标签归档:fiber optic connector

LC Connector Introduction

Fiber optic connectors are used to the mechanical and optical means for cross connecting fibers. Fiber optic connectors can also be used to join fiber cables to transmitters or receivers. There have been many types of connectors developed for fiber cable. Single mode networks have used FC or SC connectors in about the same proportion as ST and SC in multimode installations. But LC connector with smaller size and higher performance has become popular and the connector choice for optical transceivers for systems operating at gigabit speeds. The following text gives a detailed introduction of LC connector.

History of LC Connector

LC stands for Lucent Connector, as the LC connector was developed by Lucent Technologies as a response to the need by their primary customers, the telcos, for a small, low insertion loss connector. Then the LC design was standardized in EIA/TIA-604-10 and is offered by other manufacturers.

SC connector and LC connector

Advantages of LC Connector

There are solid reasons that the LC is the preferred connector for high-performance network. From the appearance, LC connect is like a mini size of SC connector. LC connector borrows split-sleeve construction and a cylindrical ferrule (usually ceramic) from SC connector. LC connector has a push-and-latch design providing pull-proof stability in system rack mounts. The picture on the right shows the appearance of SC connector and LC connector.

The ferrule size of LC connector is 1.25 mm which is half the size of SC connector ferrule—2.5 mm. LC connector is rated for 500 mating cycles and its typical insertion loss is 0.25 dB. An interesting feature of the LC is that, in some designs, the ferrule can be “tuned” or rotated with a special tool after it has been assembled. This offers a considerable performance advantage. The design and performance of LC connector address the need for high density and low insertion loss.

Application of LC Connector

LC connector can be found in many places for termination and connection, especially SFP transceivers for gigabit transmission. For example, the optic interfaces of Cisco SFP transceivers are all LC connectors. Some other applications are as following:

Simplex and duplex LC connectors

  • Telecommunication networks
  • Local area networks
  • Data processing networks
  • Cable television
  • Fiber-to-the-home
  • Premises distribution
LC Connector Selection Guide

To meet the needs of market, there are various types of LC connectors provided now. During the selection of LC connector, transmission media should be the first factor to consider. LC connector favors single mode fiber optic cable. But it can also be used with multimode fiber optic cable. Signals sometimes are transferred over simplex fiber optic cable and sometime duplex fiber optic cable. Thus, LC connector has both simplex and duplex design. The picture above shows an APC simplex LC connector on the left and a UPC duplex LC connector on the right. Some other factors like polishing style (APC or UPC), hole size and cable diameter should not be ignored. For more details about LC connectors, you can visit Fiberstore which provides various LC connectors with high performance and low price.

Introduction of PC, UPC and APC Connector

When choosing LC connectors, you might hear descriptions like LC UPC polished fiber optic connector, or LC APC connector. Or when choosing a ST fiber optic patch cable, you can find the description like ST/PC multimode fiber optic cable. What do PC, UPC, and APC stand for? The following text will give the explanations.

fiber optic connector ferrule

PC (physical contact), UPC (ultra physical contact) and APC (angle physical contact) are polish styles of ferrules inside the fiber optic connectors. Unlike copper cables with copper wire in the connectors as connection media, fiber optic connectors are with ceramic ferrules for connection. The picture on the left shows the ferrule in fiber optic connector. Different fiber optic connectors have different ferrule size and length. Also their polish style might be different.

To better understand why we have PC, UPC and APC, let’s start with the original fiber optic connector which has a flat-surface and is also known as flat connector (shown in the following picture). When two flat fiber connectors are mated, an air gap naturally forms between the two surfaces from small imperfections in the flat surfaces. The back reflection in flat connectors is about -14 dB or roughly 4%. To solve this problem, the PC connectors came into being.

flat fiber connector

In the PC connector, the two fibers meet, as they do with the flat connector, but the end faces are polished to be slightly curved or spherical. This eliminates the air gap and forces the fibers into contact. The back reflection is about -40 dB. The following picture shows two end faces of PC connectors.

PC connector

UPC fiber connector which usually has a blue-colored body, is an improvement of the PC connector with a better surface finished (as showed in the following picture) by an extended polishing. The back reflection of UPC connector is about -55 dB which lower than that of a standard PC connector. UPC connectors are often used in digital, CATV and telephony systems.UPC connector

PC and UPC connectors have reliable, low insertion losses. However, their back reflection depends on the surface finish of the fiber. The better the fiber gain structure, the lower the back reflection. If the PC and UPC connectors are continually mated and remated, back reflection will degrade. An APC fiber connector won’t have such problem. Its back reflection does not degrade with repeated matings.

APC connector

APC connector usually has a green body with an end-face still curved but are angled at an industry-standard 8 degrees (showed in the above picture) which allows for even tight connections and smaller end-face radii. Thus any light that is redirected back towards the source is actually reflected out into the fiber cladding, again by virtue of the 8 degree angled end-face. APC ferrules offer return losses of -65dB. Some applications are more sensitive to return loss than others that call for APC connectors, like FTTx and Radio Frequency (RF) applications. APC connectors are also commonly used in passive optical applications due to the fact that many of these systems also use RF signals to deliver video.

APC connector and UPC connector

PC, UPC or APC connector, which should be the choice of fiber optic connector? The answer is it depends. Choosing the appropriate connector for a fiber network depends on things such as, network design and function. FS offers a wide range of fiber optic connector as well as professional optical network solution. For more information you can visit www.fs.com.