What Are the Types Of Fiber Optic Cables?

What Are the Types Of Fiber Optic Cables?

As you all are familiar with the fact that fiber optic cables are used for transferring information in the form of data from one place to another, you will be intrigued in knowing that what are the types of fiber optic cables. Light beams after travelling through the fiber optic cable will emerge at the other end. These light pulses are converted back to electrical signals that are easily understood by the computer.

Types of Fiber Optic Cables

There are two types of fiber optic cables. There are 3 factors on the basis of which we classify fiber optic cables.

According to refractive indices:

On the basis of refractive indexes the two types of fiber optic cables are:

  • Step Index Fiber
  • Graded Index Fiber

According to material:

On the basis of material, the two types of fiber optic cable are:

  • Plastic Optical Fiber
  • Glass Fiber

According to propagation of light:

On the mode of propagation of light, the two types of fiber optic cable are:

  • Single mode
  • Multi mode

Here we will have a detailed discussion about the types of optical fiber that play a vital role in propagation of light.


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Single Mode:

Single mode fiber optic is normally used to transfer data over small distances

Core size of single mode fiber is 9 microns. It consists of a single light path that's why it is called single mode optical fiber. It covers distances up to 100km. The electronic devices that operate somewhere between 1300-1550 nanometer windows are required in single mode optical fiber. They are used widely in longer distance local area networks (LANs), telephone applications and TV Cables.

It can carry a higher bandwidth contrary to multi mode cables. However the light source required for it must have a narrow spectral width.

It is also called by the following names:

  • Uni mode fiber
  • Single mode fiber
  • Mono-mode fiber optic

We use single mode fiber optic when we want to send data at multi-frequency. The transmission rate of single mode is higher than multi mode but the cost is also higher.


Different types of SMF (single mode fiber):

OS1 and OS2 are some common types of single mode fiber optic. There is a tight buffered construction in OS1, however there is a loose tube construction in OS2.

Multi-mode fiber optic:

The diameter of multi mode fiber optic is larger than single mode. It falls between 50-100 microns. 2 fibers are used in most of those applications that use multi mode fiber optic.

A plastic-based cable POF, promises to perform as good as a glass fiber on short runs and lower cost.

It provides high speed and high bandwidths. The core of the cable is 850-1300nm wide. Light waves travel through numerous paths while travelling through the core of cable. The typical diameters of multi mode fiber optic are either 50, 62.5 or 100 micrometers. Different paths of light can cause distortion at the meeting end of a multi mode fiber optic. This results in unclear and incomplete data transmission. To overcome this loss, designers prefer to use single mode fiber optic that uses Gigabit and beyond instead of multi mode at distance larger than 914 meters(3000 feet).


Types of multimode fiber optic:

Some common types of multi mode fiber optics are OM1-OM5

The color used for OM1 and OM2 is  orange. The color used for OM3 and OM4 is Aqua. The color used for OM5 is green.



These were the types of fiber optic cable that are in use. Fiber optic has revolutionized the ways we used conventionally to transfer data between computer systems