MTP Base-8 and Base-12: Correct Using Principles

In my previous post “MTP Links: Base-8 vs. Base-12 vs. Base-24”, I have done a comparison among Base-8 MTP, Base-12 MTP and Base-24 MTP. And from the post, we can conclude that Base-8 MTP link is the most future-proof option for the quickly-changing network requirements. But someone may ask “I have deployed Base-12 or Base-24 MTP link. Can I still deploy Base-8 MTP connectivity in the network? Or will Base-8 connectivity fit all applications?”. This post will answer these questions. Keep reading, you’ll get more.

Can Base-8 and Base-12 Be Used Together: Yes Or No?

The answer of this question depends. If directly mix the components and plug a Base-8 MTP cable into a 12-fiber module, then the answer is “No”. Base-8 components and Base-12 components are not designed to be plugged directly into each other. Generally, Base-12 MTP trunk cables have unpinned (female) MTP connectors on both ends, and require the use of pinned (male) breakout modules. But the Base-8 MTP trunk cables are manufactured with pinned connectors on both ends. So plugging a Base-8 trunk cable into a Base-12 breakout module will definitely not work. However, Base-8 and Base-12 MTP connectivity can be used in the same data center, but they should be maintained independently. As they are not interchangeable, some care is needed when managing the data center physical layer infrastructure, to ensure Base-8 and Base-12 components are not mixed within the same link.

MTP link working principle: yes or no

Will One Type Fit All?

As known to all, 12-fiber MPO connectors are common in data centers, but they pose a problem when installed in a parallel path system—four unused fibers remain per connection. Typically, Base-8 can be a more cost-effective option for end-to-end MPO to MPO channels and architectures. Deploying Base-8 connectivity in duplex architectures for 10GBASE-SR and 25GBASE-SR will save 4% to 5% for data center managers, but if you’re running groups of 6-ports, Base-8 may result in a significant cost increase. Generally speaking, not one size fits all. Base-8 connectivity isn’t a universal solution. In fact, in some cases, Base-12 may still be more cost-effective. So it’s best to have both Base-8 and Base-12 connectivity in the same data center through careful management and labeling practices.


From what have described above, we can get these points. Although Base-8 and Base-12 MTP connectivity are not interchangeable, but they can be used in the same data center as long as the links are maintained separately. Base-8 and Base-12 MTP fiber links cannot be mixed and matched. Moreover, there is no one connectivity method fitting for all network applications. Base-8 connectivity method and Base-12 connectivity method can be used in different applications that can make the most of each type. For the most commonly 10G to 40G migration, Base-8 connectivity would be a strong consideration over Base-12.

Other post you may be interested: MTP-8 Solution: Future-Proof Connectivity in Data Center