MTP VS MPO : All Basics You Need to Know

What is an MPO Connector

MPO stands for Multi-fiber Push On, or MPOs for short, are fiber connectors comprised of multiple optical fibers.. This connector was developed in the late 1980’s by Japan’s Nippon telegraph and telephone corporation (NTT).

While defined as an array connector having more than 2 fibers, MPO Connectors are typically available with 8, 12 or 24 fibers for common data center and LAN applications. The process to terminate higher fibre count connectors are very difficult and usually unsuccessful.

The MPO connector family is defined by two existing standards. Internationally the MPO is defined by IEC-61754-7. In North America the MPO is defined by TIA-604-5 (also called FOCIS 5).

What is MTP?

 MTP® is the acronym for Multi-fiber Termination Push- on, which is a registered trademark of US Conec. The MTP® connector is a high performance MPO connector with multiple engineered product enhancements to improve optical and mechanical performance when compared to generic MPO connectors. The MTP is fully compliant with IEC-61754-7 and TIA-604-5 (FOCIS 5) and is compatible with standard MPO connectors and vice versa.

Features & Benefits of MTP

There are many different makes of MPO connector on the market (Furukawa, Sumitomo, Fujikura).

The MTP has features that are totally unique (and patented).

Unique Floating Ferrule: This provides protection during side load and a more reliable mating between two connectors.

Mechanical Performance: MPO (Red) Vs MTP (Blue) (Picture)

Removable Housing: The housing can be removed to allow removal/addition of guide pins (thus changing connector gender). This also allows re-work of the connector end face.

Recessed Guide Pin Clamp: The recessed pin clamp prevents gender change from the front of the connector.

Oval Spring: The MTP has an oval spring. The MPO has a round spring. The Oval spring is designed to prevent mechanical damage to the ribbon cable during the use of the connector.

Elliptical Guide Pin Tips: The MTP has elliptical guide pin tips which are designed to prevent wear and tear on the guide pin holes during mating. The MPO has chamfered guide pin tips which have a sharp edge and cause wear.

Colour coded connector bodies- Make connector fibre types easily identifiable.

The MTP Cabling System

The cable system is made up of a few key parts:

  • Trunk Cables
  • Fan Outs
  • Patch Panels
  • Cassettes

Trunk Cables

Trunk cables are installed within the building and connected between patch panels or cassettes

Fan Outs

There are two main types of fan outs:

  • Tight Buffered
  • Ruggedized

The tight buffered version is used within panels and cassettes.

The ruggedized version is used to directly connect to equipment or panels.

Fan outs allow transition from MTP to ordinary connectors (LC, SC and so on).

Patch Panels

Patch Panels will usually contain a fan-out. Trunk cables or ruggedized fan-outs are plugged into the back of the panel. The panel can then be mounted in a cabinet

Modular Cassettes

Cassettes are essentially a more compact version of a patch panel. They can be fitted into a cassette panel which will hold three cassettes in 1U of space or they can be mounted in a 3U LGX chassis which will hold fourteen cassettes. These are perfect for Data Centre use where high density is required.

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