Tag Archives: multimode fiber

What Is OM3 Fiber?

Since the internet spread out across the globe, the aim of fiber to the building or home has been achieved through the installation of optical fibers. Besides, with the features of huge capacity, board transmission bandwidth and powerful resisting jam ability, there is no doubt that optical fibers have been the preferred transfer media of gigabit ethernet. OM3 fiber is one of the mainstream market optical fibers.

The Emergence of OM3 Fiber

OM3 fiber is a kind of multimode fiber which is usually applied in short distance. In data communication segment, multimode fibers are divided into several categories, OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4.

The earlier fibers, OM1 fiber has a core size of 62.5 micrometers while OM2 fiber features with a smaller core size of 50 micrometers. They are generally applied in premises applications supporting ethernet rates of 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps. The two types are ideal for use with LED transmitters due to their relatively large core size. However, as the increasing demand for bandwidth and higher throughput, especially along came the 10 Gigabit Ethernet, LEDs could not keep pace for they can not be turned on and off fast enough to support higher-speed applications. In response, the data communication industry begun to develop a high-speed laser light source called a vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL). LEDs typically support a maximum modulation rate of only a few hundred Mbit/s, but VCSELs can handle the modulation rate up to 10Gbit/s. As a result, OM3 fiber was born, which commonly refers to as “laser optimized multimode fiber”. OM3 fiber is designed for 10Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 300 meters.

OM3 fiber

OM3 Fiber vs OM4 Fiber

Fibers of OM3 and OM4 are both laser optimized 50/125 multimode fiber that are produced to accommodate today’s higher speed networks. This  means their core diameter is 50µm and the cladding diameter is 125µm. Compared with other multimode fibers, these two share a special coating that can prevent light from escaping the core. In addition, OM3 and OM4 are optimized for 850nm transmission and have aqua sheaths. The technology of OM3 and OM4 make it possible that the designs of laser transmission system can utilize multimode optical fiber without the use of mode conditioning cables.

With so many similarities, there are still some differences between OM3 fiber and OM4 fiber.

  • Transmission Distance

The main difference between OM3 and OM4 is the transmission distance because they have different internal constructions. OM4 employs a higher modal bandwidth of 4700 MHz/km while the modal bandwidth of OM3 is 2000 MHz/km, which means OM4 can carry more data or information within the same distance.

  • OM3 Enjoys a Price Advantage

As mentioned above, because of different constructions, the primary cost of OM4 rises. The price of OM4 is double that of OM3 fiber’s due to its manufacture technique and market fluctuations. In addition, considering that 90% data centers have their runs under 100 meters, OM3 may be a better choice for money saving.


At present, OM3 fiber has successfully made contributions to the implementation of today’s higher speed network. And with good performance like high data rate and lower price, it has become a must for data center upgrade. At FS.COM, the comprehensive range of products in OM3 fiber offer customers the ability to create the optimal network.


What Is SFP Fiber Module?

Nowadays, almost all enterprise-class switches include two or more SFP (small form-factor pluggable) ports, allowing them to become part of a ring or star-based network topology spread among different buildings, floors or areas, and connected via fiber optic cabling. In many cases, SFP module is also known as GBIC (mini-Gigabit interface converter) modules, as they have replaced the older GBIC transceivers. SFPs can be used and interchanged on a wide variety of products, and they can be either SFP fiber module or SFP copper module.

What Is SFP Fiber Module?

SFP fiber modules are connected by fiber optical cables, which are available with a variety of transmitter and receiver types, allowing users to select the appropriate transceiver for each link to provide the required optical reach over multimode fiber or single-mode fiber.

sfp fiber module

Optical SFP modules are commonly available in several different categories with different features:

  • For multi-mode fiber, with black or beige extraction lever; for single-mode fiber, with blue extraction lever
  • SX – 850 nm, for a maximum of 550 m at 1.25 Gb/s (Gigabit Ethernet) or 150m at 4.25 Gb/s (Fibre Channel)
  • LX – 1310 nm, for distances up to 10 km
  • BX – 1490 nm/1310 nm, Single Fiber Bi-Directional Gigabit SFP Transceivers, paired as BS-U and BS-D for Uplink and Downlink respectively, also for distances up to 10 km
  • 1550 nm 40 km (XD), 80 km (ZX), 120 km (EX or EZX)

SFP Fiber Module Datasheet

With a wide application in optical network, many manufactures like Cisco and FS.COM provide a variety SFP modules. These models can be used on a wide variety of network equipment and intermixed in combinations of 1000BASE-T, 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX/LH, 1000BASE-EX, 1000BASE-ZX, or 1000BASE-BX10-D/U on a port-by-port basis. Part of the main products of Cisco SFP Fiber Modules are listed as below.

Product Wavelength (nm) Fiber Type Operating Distance (m) Transmit Power Range (dBm) Receive Power Range (dBm)
1000BASE-SX 850 MMF 220, 275, 500, 1000 -3 to -9.5 0 to -17
1000BASE-LX/LH 1310 MMF, SMF 550, 10000 -3 to -9.5 -3 to -20
1000BASE-EX 1310 SMF 40000 +3 to -1 +1 to -22
1000BASE-ZX 1550 SMF Around 70 km +5 to 0 -3 to -23
1000BASE-BX-U 1310 SMF 10000 3 to -9 -3 to -19.5
1000BASE-BX-D 1490 SMF 10000 3 to -9 -3 to -19.5
GLC-BX40-D-I 1550 SMF 40000 -5 to +3 -25 to +3
GLC-BX80-D-I 1490 SMF 80000 -2 to +3 -27 to +3
GLC-GE-DR-LX 1310 SMF 10000 -9.5 to -3 -25 to +3

SFP Fiber Module vs SFP Copper Module

SFP port can be plugged in with both SFP fiber module and SFP copper module. The biggest difference between SFP fiber module and SFP copper module lies in the cabling method. As it has been mentioned before, a SFP fiber module runs on a optical fiber (SMF/MMF). While a copper SFP works on a twisted copper cable (CAT5/CAT5a/cat6). Except for the cabling specification, their transmission distances and connectors are also different.

SFP Module Type Cabling Method Connector Transmission Distance Maximum transmission rate
SFP Fiber Module optical fiber RJ45 100m 1000 Mbps / 1 Gbps
SFP Copper Module twisted copper cable Duplex LC Over 100m 1000 Mbps / 1 Gbps


SFP module can connect various network devices such as switch, router, or fiber media converter to a fiber optic or copper networking cable. It is a popular industry format jointly developed and supported by many network component vendors. For SFP fiber module, it can transmit signal over a longer distance than SFP copper module. And the price for SFP fiber module is also cheaper than SFP copper module, so it gains more edges and popularity in the market of SFP modules.