UNMASKING OM5

As data centers increase in size and scale,  various discussions about OM5 characteristics and features have attracted  much attention.OM5, originally called Wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF), differs from its multimode predecessors in that it has been designed to support the transmission of four wavelengths instead of the conventional one.Pressure continues to build for data center operators to migrate to faster applications and longer link distances.It is a 50/125-micron laser-optimized fiber that is optimized for enhanced performance for single-wavelength or multi-wavelength transmission systems with wavelengths in the vicinity of 850nm to 950nm. The actual operating band is from 850 to 953nm. The effective modal bandwidth for this new fiber is specified at the lower and upper wavelengths: 4700 MHz.km at 850nm and 2470 MHz.km at 953nm.”

MMF remains the dominant fibre type deployed in local area networks (LANs) and data centres (DCs) because it almost always delivers the lowest link cost (defined as the cost of fibre, connectivity and optical transceivers) for short distances. Today, higher-bandwidth fibres such as OM3 and OM4 are more prevalent, with OM5 recently joining the list of available fibre options.OM5 is designed to support at least four low-cost wavelengths in the 850-950 nm range, enabling optimal support of emerging Shortwave Wavelength Division Multiplexing (SWDM) applications that reduce parallel fiber count by at least a factor of four to allow continued use of just two fibers (rather than eight) for transmitting 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s and reduced fiber counts for higher speeds.

Up to now, multimode fibres were operated only in a narrow band at 850 nm or 1300 nm. The new fibre type OM5 with excellent transmission properties in a band of 100 nm has been developed to satisfy the rapidly increasing need for more and more bandwidth. During the past 30 years or so, the evolution of multimode fiber-optic cabling for the data center has followed a fairly methodical process. OM5 cabling supports all legacy applications at least as well as OM4, and is fully compatible and intermateable with OM3 and OM4 cabling. OM5, paired with shortwave WDM (SWDM) optical transceivers, aims to forestall the need to switch to single-mode fiber in medium-reach applications as requirements evolve to 40 Gbps and greaterAs 100G deployments in enterprise LAN or data centre networks become more prevalent, OM5 could become attractive if a reach up to 150 m is needed. Deployments of OM5 do provide some value for network managers who deploy 100G networks using BiDi or SWDM transceivers and who have links between 100 and 150 m.

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Fiber Type

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OM5

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Core Diameter (um)

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50/125

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Attenuation (dB/km)

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2.3

Min. OFL Bandwidth (MHz·km)

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850nm

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3500

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983nm

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1850

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1300nm

500

Min. Effective Modal Bandwidth (MHz·km)

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850nm

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4700

983nm

2470

Max. Transmission Distance (m)

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1G

1100

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10G

600

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40/100G

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200

Lime green is the official OM5 jacket color

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SHANGHAI TARLUZ TELECOM TECH. CO., LTD

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