Multimode Fiber Overview

Multimode cable is made of of glass fibers, with a common diameters in the 50-to-100 micron range for the light carry component. POF Fiber is a newer plastic-based cable which promises performance similar to glass cable on very short runs, but at a lower cost. Multimode fibers are described as— OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4 (“OM” stand for optical multimode) — which is based on the modal bandwidth of the multimode fiber. Multimode fiber gives you high bandwidth at high speeds over medium distances, widely used for short distance data transmission.

For many years 62.5/125µm OM1 (core size of 62.5 micrometres and cladding diameter of 125µm) and conventional 50/125µm multimode fiber (OM2, OM3 and OM4) were widely deployed in premises applications. These fibers easily support applications ranging from Ethernet (10 Mbit/s) to Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbit/s) and, because of their relatively large core size, were ideal for use with LED transmitters. Newer deployments often use laser-optimized 50/125 µm multimode fiber OM3 and OM4. Fibers that meet this designation provide sufficient bandwidth to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet up to 300 meters. Optical fiber manufacturers have greatly refined their manufacturing process since that standard was issued and cables can be made that support 10 GbE up to 550 meters. Laser optimized multi-mode fiber (LOMMF) is designed for use with 850 nm VCSELs.

Multimode fibers are usually used for the transport of light from a laser source to the place where it is needed, particularly when the light source has a poor beam quality and/or the high optical power requires a large area of the fiber core. Also, fiber-coupled high-power diode bars and diode stacks use multimode fibers, as their beam quality is far from diffraction-limited. Fiber coupling is useful because it allows one to separate the pump diodes and their cooling arrangement from the laser head of a diode-pumped solid-state laser. However, fiber-coupled laser diodes are more expensive, and depending on the beam shapers used, there can be some significant loss of brightness.

Cost of replacement – For a 12 strand 62.5 and 50 micron fiber, we found that the 50 micron was in fact cheaper by about 15%-20% per foot (plenum and non-plenum). Other materials need to be taken in consideration such as fiber panels, jumpers, and connectors, however, it can be seen that at minimum the 50 micron would be same as the 62.5 micron in material costs and the solution to choose for new or possible replacement of existing installs, then OM3 fiber is a nice choice. You can find the OM3 fiber pricing here.

FiberStore multimode fiber cables with LC, FC, SC, ST, MTRJ, MU, E2000 and other fiber connectors types, simplex and duplex type options, with 1.8mm, 2mm or 3mm outer diameter, jacket type like riser, LSZH or plenum rated. Also custom multimode fiber is available.