Advantages of OM5 Fiber Cables
Information technology has headed in one obvious direction for the past several decades. More people come online every year, and the constant demand is for more speed. As these systems grow, infrastructure will continue to be put under greater strain in order to keep up with the trend.
The only way forward is for data centers and high-end data applications to continue to deploy the most advanced communication techniques available. Right now, that requires the use of fiber optics, and for indoor applications, OM5 fiber is often the best of the best. What is OM5 fiber? How does it work? When and where is it used? By exploring these questions, we can see the current state of high-end cabling and how to stay ahead of ever-increasing demand.
What is OM5 Fiber?
OM5 is a common fiber optics cable used for high-end applications. The name references optical multiplexing — a means of sending signals across pairs of fibers at the same time.
OM5 is the leading-edge cable of its class. It operates in the 850 to 950nm range, and that range allows it to simultaneously transmit along multiple channels. It can transmit data between 40GB and 400GB rates, and it is cross-compatible with its predecessors, OM3 and OM4.
What is WBMMF?
Standing for Wideband Multi-Mode Fiber, WBMMF is one of the preferred ways to network high-end data centers. Multi-mode fiber is an essential part of the design as it uses paired strands of fiber to increase data rates with simultaneous signal transmission. In data centers, these cables can get above 100GB data rates. The fiber pairs are groups in as many as 16 strands per cable, with each added pair increasing total performance.
Using a wideband expands the capabilities of multi-mode fiber. Each fiber strand can simultaneously transmit across each channel, which allows any fiber pair to work virtually as multiple pairs. In current applications, the wideband aspect of design multiplies data rates by a factor of four. Future applications are expected to use even more simultaneous bands for further increases in data rates.
By squeezing so much performance out of each fiber pair, WBMMF is one of the preferred cabling designs for high-end applications, as it can save on the total cost of cabling necessary to meet performance demands.
Best Use Cases for OM5 and WBMMF
This cabling structure shines in situations that demand the fastest data rates over medium to short distances. Data centers that rarely need cables longer than 150 meters are ideal. OM5 is also great in centers that rely on heavy automation. This includes many modes of manufacturing and monitoring. Because of the distance limitations of OM5, it is primarily used in indoor applications.
OM5 is the current leader in MMF cabling. It gets the most performance with the least investment, and it is cross-compatible with existing OM3 and OM4 networking. This makes it ideal for expanding high-demand systems, and until it is eclipsed by the next great technology, it will be the most cost-effective way to cable high-end applications that fit within its niche.
Additional Fiber Learning Center Resources
- The difference between OS2, OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4, and OM5 Fiber Cables.
- What is OM5 and how is it different from OM3 and OM4?
- What is the difference between LSZH and OFNR?
- Understanding Wavelengths
- What is Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing Technology(CWDM)?
- What is DWDM? Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing Explained