Fiber optic connector basics

Introduction to fiber optic connector

When terminating the end of an optical fiber, the fiber optic connector is used to join optical fibers where a connection or disconnect capability is required. A fiber optic connector has three main components: the ferrule, the connector body, and the mating mechanism. Usually made of high-quality ceramic, metal, or plastic, the splint is a thin (often cylindrical) structure that supports the fiberglass. The body of the connector is a plastic or metal structure that supports the ferrule and adheres to the jacket and reinforces the members of the fiber cable itself. And the docking mechanism is a part of the body of the connector that holds the connector in place when connected to another device.

Since fiber cable transmits pulses of light rather than electrical signals, it is important to choose a good fiber optic connector that perfectly aligns the microscopic glass fibers to allow communication. Today, there are many different types of fiber optic connectors on the market (as shown in the following figure). Different types of fiber optic cables may require different connectors. Viewed from the fiber optic types, fiber optic connectors can be loosely classified into standard fiber optic connectors, small form factor fiber optic connectors, and ribbon fiber connectors. These types of fiber connector family can sometimes overlap each other.

fiber optic connector
fiber optic connector

Types of fiber optic connectors

1. Standard fiber optic connectors

Generally, with a 2.5mm gland, standard fiber optic connectors are commonly used connectors in the fiber network. They can be simplex and duplex and are available in single and multimode fibers. ST, FC, SC, FDDI, and ESCON are standard fiber connectors. But they also differ from each other. The ST connector is the most popular connector for multimode fiber optic LAN applications. The FC connector is specifically designed for telecommunications applications and provides non-optical disconnect performance. The SC connector is widely used in single mode applications for its excellent performance. The FDDI connector, which is a multi-mode duplex connector, uses two 2.5mm sockets and is designed for use on an FDDI network. ESCON connectors are similar to FDDI connectors, but contain a retractable cover instead of a fixed cover.

2. Small Form Factor Fiber Optic Connectors

To meet the demand for devices that can fit in tight spaces and allow denser packing of connections, several small form factor fiber optic connectors have been developed since the 1990s. In small form, some are miniaturized versions of older connectors, built around a 1.25mm ferrule rather than the 2.5mm ferrule. For example, LC, MU, E2000 connectors. While the others are based on smaller versions of MT type ferrules for multimode fiber connections or other completely new designs. For example, the MT-RJ connector, which has a miniature two-fiber ferrule with two guide pins parallel to the fibers on the outside. Its overall size is approximately the same as that of an RJ45 connector.

3. Ribbon Fiber Connectors

MTP and MPO are compatible ribbon fiber connectors based on MT ferrules that allow fast and reliable connections for up to 12 fibers. Since the MTP product complies with the MPO standard, the MTP connector is an MPO connector. Together with MTP patch cables (for example, MTP-MTP fiber trunk cable), MTP connectors can upgrade 10G network to 40G / 100G.


The fiber optic connector is an essential part of the fiber optic network. Due to the popularity of the fiber optic network, about 100 fiber optic connectors have been introduced to the market. As the leading professional supplier of fiber optic products in China, Fiberstore offers various types of fiber cable connectors, especially the commonly used FC, LC, SC, ST and MPO connectors.