MTP Cabling: 12-Fiber or 24-Fiber?

With the rapid development of network technology, migration to ever higher speed data transmission networks becomes the trend. As 10G Ethernet is commonly used in larger enterprises, migration from 10G to 40G to 100G is underway to meet the demands for higher bandwidth. Has your network cabling been optimized for this inevitable growth? It is essential to create a simple, cost-effective migration to support the needs of 40G/100G Ethernet network. MTP cabling is a good solution for both 40G and 100G network migration. This article will focus on the difference between 12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP cabling from three aspects—migration, cost and density.


Trunks, harnesses, patch cords, modules and adapter plates are the necessary components used in the network. The following diagrams show the 12- and 24-fiber system configurations from 1G to 100G networks.

Figure 1. shows 12-Fiber MTP cabling for 40G. In this type of cabling system, one 12-fiber MTP trunk cable, two 12-fiber MTP-LC modules and two LC duplex patch cords are needed.

12-fiber MTP cabling for 10G

Figure 1.—1/10G Channel 12-Fiber Legacy Configuration

Figure 2. shows two options for 12-Fiber MTP cabling for 40G. In this type of cabling system, a second MTP trunk cable and another set of array harnesses will be needed to achieve 100% fiber utilization.

12-fiber MTP cabling for 40G

Figure 2.—40G Channel 12-Fiber Legacy Configurations

Figure 3. shows 12-fiber MTP cabling for 100G. In this type of cabling system, for 100G, some additional components will be required for any 12-fiber legacy configuration, like MTP adapter plate and MTP harness cable.

12-fiber MTP cabling for 100G

Figure 3.—100G Channel 12-Fiber Legacy Configuration

With the use of 24-fiber MTP trunk cable, a single cable can support a 1G-100G channel and will simplify network upgrades immensely. 1G and 10G networks will link the MTP trunk cables to active equipment with MTP-LC modules and LC duplex patch cords. When equipment is upgraded, modules and patch cords are exchanged for the appropriate new MTP components, with no need to install new trunks. In addition, limiting changes reduce the inherent risks to network security and integrity whenever MAC work is completed. The following three figures separately show 24-fiber MTP cabling for 10G, 24-fiber MTP cabling for 40G and 24-fiber MTP cabling for 100G.

24-fiber MTP cabling for 10G

1/10G Channel 24-Fiber Configuration

24-fiber MTP cabling for 40G

40G Channel 24-Fiber Configurations

24-fiber MTP cabling for 100G

100G Channel 24-Fiber Configuration


12-fiber configuration may allow you to continue to use existing MTP trunk cables when upgrading your equipment (if you already have 12-fiber MTP/MPO trunk cables), but it will be likely to require additional MTP trunk cables, more connectivity components, and other network modifications. In the long run, it is much more expensive to retain these MTP trunk cables than to upgrade to 24-fiber up front.


High speed data transmission needs high density cabling in data center. Many data center managers prefer network components which can realize both high density connectivity and smaller occupation space in the enclosure which can leave more rack space for active equipment and reduce the total amount of floor space required. 24-fiber cabling has the obvious advantage. If the active equipment is configured for 24-fiber channel/lane assignments, enclosures can have twice as many connections with the same number of ports compared to 12-fiber (or the same number of connections using only half the ports).

The flip side of density is congestion. The more connectivity you are able to run in the same footprint, the more crowded it can become at the rack or cabinet. Here again, 24-fiber MTP trunk cable offers a huge benefit. Anywhere there is fiber, from within the enclosures to cable runs that connect different areas of the network, you will have just half the number of cables versus 12-fiber. Runs carry a lighter load, fibers are easier to manage, and improved airflow saves cooling costs.


Fewer connectivity components to be replaced or added simplifies migration and saves costs for both components and installation. Higher-density connectivity leaves more rack space for active equipment. And fewer MTP trunk cables reduce cable congestion throughout the data center. In a word, the 24-fiber MTP cabling will future-proof your network, lower your cost and maximize your return on investment.


In-depth Understanding of Polarity for MTP System

To meet increasing demands for high-density cabling and wider bandwidth of network applications, many data centers are migrating to the 40G and 100G Ethernet. To prepare for this change, MTP technology is applied to provide an easy migration path. Typically, a fiber optic link needs two fibers for full duplex communications. Thus the equipment on the link should be connected properly at each end. However, high-density connectivity usually requires more than two fibers in a link, which makes it more complex to maintain the correct polarity across a fiber network, especially when using multi-fiber MTP components for high data rate transmission. This article will specifically guide you to understand the polarity for MTP system and three MTP polarity methods.

What Is Polarity?

To form a fiber optic link, the optical transmitter at one end is connected to the optical receiver at the other end. This matching of the transmit signal (Tx) to the receive equipment (Rx) at both ends of the fiber optic link is referred to as polarity. In other words, polarity is the term used in the TIA-568 standard to explain how to make sure that proper connection is made between the transmitter at one end and the receiver at the other end. Once the component is connected to the wrong polarity, the transmission process will be unable to go on.

Structure of MTP Connector

As shown in the following picture, MTP connector is pin and socket connector, which requires a male side and a female side. And each MTP connector has a key on one side of the connector body. When the key sits on top, this is referred to as the key up position, and when the key sits on bottom, we call it key down position. Moreover, each of fiber holes in the connector is numbered in sequence from left to right. We will refer to these connector holes as positions, or P1, P2, etc. Besides, each connector is additionally marked with a white dot on the connector body to designate the position 1 side of the connector when it is plugged in.

Structure of MTP Connector

MTP Adapter Keying Options

MTP adapter contains an asymmetrical housing including an inverted key to achieve the appropriate fiber polarity. On type A adapters, the keys are inverted to ensure that the fiber at position 1 is connected to position 1 in the MTP fiber cable connector at the opposing end.

MTP key up to key down adapter

On type B adapters, both keys are oriented facing up in order that both MTP fiber cable connectors are mated “key up”. The fiber at position 1 is connected to position 12 in the MTP connector at the opposing end.

MTP key up to key up adapter

Three Polarity Methods for MTP System

The TIA standard defines two types of duplex fiber patch cables terminated with LC or SC connectors to complete an end-to-end fiber duplex connection: A-to-A type patch cable is a cross version and A-to-B type patch cable is a straight-through version. Based on this, there are three polarity connecting methods for MTP system. The following part will introduce them in details.

A-to-A type patch cable and A-to-B type patch cable

Method A

Method A utilizes “key up to key down” adapters to connect the MTP connectors. As the following figure shows, this method maintains registration of Fiber 1 throughout the optical circuit. Fiber 1 in the near end cassette mates to Fiber 1 in the trunk cable assembly, which mates to Fiber 1 in the remote cassette. The fiber circuit is completed by utilizing one flipped patch cord, either at the beginning or end of the permanent link, to insure proper transceiver orientation. Method A provides the simplest deployment, and works for single-mode and multimode channels, as well as can easily support network extensions.

Method A

Method B

Different from method A, method B uses “key up to key up” adapters. The fiber circuit is completed by utilizing straight patch cords at the beginning and end of the link, and all of the array connectors are mated key up to key up. This type of array mating results in an inversion, meaning that Fiber 1 is mated with Fiber 12, while Fiber 2 is mated with Fiber 11, etc. To ensure proper transceiver operation with this configuration, one of the cassettes needs to be physically inverted internally so Fiber 12 is mated with Fiber 1 at the end of the link. This method requires a more in-depth planning stage in order to properly manage the polarity of the links, and to identify where the actual inversions need to occur. Moreover, it only supports multimode fiber.

Method B

Method C

With the use of “key up to key down” adapters, method C looks like method A. However, the difference between method C and method A is that the flip does not happen in the end patch cords, but in the array cable itself. This method requires a more in-depth planning stage in order to properly manage the polarity of the links, and to identify where the actual flipped array cord is placed in the link. An additional drawback to this method is that if this link was to be extended, a straight array cord as used in Method A would need to be used to revert the polarity back to straight array polarity condition. In other words, unflip the array cable.

Method C


Knowing the polarity of MTP system helps you better upgrade the 40G and 100G networks. According to different polarity methods, choosing the right MTP patch cables, MTP connectors and MTP cassettes will provide greater flexibility and reliability for your high-density network.

Talk About AWG

For those who are familiar with different types of bulk Ethernet cables, it is not difficult to tell the differences between cat5e bulk cable and cat6 bulk cable. Apart from functional differences, like data transmission rate and transmission distance, the obvious physical difference is that cat6 bulk cable is thicker than cat5e bulk cable. One reason is that there is a longitudinal separator inside cat6 bulk cable which isolates each of the four pairs of twisted wire from the others. And another reason is that cat6 bulk cable utilizes copper conductor which has larger cross-section area than that of cat5e bulk cable—the wire gauge of cat6 bulk cable is 23AWG while the wire gauge of cat5e bulk cable is 24AWG. Reading this, you may get confused about the wire gauge sizes. What is AWG? Why does 23AWG cat6 bulk cable look thicker than 24AWG cat5e bulk cable? Is wire gauge a good indicator of cable quality? The answer will shown in this article.

What Is AWG?

First of all, let’s learn about what is AWG. AWG is the acronym for American Wire Gauge, which is commonly used as a standard of measurement for the cross-sectional area of a round wire. Incidentally, it’s important to remember that it is the size of the wire, not the size of the wire with its insulation, measured in AWG. In the case of solid wire, measurement of cross-sectional area is pretty straightforward. While stranded wire is another matter. Its wire gauge is measured by summing the cross-sectional area of the strands. Because there are small gaps between the strands, any given cross-sectional area of wire will take up more overall space in a stranded configuration than it will in a solid wire.

Why Does 23AWG Cat6 Bulk Cable Look Thicker Than 24AWG Cat5e Bulk Cable?

For a lot of people, the relationship of gauge to wire size is confused. In fact, the larger the gauge number is, the smaller the wire is. A 23AWG cable is 0.57mm wide, while a 24AWG cable is 0.52mm wide. That’s why we say 23AWG cat6 bulk cable looks thicker than 24AWG cat5e bulk cable. Here is a figure for you, which shows the comparison between cross-sectional area of cat5e bulk cable and cat6 bulk cable.

cross-sectional area of cat5e bulk cable and cat6 bulk cable

Is Wire Gauge a Good Indicator of Cable Quality?

The wire gauge is an important factor for determining current-carrying capacity of a cable. In the cable industry, it is referred to as current flow (of electrons) that runs throughout the wire. To better understand this, you can imagine a flow of water that runs through a pipe. The wider the pipe is, the more water runs through it in shorter time. How does that translate to cable? Resistance is how many electrons make it through the cable and do not evaporate. With a thinner cable, there is less flow and heat buildup, which causes the electrons to dissipate. The wider the cable, the easier it is for the electrons to pass through it. To reduce resistance and allow for a better flow of electrons, the cross-sectional area of the cable’s conductor must be increased. By doing so, resistance is automatically reduced over the cable.


An easy way to think about AWG is that the smaller the number is, the physically larger the cable is. Since wire gauge can be a meaningful factor in cable quality which is very important for some applications, like computer networking, speaker wire, analog and digital video, it is necessary to understand the demands of the application before making a judgment about cable quality based upon wire gauge. And I hope this article can help you have a better understanding of AWG.

All About STP Cable

We know that EMI (electromagnetic interference) is a disturbance in twisted pair cables. It affects the performance of an electrical circuit by electromagnetic induction, electrostatic coupling, or conduction. The primary way to combat EMI in cables is through the use of shielding. The shielding can act on EMI in two ways: first, it can reflect the energy; second, it can prevent the noise and conduct it to ground. With the help of cable shielding, cables can be immune to the disturbance and keep a stable connection. And this article will present some knowledge about STP (shielded twisted pair) cable.

Overview of STP Cable

First of all, let’s have a quick overview of STP cable. As the name suggests, STP cable has a metal shield around each twisted pair which is composed of copper tape, a layer of conducting polymer or a braid (made of copper or aluminum mostly). And the shield can be applied to each pair of the cable or to all pairs together. Typically, STP cable is more expensive than UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cable. And due to the fragile and rigid shield of STP cable, it is necessary to pay much attention to the installation and maintenance of STP cable.

Types of Shields

There are mainly two types of shields: braided shield and foiled shield. Braided shield is made up of woven mesh of bare or tinned copper wires. The braid makes it much easier for cable termination by crimping or soldering when attaching a connector. However, braided shield does not provide 100% coverage. It typically provides 70% to 95% coverage according to the tightness of weave. But as a matter of fact, 70% coverage is always sufficient if cables are fixed. Another shielding is foiled shield. This type of shielding uses a thin layer of aluminum. Because it is thin, it is harder to work with, especially when applying a connector. It provides 100% coverage for the conductors it surrounds.

As copper has higher conductivity than aluminum and the braid has more bulk for conducting noise, the braid is more effective as a shield. If the environment is extremely noisy, a cable may use multiple layers of shielding with both the braided and foil designs. Here is figure of braided shield, foiled shield and braided/foiled shield, from which you can have a better understanding of inner structure of these three types of shields.

braided shield, foiled shield and braided foiled shield

Different Constructions of Shielding

When you plan to buy shielded 100m cat6 cable on store, you may have to make a choice between different construction of shielding. And here are are some commonly used shielding constructions:

1) Individual Shield

U/FTP is the typical individual shielding using aluminum foil. This kind of construction has one shield for each twisted pair or quad above the conductor and insulation. Individual shield especially protects neighboring pairs from crosstalk.

2) Overall Shield

F/UTP, S/UTP, and SF/UTP are overall shielding with different shield materials. Overall shield refers to the entire coverage around the whole cable. This type of shielding helps prevent EMI from entering or exiting the cable.

3) Individual and Overall Shield

F/FTP, S/FTP, and SF/FTP are individual and overall shield. This type of construction has both layers of shielding. And its immunity to EMI disturbance is greatly improved.

Meanings of the abbreviated letters:

U = unshielded

F = foiled shielding

S = braided shielding

TP = twisted pair


Power cables are constructed with shielding to be electromagnetic compatible (EMC) to minimize noise generation, which affects many other systems like radio and data communication. Bulk Ethernet cables are shielded to prevent the effects on the data transmitted from EMI. To further prevent cross talk and coupling, some bulk Ethernet cables are also paired and individually shielded. In some applications, such as those needing servo cables, double or even triple, shielding is required around individual conductors, around twisted pairs, and around the entire cable. By the way, if you use shielded cat6 cable for your network, the cat6 patch panel you choose must be shielded, too.


Adopting twisted pair cable shielding is an effective method to prevent EMI from interfering signal transmission. For the purpose of providing a reliable connection between electronic devices, choosing a proper shielded twisted pair cable is essential. FS.COM provides various types of shielded cables, such as FTP cat5e cable 305m, SFTP 100m cat6 cable, SFTP 1000 feet cat6 cable.

Distinguish A Good Ethernet Cable From A Bad One During the Selection

When you plan to deploy your network by using bulk Ethernet cable, you will find there are always various types of bulk Ethernet cables available on the market. And cables provided by different vendors vary in quality. There is no doubt that the quality of bulk Ethernet cable have an influence on the network performance. During the selection, how to distinguish a good Ethernet cable from a bad one is critical, which can also directly embody the ability of an engineer. Then, how to make sure that bulk Ethernet cables used in your network are of good quality? This article aims to share some tips with you.

Test the Data Transmission Rate

Testing the data transmission rate is one of the most effective methods to identify the quality of Ethernet cables. It is recommended that you connect two computers directly to do the test. But there may be some other factors that can affect the data transmission rate of the bulk Ethernet cable, such as the configuration of computer itself, the network card, RJ45 connector and so on. Hence, you should use machines with high configuration to reduce the external factors on the data transmission rate of the bulk Ethernet cable to a minimum. In this way, the result of test will be accurate.

Test the Flexibility

Ethernet cables of good quality are as flexible as possible, because the convenience of cabling has been taken into account at design time. It is easy to bend them in any ways and they are less likely to be broken easily. However, on the current market, there are some inferior bulk Ethernet cables which are mixed with other cheap metal components. The texture of such bulk Ethernet cables is no longer so soft and the data transmission rate becomes slower. In the process of cabling, if you bend the bulk Ethernet cable repeatedly, the copper wires inside the cable may be broken. While if the cable is too soft, then you should also note that it may be a fake and shoddy product.

Test the Flammability

In general, the materials composed of bulk Ethernet cable must be characterized with fire resistance, otherwise there is a fire, it will suffer heavy losses. Therefore, when choosing the bulk Ethernet cable, it is necessary to check the flammability of the cable jacket. Take cat6 cable 305m for example. In the test, you can use scissor to cut off about 2 cm length of its cable jacket, then burn it with a lighter. Under the condition of fire, cable jacket of good quality will gradually melt and deform after six seconds, with white smoke, but it will not burn itself up; while if the cable jacket is unable to resist the fire and burns up in less two seconds, with a large amount of black smoke, even though the cat6 cable 305m can provide 1000Mbps data transmission rate, you should give up the choice.

Test the Temperature Resistance

When carrying out cabling, bulk Ethernet cables are highly required to resist the external temperature changes. Not to say they can resist any change in the environment, at least those cables will not become soften under high temperature environment or frost crack under low temperature environment. For the sake of the performance of cable that will not be affected in the high temperature environment, cable jacket of good quality bulk Ethernet cable utilizes the material that can resist high temperature of up to about 50 degrees. And phenomenon like becoming soften or deformation will not occur. Take cat6 cable 305m from Fiberstore for example, its operation temperature range is from -10 degrees to 60 degrees and its installation temperature range is from 0 degree to 50 degrees. To do the test, you can place a short length of its cable jacket next to the stove for a while. And you will find that the cable jacket does not become softer than the normal one, it means that the quality of this cat5e cable 305m is good.

Observe the Identification

In the actual selection of Ethernet cables, sometimes due to the lack of test environment or conditions, you are not able to test the quality or material of the cable by the methods mentioned above. So what should you do at that time? You might as well observe the identification on the cable jacket. Normally, the regular brands of Ethernet cables have category identification and manufacture trademark on the cable jacket. If there is no identification on the cable jacket, you should be vigilant and try to create conditions to test the cable by following the above methods. Here is a figure of cat5e cable, from which we can clearly see the category identification and some other information about the cable.

cat5e cable


It is essential to select Ethernet cables of good quality for your network deployment, and that is the basic requirement to make your network achieve high performance level. As a result, when making a choice among various Ethernet cables, you have to observe carefully, compare more and test more. FS.COM provides good quality bulk Ethernet cables with many color and length options, such as gray cat6 cable 305m, yellow cat6 cable 100m, red cat6 cable 305m.

An Easy Way to Build a Copper Network at Home

It can be easily found that more and more home devices are getting access to the network, such as television, air condition, light controls and other digital recording devices. Though the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) is being widely deployed, most of our home devices are still with copper based interfaces like RJ45 interfaces. In addition, the copper network cable and technologies are keeping developing to satisfy the requirements for high data rate broadband. Thus, many people are more likely to deploy a copper based network at home which is more cost-effective and easier to manage. This article is going to introduce an easy way to build a copper network at home.

Factors to Consider Before Copper Home Network Deployment

To build a copper network at home is easier than that of a fiber optic based home network, even if you have little knowledge about it. But there are still a lot of things to be considered before you build a copper network at home. For example, you should make sure what you want from this copper home network. Of course, good access to broadband and WiFi are the most basic and important requirements. You should also take the port number and expectation of the network performance into consideration, which will directly decide the product selection or the cost of your network.

Three Steps to Build A Copper Home Network

There are mainly three steps to build a copper network at home which will be introduced in the following part of this article.

Bring the Service Provider Distribution Cable to Your Home

Nowadays, in order to achieve quick installation, the broadband service provider will set a distribution point near or inside a building. Fiber or copper cables are deployed in this building to connect every required house to this fiber or copper distribution point, thus providing broadband services to end users. Usually the distribution cable from the broadband service provider should be connected to a router which will be connected to each room of the house. If the distribution cable is fiber optic based, then you need to connect the distribution fiber cable from the broadband service provider to an ONU (Optical Network Unit) which can convert the optical signals into electrical signals and distribute the signals to different ports and home devices. At present, there are a variety of ONUs and routers available on the market which can support WiFi and satisfy various port requirements. If your home is not very big, you just need to choose one ONU or router for the whole home network.

Wire the Whole Connection for Your Home

After bringing the service provider distribution cable to your home, you should determine how many ports your home network requires and how many devices should be connected to the network, which is very important for building a home wired network with good broadband access. From the figure below, you can learn that the bedroom, living room, office and dining room of this house are all connected to the home network for better and smarter performance. Even the telephone is connected to the network via the voice cable, ensuring the home owner would not miss phone calls. As for which type of copper network cable should be chosen for the connection, Cat5e is enough for most of applications. However, Cat6 and Cat7 are better for future use.

Build a Copper Network at Home

Terminate Copper Cables and Connect Them to Home Devices

The final step is to terminate these copper cables and connect them to home devices. In general, to ensure a secure and reliable home network, the copper network cable is suggested to be terminated at the wall plate port. Besides, a length of RJ45 copper network patch cable should be used to connect the port with target devices, thereby the whole deployment of home network can be finished.


If you plan to build a copper network at home, I hope this article can be helpful for you. What’s more, it is necessary to choose the right products for high network performance. FS.COM provides a wide range of bulk network cables, such as bulk Cat5e cable, bulk Cat6 cable and so on.

Tips for Good Cable Management

Data center is regarded as the “central nervous system” of the whole network. If there is something wrong with data center, the network performance will be seriously affected. As high-density cabling becomes a trend, cable management turns out to be more and more important. We can clearly see the results of bad cable management and good cable management from the figure below. Which one do you want? Of course the good one. This article is going to share some tips for good cable management with you.

Bad Cable Management and Good Cable Management

Advantages of Cable Management

Before we move to the tips for good cable management, let’s have a look at the advantages of good cable management. First, good cable management keeps cables installed properly, which can avoid the risk of over bending. Second, Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) can be reduced to greatly improve network performance. Third, cables are organized tidily which is good for airflow. Fourth, work efficiency can be improved when the cables are managed well, especially when you need to find out a link problem. Fifth, the cost is affordable, which is a necessary investment to avoid unknown loss caused by cable mess in the future.

Tips for Good Cable Management
Cable Manager

Choose the suitable cable manager for your application. Cable manager is mainly used to make proper and neat routing of cables between equipment in racks, protecting cables from damage. Horizontal cable manager and vertical cable manager are two common types for different cabling directions. Before using horizontal cable manager, the rack height and supported cable density must be determined. While using vertical cable manager with angled patch panel, the cables are allowed to directly enter into vertical cable manager which eliminates the need for horizontal cable manager. This can greatly save rack space for other active equipment. In addition, there are some other types of cable managers for different applications. No matter which type you choose, remember to leave some space in the cable manager for future growth and cabling demands.

Cable Tie

Use cable tie to bundle cables together or to fix cables firmly to devices. Cable ties made of different materials and designed in different structures are available on the market, such as stainless steel zip tie and velcro cable tie. Stainless steel zip tie is characterized by high strength, high temperature resistance and anti-corrosion, which is a good option for applications in harsh environment. And the self-locking mechanism of stainless steel zip tie can provide firm locking for the cables. Characterized by easy using way, velcro cable tie is also popular with many data center managers. It is a cost-effective choice because it can be reused for many times. What’s more, it can be cut according to the desired length which is really convenient to use. By the way, your choice should be based on the environment and exact requirements for your application.

Cable Labeling And Color Code

Apply cable labeling and color code for easy identification of the cables. The cabling system of data center is complicated which contains different types of cables as well as different connection ways. It is difficult for data center managers to remember and identify the types and connection ways of all the cables. No matter it is a power or data cable, it is proved that cable labeling and color code are critical if a problem arises. They can greatly save time and reduce your workload, especially when you need to trace cables. For example, the signal transmission is abnormal and you have to find the source—which cable caused the problem. With the use of cable labeling and color code, you can easily know the role or function of the cable or the connection way.


This article have introduced several tips for proper cable management. It is a simple and inexpensive cable management solution to keep your cables well-organized and make your network performance achieve a high level. Hope the cable management tips mentioned above can do you a favor in your data center cable management.