Simplex vs Duplex Fiber Optic Cables

Simplex vs duplex fiber optic cables what are they different? It is known to all that fiber optic cable is made of glass or plastic that mainly used for transmitting information. Fiber optic cable can be divided into many types according to different classification principles, such as source, mode, usages etc. Different kinds of fiber optic patch cables have different applications. This paper will focus on the simplex and duplex fiber patch cord. In this text, we would mainly introduce simplex and duplex fiber optic cable as well as their differences.

Simplex Fiber Optic Cables

A simplex fiber only consists one single strand of glass of plastic fiber.

For example, we receive signals from radio station but never send signals to it. Thus, it is used for applications that only require one-way data transfer (bidirectional communication over a single fiber). Simplex connectors and cables are useful for single fiber (BiDi) transceivers, which transmit and receive using a single fiber optic cable.

Simplex connectors also allow for more flexibility in making connections. For example, suppose you had an MTP to LC breakout cable, which fanned out to multiple LC connectors. By using individual simplex cables, you would be able to easily re-order or replace individual connections. A less common use case for a simplex connector is for one-way communication when there's no need to both send and receive data.

Duplex Fiber Optic Cables

A duplex fiber cable consists of two strand fibers of glass or plastic, and it can be seen as two simplex cables. This duplex fiber cable is carefully structured in a zip-cord arrangement, which is most often used for duplex communication between devices where require simultaneous, bi-directional data transfer. Therefore, this cable is most often used for duplex communication between devices where a separate transmit transmit and receive are required. Duplex fiber is available in single-mode and multimode. Use duplex multimode or single-mode fiber optic cable for applications that require simultaneous, bi-directional data transfer. Workstations, fiber switches and servers, fiber modems, and similar hardware require duplex fiber cable. Now, Duplex systems are employed in many communications networks, either to allow for a communication “two-way street” between two connected parties or to provide a “reverse path” for the monitoring and remote adjustment of equipment in the field.

Duplex fiber is also available in single mode duplex fiber optic cable and multimode duplex fiber optic cable. Half duplex and full duplex are two types of fiber optic duplex cables that are used in different data transmission applications.

  • Half Duplex Fiber Optic CablesData may only be transmitted in one direction at a time. For instance, half duplex fiber optic can be used in police car radio phones to allow only one person to talk at each time.
  • Full Duplex Fiber Optic Cables: Data is transferred in two directions simultaneously. An example is a telephone IP service where people at both ends of a call can speak and be heard by each other at the same time because there are two communication paths between them, thus using the full duplex mode can increase the efficiency of communication.

Simplex VS. Duplex Fiber Optic Cables

Simplex and duplex are different kinds of communication channels in telecommunications and computer networking, which provide pathways to convey information.

Source — Simplex fiber optic cable uses only single one strand of fiber while duplex fiber cable uses a pair of fiber.

Transmission Direction — Furthermore, simplex optical fiber cable uses only single one strand of fiber in one-way transmission mode, while duplex fiber cable uses a pair of fiber in bi-directional transmission mode.

Cost — For the sake of using less source material, simplex fiber optic cable is cheaper than duplex optic cable.

Both simplex fiber cable and duplex fiber cable are available in single-mode and multi-mode. For example, LC to LC multi-mode duplex fiber cable, is multi-mode duplex fiber cable with LC connectors on both ends. What is more, there are some hybrid cables, Such as SC to ST single-mode simplex fiber cable whose SC connector is on the one end while the ST connector is on the other end.


They are different from source, transmission direction and cost. They are different from source, transmission direction and cost.

LightOptics is one of the industry’s fastest growing fiber optic cable manufacturer, specializing in providing quality, cost-effective retailing, wholesale and fiber optic products. For more information on simplex fiber cable or duplex fiber cable and customization service, please email to

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