Fibre infrastructure based on MPO* type connectors first appeared on the market during the 1990s. These early cabling solutions suffered from poor optical performance and so their application was limited.
During the 2000s the performance of these MPO cables was improved largely by the wide adoption of the MT ferrule and the MTP connector. Both these products were produced in the USA by US Conec and were later followed by the introduction of even higher performing ferrules such as the MT ELITE ferrule.
As the demand for MPO cables increased other companies created MPO type connectors. Some of these matched the MTP ELITE connector for performance and others catered for the lower cost market.
* MPO – multi-fibre push on. A connector with more than 1 fibre termianted in the ferrule. Typically these connectors have 12 fibres, however during the last 10 years 8 fibre, 16 fibre, 24 fibre, 48 fibre and 72 fibre connectors have been developed.
Demand For Fibre Infrastructure with MPO Type Connectors Increases
The demand for fibre infrastructure based on MPO type connectors really increased as companies moved to centralising and outsourcing their networks to hosting data centres. Moving networking equipment (servers / switches / storage) into a 3rd party’s environment which was designed specifically for this purpose made installation easier and more standardised.
This standardisation, coupled with ever increasing data rates (increasing the need for more fibre channels) enabled the growth of modular MPO cable and MPO cassette based solutions.
The MTP connector Starts To Dominate The Market
As demand for duplex “plug and play” fibre networking that was easy and clean to install and offered a modular approach increased, more manufacturers started to offer greater ranges. Leading the way were the large American multinationals such as Corning, Commscope and Panduit. All these companies based their data centre fibre solutions on the MTP connector as this was the most reliable in terms of over-life performance. American networking equipment manufacturers (Cisco, Brocade) also started to adopt the MT ferrule (the ferrule used in the MTP connector) in their transceivers and this added to the wider adoption of the MTP connector.
Complete Connect were one of the first UK companies to offer complete ranges of MTP based data centre fibre networking.
Data Centre Fibre Networking Demands Even More MPO Based Infrastructure
Initially the demand for MPO based fibre networking in data centres was for duplex 1G and 10G connectivity. This was provided by modular MPO cassette/trunk/cassette solutions. MPO-LC modular cassettes connected by MPO trunk/backbone cables offered LC ports within top-of-rack 1U panels and 2U, 3U or 4U panels within distribution areas. Typically, these types of fibre networks used MPO 12 fibre connectors and 12 core cable and MPO cassette modules with either 6 x LC ports of 12 x LC ports..
Complete Connect was one of the first companies to offer an MPO cable and MPO cassette solution (our M310 Series) and this solution is still very popular, although the demand for higher LC port density resulted in the introduction of our MX Series.