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MTP vs MPO Connectors

Compare the MTP connector with other MPO multi-fibre connectors

MTP® or MPO, what’s in a name?

MPO

The term MPO stands for Multi-fibre Push On and is a specific interface type. The MPO interface was developed to enable multi-fibre connectivity for higher density, higher bandwidth based applications requiring parallel or channel based optics. 12 and 24 fibre versions are currently used to direct connect into 40G and 100G transceivers and also used in high density fibre distribution areas. Higher fibre versions are also available (48, 72 fibre) but their use and deployment is currently limited.

MPO Connector
MTP®

The MTP® connector is specifically a brand of MPO interface connector that is owned by the leading US based optical R&D company US Conec. Like MPO it is based on the MT (mechanical transfer) ferrule technology which was developed by Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT) during the 1980s.

MT Ferrule

MT Ferrule (Image Rights – US Conec Ltd)

MTP Design features

1. A floating ferrule that aids in accurate alignment and improves performance of mated ferrules under stressed load conditions.

mtp connector Floating Ferrule

Floating Ferrule (Image Rights – US Conec)

2. Elliptical guide pins that allows for better alignment by improving mating guidance and reducing hole wear.

mtp connector Elliptical Guide Pin Comparison

Pin Comparison (image rights – US Conec)

3. Removable housing allowing for smoother transition of gender types in the field and easier access to performance testing and re-work of the MT ferrule.

mtp connector male by US Conec

MTP Connector Housing (Image Rights – US Conec)

4. The MTP® connector has a metal pin clamp that centres and guides the push spring. This feature eliminates lost guide pins, centres the spring force and eliminates damage to fibre cables from the spring.

5. The MTP® connector spring design maximizes ribbon clearance for twelve fibre and multi-fibre ribbon applications to prevent fibre damage

mtp spring design

MTP (Left) vs MPO (Right) spring design (Image Rights – US Conec)

6. The MTP® connector is offered with four standard variations of strain relief boots to meet a wide array of applications.

US conec - mtp boot options

Boot variations (Image Rights – US Conec)

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The MTP® connector is currently available in 4, 8, 12, 24, and 72 fibre densities for multimode fibre (50µm and 62.5µm core) and 4, 8, 12, and 24 fibre densities for single-mode fibre, as well as the MTP® Elite® (low-loss) single-mode connector in both 8 and 12 fibre densities. It is also important to note that the MTP® connector complies with the MPO standard as outlined in IEC standard 61754-7 and TI-604-5 and is therefore a fully compliant MPO connector and can interconnect directly with other MPO based infrastructures.

Use of Generic MPO Connectors vs the MTP® Connector

Independent verification and tests have continually re-enforced the MTP® connector as offering superior over-life performance when compared to standard MPO connectors.

This higher performance has resulted in wide adoption, not just by fibre cabling manufacturers, but also by switch, server and storage manufacturers.

Connecting to equipment with MTP® connectors is best done using optical fibre cables with MTP® connectors, although other MPO cables are likely to work but may not offer the same performance.

mtp 12 fibre male connector

MTP® Connector 12 fibre

mtp 24 fibre elite connector

MTP® Connector 24 fibre

What to Remember

It’s very simple to understand really in that if you are discussing, commenting or specifying the use multi-fibre connectors.

– MPO is an interface type. There are many connector manufacturers to choose from to get this connector.

– The MTP® connector is one type of MPO connector. It is a brand owned by US Conec and used by most active equipment manufacturers and cabling companies.

– There is an internationally recognised standard for MPO connectors.

– MTP is fully compliant with the requirements of MPO standards.

If you are looking to connect to you active equipment (such as CISCO) then a cable with MTP connectors will give you the best over-life performance. Other MPO connectors should also work, but may not perform to the same level.

For further questions on the MTP® connector or any aspect of core or advanced fibre optic connectivity solutions, then please get on touch with the team at Complete Connect at sales@completeconnect.co.uk or call us + 44 (0) – 20 – 8286 – 6529.+44 (0) 20 – 8286 – 652

At the time of going to press the following brands have deployed and reference the use of the MTP® connector within their products ranges (plus numerous others): –

Active Equipment Manufacturers – CISCO, Brocade, Dell, HP, Arista, juniper, Extreme

Cabling Manufacturers – Corning (pretium edge and plug and play), Commscope/Systimax 360, Complete Connect, Siemon, Molex, Belden.

It is possible to connect cables from different cabling manufacturers that use the MTP® connector in their range. However, a detailed understanding of how the polarity is managed within each manufacturer’s product range is required.

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