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Difference Between Single Mode And Multi Mode Fiber

Difference Between Single Mode And Multi Mode Fiber


Optical fibers are the prime components of an optical network. The optical fibers facilitate data transmission in the network. It utilizes light pulses and the optical energy travels along the fibers. These fibers are manufactured with glass or plastic. High-quality optical fibers feature metallic wires, and they provide optimal protection from physical damage. More importantly, these are not affected by electromagnetic interference. The technology utilizes the principle of the TIR, or total internal reflection, of light. The data transmission follows the principle of light propagation. Based on the transmission types and other features, there are two types of optical fibers in the industry - single-mode optical fibers and multimode optical fibers. A single-mode optical fiber is apt for long-distance signal transmission, and the multimode fiber is ideal for short-distance transmission.


Types of optical fiber


Single-mode and multimode optical fibers are excellent picks for optic communication systems. The diameter of the fiber core impacts the number of optic rays and light modes to be broadcasted. It also determines the range over which the signal could be transferred. All these features reflect the primary difference between the two optical fiber types. Read on and explore more about single-mode fiber and multimode fiber. 


Single-Mode Fiber – What is it?


SMF is the abbreviation for single-mode fiber. It has a small core diameter, and thus, it can transmit only one mode of light. The single-mode fibers are apt picks for cable television and backbone networks. The features of the single-mode fiber include - high-speed transmission and long-distance compatibility. These fibers can transfer data up to 80 km at an impeccable speed of 100 GBPS. The small core diameter reduces the signal attenuation and dispersion. These fibers have the capacity to withstand damage and signal integrity across long distances in a network. All these features make the single-mode fibers the ideal choice for high-speed data transmission applications.


Multimode Fiber – What is it?


MMF is the abbreviation for multimode fibers, and it can transfer multiple light modes at a time. The large diameter of the core makes it the apt choice. A multimode fiber is apt for short-distance data transfer and one can find its extensive application in buildings or data centers, etc. The propagation of many modes of light is possible with this fiber and it can be generated by LED and laser light sources. All these are beneficial aspects of the fibers and are the outcome of the large core size. The level of modal dispersion is high, which creates a restriction in the bandwidth and signal range. Multimode fiber is best for short-distance data transfer applications. It features a signal amplification-free data transfer solution. It supports a transmission rate of 550 meters at a speed of 10 Gbps. 


Prime differences – Know them all.


  1. Structural difference – One can recognize the structural difference between the fibers through the names. A single-mode optical fiber can transmit a single light mode. A multimode fiber is ideal for the transmission of several light rays at a time. The structural difference makes them unique in functionality. A single mode fiber optical cable has a 9µm optical core, and it helps long-distance transmission with higher bandwidth. The standard size of the optic fiber core in a multimode fiber optic cable is 50µm.
  2. Bandwidth difference – The bandwidth difference is remarkable for the fibers and impacts the network. A single mode fiber optical cable utilizes a high-density light source with lower attenuation. It can also deliver unlimited bandwidth, making it the perfect pick for high-paced applications. In contrast, a multi mode fiber optical cable can transmit more than one light mode with higher attenuation. Thus, the bandwidth is limited in multi mode fiber optic cables. It restricts the application scopes. Higher bandwidth is the best choice for users requiring an uninterrupted experience. Hence, the application of single mode optical fiber is more when compared to the multi mode solutions. 
  3. Application difference - The prime differences between single mode fiber optical cable and multimode fiber optic cable could be witnessed through their application. The single-mode optical cables are apt for transmitting a single light mode with a 9µm optical core. Thus, single mode cables can sustain long-distance transmission. Also, the long-distance transmission range does not impact the bandwidth. The structural difference and various aspects related to cable bandwidth make the fiber optic unique and significant. 


Closing note


The noteworthy differences between single-mode and multi mode fiber cables can trouble you during the selection process. Everything depends on the application and network requirements. The selection is critical, and you can ensure a reliable solution by finding the best fiber cable that meets your needs. Get the essential fiber cable based on the functionalities and structures and make the right choice. Keep the noteworthy differences between the fiber cables in your mind and select the best. 






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