Intro to Networking - Fiber Optic Cable and Transceiver Types


Overview


This article describes the common types of fiber optic cable used for data transmission. Ubiquiti also provides branded optic SFP/SFP+ modules (tranceivers) that are fully compatible with all of our devices. See the SFP/SFP+ Modules and Cabling page for more information.


Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Multi-Mode Fiber
  3. Single-Mode Fiber
  4. SFP/SFP+ Module Types
  5. Related Articles

Introduction


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Fiber optic cabling is an alternative to copper cabling for data transmission. Instead of using electrical pulses to transport information, fiber optic cable transports pulses of light that are sent and received by transceivers on each end of the cable. By using pulses of light, the distance over which signals can be sent is far greater than Ethernet (copper) cabling.

Fiber optic cable comes in various shapes and sizes which can be used for different types of deployments. Depending on the cost of goods, the distance of the run, and throughput requirements one type of fiber optic cable and transceiver may be more effective than another. See the tables and sections below for more information.


Multi-Mode Fiber


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The key difference between Multi-Mode (MM) and Single-Mode (SM) fiber optic cable is the core diameter. The diameter of MM fiber optic cable is substantially larger allowing for wider wavelengths to pass down the cable. Multi-Mode fiber allows for the use of lower-cost LEDs instead of lasers in the optical transceiver, leading to a cost reduction. 

Fiber Type

Jacket Color

Connector Color

Core Diameter

Maximum Run Distance

OM1 Orange Beige or Gray 62.5μm
  • 275m @ 1Gbps (1000BASE-SX)
  • 33m @ 10Gbps (10GBASE-SR)
OM2 50μm    
  • 550m @ 1Gbps (1000BASE-SX)
  • 82m @ 10Gbps (10GBASE-SR)
OM3 Aqua
  • 550m @ 1Gbps (1000BASE-SX)
  • 300m @10Gbps (10GBASE-SR)
  • 100m @ 40Gbps (40GBASE-SR4)
  • 100m @ 100Gbps (100GBASE-SR10)
OM4 Aqua
(Can be Purple)
  • 550m @ 1Gbps (1000BASE-SX)
  • 400m @ 10Gbps (10GBASE-SR)
  • 150m @ 40Gbps (40GBASE-SR4)
  • 150m @ 100Gbps (100GBASE-SR10)

Single-Mode Fiber


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Opposed to Multi-Mode fiber optic cabling, Single-Mode has a much smaller core diameter which limits the width of the wavelength. This leads to a very small chance of signal degradation which allows for very large data transport distances. 

Fiber Type Jacket Color Connector Color Core Diameter Maximum Run Distance
OS1/OS2 Yellow Blue or
Green*
8μm/9μm/10μm
  • 5km @ 1Gbps (1000BASE-SX) (1310nm)
  • 5km @ 1Gbps (1000BASE-LX) (1310nm)
  • 40km @ 1Gbps (1000BASE-EX) (1310nm)
  • 70km @ 1Gbps (1000BASE-ZX) (1550nm)
  • 10km @ 10Gbps (10GBASE-LR) (1310nm)
  • 10km @ 10Gbps (10GBASE-SR) (1310nm)
  • 40km @ 10Gbps (10GBASE-ER) (1550nm)
  • 80km @ 10Gbps (10GBASE-ZR) (1550nm)
  • 10km @ 40Gbps (40GBASE-LR4) (1310nm)
  • 40km @ 40Gbps (40GBASE-ER4) (1550nm)
  • 10km @ 100Gbps (100GBASE-LR4) (1310nm)
  • 40km @ 100Gbps (100GBASE-ER4) (1550nm)

 

NOTE: *Green is used for angle polished fiber typically used in Passive Optical Networks (PON) such as UFiber GPON. Do not use angle polished fiber in a transceiver designed for 'physical contact' type fiber. 

SFP/SFP+ Module Types


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The SFP/SFP+ modules (transceiver) convert electrical signaling coming from a network switch into light signaling to send down the fiber optic medium. The table below shows the various fiber SFP/SFP+ modules that Ubiquiti offers.

Transceiver Type Compatible With Medium Type
UF-MM-1G / UF-MM-10G
  • UniFi Switch
  • UniFi Security Gateway
  • Edge Switch
  • Edge Router
Multi-Mode fiber with LC connectors
UF-SM-1G / UF-SM-10G / UF-SM-10G-S Single-Mode fiber with LC connectors
UF-GP-B+ / UF-GP-C+
  • UFiber OLT models
Single-Mode fiber with SC/UPC connectors

Related Articles


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EdgeRouter - SFP/SFP+ and DAC Compatibility List

EdgeSwitch - SFP/SFP+ and DAC Compatibility List

UFiber GPON - Supported SFP/SFP+ Modules for UFiber OLTs

UFiber - Enabling Ubiquiti SFP and SFP+ Modules on Third Party Devices


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