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What is the difference between MPO and MTP connectors?

MTP/MPO fiber optic cable assemblies have been around for several years now. This style interface is a great solution for a high density backbone trunk cable or a high density data center application, but there seems to be a bit of confusion between the MPO and the MTP designator. At first glance, they look the same.  Is it a different name for the same connector? Does the name have to do with the connector coming from a different manufacturer?  It is a bit confusing and I get asked these questions a lot. I am enclosing a great excerpt courtesy of US Conec, the Manufacture that created the MTP interface that details how the MTP and MPO are alike and how the differ:   What is an MPO connector? MPO is the industry acronym for “multi-fiber push on.” The MPO-style connectors are most commonly defined by two different documents:  IEC-61754-7 is the commonly sited standard for MPO connectors internationally • EIA/TIA-604-5, also known as FOCIS 5, is the most common standard sited for in the US  What is a MTP® connector? The MTP connector is a high performance MPO connector with multiple engineered product enhancements to improve optical and mechanical performance when compared to generic MPO connectors. The MTP connector is in complete compliance with all MPO connector standards including the EIA/TIA-604-5 FOCIS 5 and the IEC-61754-7. The MTP connector is inter-matable with all generic MPO-style connectors that are compliant to these industry standards. Generic MPO connectors are limited in performance and are not able to offer the high performance levels of the US Conec MTP connector. Is the MTP connector an MPO connector? Yes. The MTP connector is a high performance MPO connector engineered for better mechanical and optical performance. What makes the MTP connector superior to generic MPO connectors? The MTP connector has features and benefits that are not available on generic MPO connectors. Some of the key distinctions include:  The MTP connector housing is removable. This feature allows the customer to:   Re-work and re-polish the MT ferrule Change the gender after assembly or even in the field Scan the ferrule interferometrically after assembly   The MTP connector offers ferrule float to improve mechanical performance. This allows two mated ferrules to maintain physical contact while under an applied load. (US Patent 6,085,003) The MTP connector uses tightly held tolerance stainless steel guide pin tips with an elliptical shape. The elliptical shaped guide pin tips improves guidance and reduces guide hole wear. (US Patent 6,886,988) The MTP connector has a metal pin clamp with features for centering the push spring. This feature:   Eliminates lost pins Centers spring force Eliminates fiber damage from spring   The MTP connector spring design maximizes ribbon clearance for twelve fiber and multifiber ribbon applications to prevent fiber damage. The MTP connector is offered with four standard variations of strain relief boots to meet a wide array of applications.   Round, Loose Fiber Cable Constructions Oval Jacketed Cable Bare Ribbon Fiber Short boot which reduces the footprint by 45%. Ideal for use in space limited applications.  What performance should I expect from my MTP connection? The chart on our MT Ferrule product page, lists the maximum Insertion Loss (IL) and Return Loss (RL) you should expect for each ferrule grade. However, improper use or termination can degrade these values. MTP performance is primarily driven by three factors:  Selecting Quality Connector Components: US Conec supplies several grades of high quality MTP components. Each performance grade is designed to better control the location of every mated fiber pair. This is achieved by our high-performance, injection molded parts which control the key mechanical tolerances. For example, US Conec’s SM Elite and MM Elite grade of MTP connectors have tighter tolerances on several key attributes, including guide pin & fiber hole diameter and location. To achieve a certain grade of performance both the MT ferrule kit and MTP housing kit need to be of the required grade. Achieving Physical Contact: Physical contact is heavily dependent on how well the MT ferrule is terminated and polished (i.e. the endface geometry). The MTP is designed to meet Telcordia GR-1435 qualification requirements. US Conec freely shares our best practices documentation to meet this specification. In addition, we offer a world class Training Center in our Hickory, North Carolina facility. Training classes are hands-on tutorials designed to teach the latest in MTP termination processes and test equipment.  Physical contact is also dependent on using the proper spring force inside the MTP. US Conec offers different spring force components to achieve physical contact for 12-fiber single-mode MTPs, and up to 24-fiber multi-mode MTPs. Please note that for higher fiber count MTPs, an additional loss penalty should be expected. This is due to the incremental increase in required spring force as more fiber rows are added. For higher fiber count MTPs, please contact US Conec to learn what additional insertion loss values may apply.  Ensuring Endface Cleanliness: Defects or debris on a physical contact connector can significantly degrade performance. US Conec offers a variety of cost-effective cleaning products for MTPs, and many other connector styles across the industry.  What is the best way to clean connectors with MT ferrules including the MTP connector? The best method available for cleaning MT ferrules is the use of an advanced dry cloth cleaning system like the NTT-AT OPTIPOP and the US Conec IBC™ family of cleaners. The anti-static cleaning cloths that are used in both series of dry cleaners are designed to remove contaminants such as dust and oils that can come into contact with the ferrule and negatively impact optical performance. The dry cleaning solutions offered by US Conec are designed and tested for single pass cleaning and will not leave a residue like alcohol based systems or simply shift the contaminants towards the outer edges of the ferrule like low-grade cleaning clothes and swabs with limited or no anti-static properties. The OPTIPOP and IBC family of cleaners are designed for use with both male and female connections and have options for single fiber, ceramic ferrule connectors. The IBC cleaners have been designed to work for cleaning connectors residing in the adapter. The OPTIPOP cassette and card cleaners allow the owner to refill the cleaning clothes which can reduce cost per cleaning below traditional cleaning methods. Is there are intellectual property associated with the MT end face geometry that I should be aware of? Yes. US Conec offers a label license to our customers. Link to "Label Licenses."   Click here to check out Falcon for your MTP cable needs