What is OM4 fiber and what makes it future-proof ?

You know how it pretty much works:

There are two types of optical fiber: single mode and multimode.

  • Single mode fiber can be either OS1 or OS2
  • multimode fiber is divided into OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4
    the last two being the media choice for data center applications, specially OM4.

OM4 is a laser optimized 50 micron glass fiber that has been available for a long time now, but it was only standardized as a fiber type in August 2009 by the TIA/EIA and defined as 492AAAD.

Its standard specifies an Effective Modal Bandwidth of 4700 MHz/km at 850 nm for laser sources and 3500 MHz/km for over-filled launch. This specifications allow OM4 to be the multimode fiber that supports the longest distances for several applications.

OM4 reduce the number of applications that truly need costly single mode fiber by providing a minimum reach of 125 m within the 40 GB/s and 100 GB/s standards, offering a solution for high density systems and allowing more installations to avoid the high cost of single mode systems.

OM4 provides an additional layer of performance for 40 and 100 GB/s applications required for data centers at longer distances when compared with OM3 fiber.

But it is compatible with OM3 fiber systems, allowing these two kind of fiber to be interchangeable within their limitations. 



Optimize your network by choosing OM4 instead of OM3 or OS2

Well, the basic thing you have to keep in mind is the cost versus the distance you need the fiber for.

OS2 fiber meets all the bandwidth requirements data centers need to carry large amounts of data, but its cost is just worthy for links from 2 km to 100 km, because transceivers and laser systems that light up single mode fiber are really expensive.

  • This kind of fiber is mostly used in long-haul applications.

But most important: 

OM4 fiber works with cheaper VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) that are significantly cheaper and meets OS2 specifications at shorter distances, suitable for data center applications. But even there you have to analyze your needs, because OM3 can also be appropriate for some tasks.

OM3 fiber is suitable for 10 GB/s Ethernet transmission at 300 meter distances, while OM4 works at 550 meters. When it comes to 40 GB/s and 100 GB/s applications, OM3 is able to work at 100 meters and OM4 at 150 meters. So, OM4 is not here to replace OM3 fiber and it will not be obsolete in the short or long run.

OM4 gives you the opportunity to future-proof your wiring infrastructure

by providing a better performance to support longer distances, more Ethernet connections and Fiber Channel applications.

OM3 / OM4
Create your own infographics

At Beyondtech, we offer our clients hight quality OM4 cables and patch cords that perfectly meet standards and specifications, providing our customers with the highest quality products to suit their cabling needs. 


May 10, 2016 by
Older Post / Newer Post