A Quick Guide to Common Fiber Optic Connectors

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Connectors are supporting the processing of more data — at faster speeds and in smaller footprints — than ever before. Traditional approaches can’t keep up with this demand, which is why design engineers are turning to fiber optics as a solution. With the increased use of fiber optic communication comes the need for fiber optic connectors. According to a report by Market Research Future, the fiber optic connector market size is growing rapidly, expected to reach USD 5 billion by 2023. 

Fiber Optics

A fiber optic connector terminates on the end of a fiber optic cable and enables a quicker connection and disconnection than traditional splicing. The awareness and adoption of fiber optics have made high-speed communication possible not only in the consumer market but in military communications, defense vehicles, factory automation, and even crane systems for the oil and gas industry.

Cloud computing, network virtualization, data centers, military vehicles, aircraft, trains, factory automation, and oil rigs all involve a tremendous amount of data that must be efficiently transmitted back and forth through electronic systems. One of the critical factors in successful fiber optic communication is the choice of fiber optic connector. Numerous fiber optic connectors have been introduced to the marketplace, but only a few are commonly used. We’ll be discussing the most common types of fiber optic connectors in this quick guide.

Common Fiber Optic Connectors

SC Connector

SC connectors go by several names, including Subscriber Connectors, Square Connectors, or Standard Connectors. These connectors were developed in the 1980s but remain commonly used in applications that call for quick patching of cables into rack or wall mounts, including cable TV (CATV), media converters, and FTTX (Fiber to the x). 

SC connectors are non-optical disconnect connectors with a square plastic housing, a 2.5 mm ferrule diameter, and a push-pull latching mechanism. They are also available as either simplex or duplex and single-mode or multi-mode.

LC ConnectorLC  fiber connector

LC connectors, or Lucent Connectors, are ideal for high-density applications and are commonly used in Fiber To The Home (FTTH) connections, local networks, CATV, data center interconnections (DCIs), and other high-density applications. At half the size of an SC connector, LC fiber connectors have a small form factor and use a 1.25 mm ferrule diameter. They have a push-pull mechanism to achieve a reliable connection, are available in both simplex and duplex versions, and for single-mode and multi-mode fiber optic cable.

FC Connector

FC connectors, or Ferrule Connectors, are single-mode and multi-mode fiber optic connectors still used for telecommunications applications that utilize non-optical disconnectors. However, their use is becoming less common and is primarily being replaced by SC and LC connectors because of the vibration loosening and insertion loss of FC connectors. These connectors are round with a 2.5 mm ferrule diameter and a threaded coupling mechanism.

ST ConnectorST connector

ST connectors, or Straight Tip Connectors, are available in both simplex and duplex, are single-mode and multi-mode fiber optic connectors ideal for field installable applications because of their quick connections, reliability, and durability. ST connectors have a 2.5 mm ferrule diameter and use a bayonet coupling mechanism. 

PEI-Genesis: Your Source for Fiber Optic Connectors

Suppose your design depends on fiber optic connector systems. Whether it's for the harsh environment of military vehicles or a massive data center, PEI-Genesis has the solutions for you. Our work goes beyond just supplying necessary connectors — we continue to support our customers through testing, cleaning, inspection, and ongoing maintenance. We can even produce ruggedized kits to help you maintain reliability. 

Our portfolio of fiber optic connectors includes SC, LC, FC, and ST connectors and additional types from global suppliers such as Cinch and Amphenol, plus our proprietary brand Sure-Seal Connections®. Whether you need an off-the-shelf solution or a customized fiber optic connector solution, let our team at PEI-Genesis be your Trusted Advisors.

See New Fiber Optic Products from PEI-Genesis

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