March 26, 2018

FAQ about OM5 MM Fiber

What is the standard for OM5 fiber?
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) initiated a workgroup in October 2014 to develop guidance for a wide band multimode fiber (WBMMF) 50/125 μm standard to support short wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) transmission. The TIA-492AAAE Standard was published in June 2016.The IEC WB MMF standard is anticipated to be completed by early 2017.

What is SWDM?
SWDM is abbreviated from Short Wavelength Division Multiplexing. SWDM is a proprietary wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology that uses four wavelengths across the 850nm to 940nm range. The SWDM transceivers were designed to use 2-fiber connectivity into the transceiver with OM3/OM4 and latest OM5 fiber.

Why OM5 with better performance than OM3/OM4 fiber in SWDM technology?
OM3, OM4, OM5 are support SWDM transceivers. By using SWDM transceivers with the new OM5 wideband multimode fiber standardized by the TIA TR-42 Subcommittee, the supported 40G and 100G Ethernet distances stated above for OM3/OM4 MMF can be extended. OM5 fiber is particularly well suited for SWDM since it allows wavelengths up to 953nm to propagate to longer distances.
The transmission distance as follow:

Fiber type 40G SWDM 100G SWDM
OM3 240 75
OM4 350 100
OM5 440 150

What Cable jacket color for OM5?
OM5 jacket color is Lime Green based on TIA standard. In February 2017, a subcommittee within the Telecommunications Industry Association’s (TIA) TR-42 committee (which develops cabling standards primarily used in North America) decided that the jacket color used to visually identify OM5 cable will be lime green.

Does OM5 MMF Costs Less?
As the matter of fact, OM5 cabling will costs about 50% more than OM4. Besides, with the considerably declined costs of single-mode transceivers due to silicon photonics technologies and large hyperscale data justifys buying in large volumes, more and more users will be pone to choose single-mode transceiver modules. For example, 100GBase-PSM4 using single-mode MTP trunk cable that can support 500-meter reach is only $750.

Why should I consider OM5 vs. single-mode?
OM5 allows for more cost-effective migration to transmission speeds up to 400Gbps utilizing lower-cost optics relative to single-mode fiber. Even though single-mode solutions have decreased in cost over the past few years, the delta relative to multimode remains approximately 50%. Furthermore, installation, troubleshooting, cleaning, and overall maintenance of multimode connectivity makes for a more user-friendly solution for data justifys as well as building and campus backbones. In conclusion, multimode fiber delivers higher value to network owners for distances up to 500m (for data rates up to 40Gbps), and allows for seamless migration to 400Gbps for distances up to 150m. For distances beyond 500m, single-mode fiber is recommended.

Are the connectors and adapters different for OM5 fiber?
OM5 fiber will works on standard multimode connectors and adaptors for OM3 and OM4. The only difference will possibly be the need to change the connector and adapter housings or boot colors to allow easy identification of installed OM5 connections.