Learn about the optical fiber used for short reach connectivity in data center and campus networks. In part two of this two-part blog post, we describe a multi-mode fiber metric and when to use OM4 or OM5 type fiber.
Since the TIA ratified the specification for OM5, a wideband multimode optical fiber (WB-MMF), customers that are thinking about upgrading their existing infrastructure, or building out new, are asking a question: Should they deploy OM5 fiber? OM5 is essentially an OM4 fiber that has an additional bandwidth specification at 953nm. Both OM4 and OM5 have bandwidths specified as 4,700MHz•km at 850nm, and OM5 has a bandwidth specification of 2,450MHz•km at 953nm. OM4 does not have a bandwidth specified at 953nm. OM5 was designed to be used with optical modules that employ Shortwave Wavelength Division Multiplexing (SWDM). These new SWDM modules use four wavelengths that span from 850nm through 953nm, to implement 100Gbps links.
OM5 was chosen to be the new standard for the wideband multimode fiber in the upcoming 3rd edition of the ISO/IEC 11801. The acceptance of this standard is a milestone for the fiber cabling performance category because it extends the benefits of this revolutionary multimode fiber within connected buildings and data centers worldwide. Compared with OM3 and OM4, which are suitable for transmission in the range of 850nm wavelength, the new optical cabling class OM5 can operate within a range of 850nm to 950nm, thus increasing the performance and the quality of connectivity in your data center.
WBMMF or OM5 is designed to carry multiple signals generated at different short wavelengths. These signals can be aggregated for applications where high bandwidths are required through a technology called wavelength division multiplexing or WDM. In short, OM5 can accommodate multiple wavelength signals and allows them to travel simultaneously across a single fiber strand. In this way, the capacity of a fiber cable can be increased by four times.
OM5 cables are an improvement over the previous fiber optic cable types, because they are capable of transferring multiple wavelengths on a single fiber. This capability may allow you to save fiber optic cable when working with certain ultra-high-speed networks.
L-com has added over 600 new OM3, OM4 and OM5 fiber optic cable assemblies to address high speed data center applications.
Major categories in this new release include: MPO to MPO cable assemblies for point-to-point connectivity; MPO conversion harnesses allowing users to convert from 8 fiber to 12 or 24 fiber trunks, as well as 12 fiber to 24 fiber trunks, for use in 40G and 100G multimode deployments; and MPO fan-out cables with an MPO connector on one end of the assembly and LC, SC or ST fiber connectors on the other end.
L-com has added a new series of OM5 fiber cable assemblies to address high-speed data center applications. OM5 fiber cable is able to support short wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) which reduces the parallel fiber count by at least a factor of four. This allows for the use of just two fibers (not eight) for transmitting 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Ethernet, thus reducing overall fiber counts typically required for higher speed applications.