Buyer Beware: The Savings from Low-Cost Generic Fiber Assemblies are Not Worth the Risk

A Closer Look at Plug and Play MPO/MTP Assemblies

Maybe you’re one of the data center managers that tries to save a little with cheaper fiber assemblies from generic assembly houses. But do you really know if these assemblies are viable for your high speed fiber links?

When it comes to plug and play multi-fiber MPO/MTP cable assemblies used in data center backbone 40 and 100 gigabit fiber links that handle larger sets of complex data from multiple sources, performance is more critical than ever—especially considering the more stringent channel loss requirements of these next generation speeds.

Siemon Labs recently completed comprehensive testing on the performance of plug and play MPO/MTP assemblies, and we can absolutely tell you that not all MPO/MTP assemblies are created equal.

We tested random samples of MPO/MTP and MPO/MTP-to-LC assemblies acquired via standard distribution from four different low-cost assembly houses and from Siemon to TIA and IEC standards for end face geometry, cleanliness, optical performance and mechanical reliability. Each assembly was also tested to Siemon’s specifications which are more stringent to ensure superior performance and application assurance. What did we find?

As detailed in the white paper “A Closer Look at Plug and Play MPO/MTP Assemblies,” the majority of the generic assemblies failed to meet minimum standards requirements across the range of performance-critical parameters. Siemon was the ONLY manufacturer to pass ALL the parameters for ALL tests. In fact, three of the four assembly houses had assemblies that didn’t even offer an insertion loss performance that would allow for the use of a cross connect in a 40 or 100 gigabit channel. And all samples from one of the assembly houses completely failed cable flex mechanical reliability testing with the cable jacket completely pulling out of the rear of the crimp sleeve!

Is this the kind of quality and performance you want to rely on for your high speed data links? Probably not.

Thankfully, Siemon plug and play fiber assemblies are manufactured using the highest quality materials and via rigorous process control over end face geometry, cleanliness and mechanical reliability to ensure superior optical performance. In other words, your high speed fiber transmission can rely on our assemblies.

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