A multi-fiber connector is the backbone of 40/100 GbE. They are called MPO technology; they have high density, top-notch flexibility, and advanced durability. As such, they are an important aspect of fiber optics and the industry at large. When designing a network, the polarity of an MPO system is how networkers determine if the signal of the fiber optic connection can be transmitted from each component, end-to-end. So, how do they go about figuring this out? Let’s explore the polarity in MPO systems, and how to understand them.

The Contents of an MPO Connector

MPO connectors are commonly made of 12 fiber strands. And, when deployed, these fiber strands must match up in order to send a transmission at the correct polarity. These polarity types, A, B, and C, allow each fiber to correctly communicate through transmit and receive files, labeled TR and RX respectively. MPO connectors can also come with strand numbers of 24, 36, and 72. The orientation of the connector also affects the polarity of the system.

Why Does Polarity Matter?

While polarity does not affect the ability of the system to actually function, it plays an important role in communication between fibers and cables. There is no performance advantage to any kind of polarity. So, you may be wondering why it matters at all. The issue is that certain situations require a specific kind of polarity. There are three methods used to connect these cables, called methods A, B, and C. And, to match, there are three kinds of MPO trunk cables used for each method. When used correctly, polarity in an MPO system can achieve faster transmission speeds in a fiber optic industry constantly searching for ways to increase productivity.

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