Fiber Connector Types - LC vs SC vs FC vs ST vs MTP vs MPO vs MDC vs Rugged

In fiber optical telecommunication, there are various fiber optic connectors, such as MDC, SC, LC, FC, MU, ST, MPO, MTP and rugged fiber optic connectors types like Fullaxs and ODC connector. How to choose them for your Data Center, FTTH or FTTA Cabling Connectivity? LightOptics make a comparision here for you.

SC Fiber Connectors

SC refers to the Square Connector or Standard Connector. SC is arguably the most common type of fiber optic connector used today. It was invented to directly replace the ST connectors and, as a result, has become one of the most common fiber connectors in the world. Designed to be simple to use and inexpensive to produce, SC uses a push-pull design similar to LC but utilizes a locking tab instead of a latch to secure the unit. The cost-effective design of SC makes it a popular choice with industries that frequently use fiber cables, such as telecom and datacom, perfectly suited for datacoms and telecoms.

LC Fiber Connectors

LC refers to the Lucent Connector. LC was designed as a push-pull connector that locks in place with a latch. This is a member of what is referred to as the small form factor (SFF) line of connectors. While being faster and easier to operate is an advantage, the main draw of LC is its small size. Being about half the size of other fiber optic connectors, LC can be used on devices that would otherwise have too little room to support a fiber optic connection.

It is the smallest connector till now. It can be matched with SFP transceiver. Due to the small size and high-density layout, currently it is the most widely used optical components.

ST Fiber Connectors

ST refers to the Straight Tip, means bayonet fiber optical connector. ST uses a design similar to FC but instead of threads, it uses a locking mechanism similar to BNC coax connectors. Adopted on the ODF as well, it is easier and faster to install this type of fiber connector than FC type. When installing FC, some green operator may buckle overflow, but this never happen on ST. FC connectors use a 2.5mm ferrule that is mounted on the inside of the housing. This is an older style connector but is still commonly used in multimode applications.

MDC Connectors

MTD refers to the Mini Duplex Connector. The MDC is a two fiber connector manufactured with proven 1.25mm ferrule technology used in industry standard LC connectors. Three port MDC adapters fit directly into standard panel openings for duplex LC adapters, increasing fiber density by a factor of three. Supporting port breakout architectures for emerging transceiver MSAs, the smaller size will allow a single array transceiver to accept multiple MDC patch cables, which are individually accessible directly at the transceiver interface. The new format will support four individual MDC cables in a QSFP footprint and two individual MDC cables in an SFP footprint.

Rugged Fiber Optic Connectors

  • Fullaxs connector: Fullaxs, a standard waterproof interface, is designed & developed by TE is widely used for the wireless base station linked to FTTA equipment that set up outdoor environment.
  • ODC connector: ODC connectors are designed for the fiber to antenna(FTTA) applications,ODC fiber optic connector can withstand harsh environmental conditions when being used in outdoor applications. They are used for data and telecommunications in mobile radio, process, utility and traffic automation.

FC Fiber Connector

FC refers to the Ferrule Connector or Fiber Channel. FC is an older fiber optic connector currently being phased out of industry standards, also utilizes a 2.5mm ferrule. This is an older style connector but is still commonly used in multimode applications. While single mode cables still use FC, it is unusual to see them on multimode cables. FC connectors take longer to unplug compared to newer fiber optic connectors due to their threaded screw-on design. Like the SC connector, the FC connector also has a non-optical disconnect advantage. Because this connector threads onto a connection, you can be sure that this connector will stay stable and mated to its connection, even during rougher environments.

MTP/MPO Fiber Connector

MTP connectors are usually considered a high-performance option while MPO are better for mechanical uses. Moreover, MTP connectors are equipped with a housing that is removeable so you can change, re polish or even change the gender of the connection from male to female. These connectors are used for ribbon cable. In single mode use these will typically get about .25dB loss and about 20dB loss in multi-mode. These are also available in the smaller 8 fiber connectors in this configuration. Single mode ferrules are angled at 8°. This is mostly used in very high-density applications with ribbon cable to reduce the connector space that may be required.

Comparisons in LC vs SC vs FC vs ST

LC vs SC

LC is smaller than SC, which is half the size of it. The diameter of the LC is 1.25mm while the SC is 2.5mm, thus LC is more friendly to high-density applications. Its small size allows twice the port density on a faceplate than an SC connector does. About connection handing LC connector features with latch structure and designs with a locking tab to secure the cable, whereas SC features with push-pull structure and locks in place with a latch to secure the cable.

ST vs FC

ST is similar to the FC, the index tab must be carefully aligned with a slot when insertion. Besides, because of the spring-loaded structure, ST fiber optical connector takes a lot of energy to push and twist the connector. Same as SC and FC, the ferrule diameter of the connector is also 2.5mm.

SC vs ST

SC/ST connectors are used for connecting fiber-optic cabling to networking devices. SC stands for subscriber connector and ST stands for straight tip and ST connectors are more common than SC connectors. You can generally use SC and ST connectors with either single-mode or multimode fiber-optic cabling. Coupling receptacles for these connectors come in either panel-mount or free-handing designs. For narrow space installations, you can get 90-degree boot versions instead of straight versions. SC and ST connectors come in both simplex and duplex form.

Fiber Connector Types Diameter Connection Type Standard
LC 1.25 mm Latch IEC 61754-20
SC 2.5 mm Push-pull IEC 61754-4
ST 2.5 mm Bayonet IEC 61754-2
FC 2.5 mm Screw IEC 61754-13
MTP/MPO 2.5 mm Push-pull IEC-61754-7

How to terminate SC with LC connector?

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. SC to LC adapter assemblies can help connect an SC connector to an LC connector. The SC-LC fiber which separately terminates an SC interface and LC interface at both ends is also useful.

LightOptics provide high-quality cables with various connectors including LC fiber, SC fiber, Fullaxs and ODC connector etc. Welcome to consult at

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