Connector

A Lucent Connector (LC), as one SFF (small form factor) connector, possesses a 1.25 mm ferrule. The small footprint design gives these fiber optic connectors huge popularity in datacoms and makes them more ideal for high-density applications. Many tend to move to high-efficiency cabling with LC fiber connectors nowadays. LC fiber optic connector is considered the most commonly-used connector at present.

SC Connector

SC fiber connector was the first connector chosen for the TIA-568 standard and is a snap-in connector that latches with a simple push-pull motion. "SC" stands for "Square Connector" due to the "square-shaped" connector body. It adopts a 2.5mm ferrule, which is twice the size of the previous LC connector. SC fiber optic connector is ideally suited for datacoms and telecom applications including point to point and passive optical networking. Due to its excellent performance, fiber optic SC connector remains the second most common connector for polarization maintaining applications.

MTP/MPO Fiber Connector

Unlike the previous two fiber optic conneceors, the MTP/MPO fiber connector is a multi-fiber connector and larger than other connectors, which combines fibers from 12 to 24 fibers in a single rectangular ferrule. It's often used in 40G and 100G high-bandwidth optical parallel connections. The MTP/MPO fiber connectors are complicated due to the key-up and key-down, male and female issues. You can refer to our white paper Understanding Polarity in MTP/MPO System to have a better understanding.

ST Connector

ST (Straight Tip) fiber optic connector was created and licensed by AT&T shortly after the arrival of the FC type. The ST optic connector holds the fiber with a ceramic, spring-loaded 2.5mm ferrule that stays in place with a half-twist bayonet mount. They are usually used in both long and short distance applications such as campuses and building multimode fiber applications, corporate network environments, as well as military applications.

FC Connector

"FC" refers to the Ferrule Connector. FC fiber optic connector was the first optical fiber connector to use a ceramic ferrule. Unlike the plastic-bodied SC and LC connector, it utilizes a round screw-type fitment made from nickel-plated or stainless steel. The FC fiber optic connector end face relies on an alignment key for correct insertion and is then tightened into the adaptor/jack using a threaded collet. Despite the additional complexity both in manufacturing and installation, the FC connectors still provide the choice in precision instruments such as OTDRs, as well as the choice for single mode fiber. It was initially intended for datacoms and telecoms applications but was used less since the introduction of the SC and LC fiber optic connectors. The usage of both ST and FC connectors have declined in recent years.

The abovementioned five fiber optic connectors are the most commonly used ones, which are introduced based on their popularities from wide to usual. The figure below shows the different connector style:

MT-RJ Connector

Mechanical Transfer Registered Jack (MT-RJ) connector is a duplex connector that uses pins for alignment and has male and female versions. Constructed with plastic housing and provide for accurate alignment via their metal guide pins and plastic ferrules. Compared to a standard phone jack, the size of MT-RJ connector is slightly smaller, making it easier to connect and disconnect. In addition, MT-RJ fiber optic connector provides a lower termination cost and greater density for both electronics and cable management hardware compared to other singer-fiber terminations.

MU Connector

Like a miniature SC with a 1.25mm ferrule. Featuring a simple push-pull design and compact miniature body, the MU fiber optic connector is used for compact multiple optical connectors and a self-retentive mechanism for backplane applications. You can get a customized high power MT-RJ/MU fiber optic connector in Heyoptics.

DIN Connector 

The DIN connector is round with pins arranged in a circular pattern. It encompasses several types of cables that plug into an interface to connect devices. Typically, a full-sized DIN connector has three to 14 pins with a diameter of 13.2 millimeters. It is applied for PC keyboards, MIDI instruments, and other specialized equipment.

E2000 Connector

The E2000 Connector is a push-pull coupling mechanism with an automatic metal shutter in the connector as dust and laser beam protection. One-piece design for easy and quick termination, E2000 fiber optic connector is used for high safety and high power applications.

Utilization: Fiber Connectors Connect Without Adapter Panel

Compared to the above fiber optic connector types, Rosenberger Q-RMC and NEX10 connector adopt push-pull quick locking mechanism, which can realize quicker connection without using an adapter panel. They are designed for harsh environment use.

Fiber Count: Simplex vs Duplex Fiber Connectors

A simplex connection means signals are sent in one direction—a signal is transmitted through two simplex connectors and a simplex fiber cable from device A to device B, which cannot return from device B to device A via the same route. Contrariwise, the revised transmission can be achieved through duplex connectors and duplex fiber cable, which is called a duplex connection. In addition, a simplex fiber optic connector is often connected with one strand of glass or plastic fiber, while the duplex fiber optic connector needs to connect with two strands of fibers.

Fiber Mode: Single Mode vs Multimode Fiber Connectors

Single mode fiber allows only one light mode to pass through at a time, while multimode fiber can propagate multiple modes at a time. Diversity has an impact on single mode fiber connectors and multimode fiber connectors on account of the combination with the corresponding type of optical fibers. However, with technologies getting advanced, fiber optic connectors like SC, LC, and FC, provided by fiber optic connector factories are compatible with single mode and multimode fiber cables.

Boot Length: Standard Boot vs Short Boot Connectors

As for the boot length, there are standard boot structure and short boot structure. A standard boot can protect the cable and the connector from being damaged, wires being dislodged from the connector body, etc. While a short boot has the same function, it is distinguished by a shorter boot structure. For places where there is limited space for connector, short boot cables can be the ideal choice. The short boot structure design can make the cable easily pass through the narrow space without sacrificing performance, making the installation and maintenance of the fiber optic cables more efficient.

Polishment: APC/PC/UPC Fiber Optic Connectors

According to the polishing type, optical fiber cable connectors can be divided into three types: PC, UPC, and APC connectors. The fiber color code provides a convenient method to identify these three types of connectors: PC's color code is black, the color code for the APC fiber connector is green, and the UPC's connector is blue. The structure and the performance of the three fiber optic connectors also vary, which reflects on the values of insertion loss and return loss. PC vs UPC vs APC, this article shed light on these connector types and their differences for you.


Q: Do single mode connectors work on multimode cables?

A: Yes. you can use single mode connectors on multimode, but not the other way around.


Q: If I have an SC connector installed and find that what I need is LC type, how can I do?

A: In this kind of situation, a common solution is that you can purchase an SC-SC coupler, then purchase a pre-terminated SC to LC patch cable. Adapters are also available like LC-LC or LC-SC.


Q: What types of fiber optic connectors are available on the market?

A: The common types of fiber optic connectors are LC, SC, MTP/MPO, ST, and FC LC connector, as a main fiber optic connector, tends to be the most preferred one due to its compact size, high performance, and ease of use. In addition, for multi-fiber connectors, the MTP/MPO connectors are also gaining popularity for 40G and 100G data transmissions.