Do You Know The Differences Between MTP VS MPO Cable? – QSFPTEK

Do You Know The Differences Between MTP VS MPO Cable?

Data centers now generally need higher transmission rates and greater data capacity to cope with the current demand for high-performance computing. Multi-fiber connectors are currently used in the more popular cabling systems for data transmission. Multimode fiber optic connectors include MTP and MPO. MTP fiber optic cable, as an alternative to MPO fiber optic cable, has better performance in 40/100G or even 200/400G networks, and in the future, MTP fiber optic cable will definitely be called the first choice for data center cabling systems. So do you know what is the difference between MTP and MPO connectors, and how to choose the right one, suitable for your data center MTP and MPO connectors? This article will introduce MTP and MPO connectors in detail.

What is MPO Cable?


MPO means multi-fiber push on, which is ended at both ends of the cable with an MPO connector. MPO patch cables are designed to offer a multi-fiber link in a single connector, which permits greater bandwidth and increased density for cabling system installations. MPO fiber optic cables comply with IEC 61754-7 international standards, as well as the US TIA-604-5 standard. Today, the number of available MPO fibers is 8, 12, 16, and 24, with the most popular MPO cable equipped with MPO12 connectors. Besides this, fiber counts of 32, 48, 60, and 72 are available for deployment in a large optical switch for professional ultra-high-density multi-fiber arrays.

What is MTP Cable?

MTP stands for Multi-Fiber Pull Off and has MTP connectors on both terminals of the cable. The MTP is a trademark of Conec Corporation, USA, and is an upgraded edition of the MPO connector. Therefore it is completely compatible with any universal MPO connector and the MTP connector can be placed directly in MPO-based infrastructure. The major distinction compared to MPO connectors is the enhanced physical and mechanical performance of MTP fiber optic connectors. Both types of MTP fiber optic cables are available in QSFPTEK, MTP trunk cable, and MTP breakout cable.

Figure 1: MTP Trunk Cable

Figure 1: MTP Trunk Cable


What are the Differences Between MPO Cables and MTP Cables?

This section will detail the differences between these two cables and describe them in detail and will compare them in terms of both mechanical design and optical performance.

Mechanical Design Comparison - MTP vs MPO

Pin Clamp

The MTP connectors utilize metallic pin clamps which securely hold the pins and greatly minimize unexpected breakage during mating, compared to the inferior plastic pin clamps offered by MPO connectors, which can lead to easy pin breakage during constant cable mating. 

Also, the elliptical springs in the MTP fiber optic connectors allow for maximization of the clearance gap between the fiber optic ribbon and the spring. The MTP connector consists of a number of electronic elements which include a recessed pin clamp and an oval spring, this decreases damage risk to the MTP cable.

Figure 2: MTP VS MPO Pin Clamp

Figure 2: MTP VS MPO Pin Clamp


Floating Ferrule

A small device, floating ferrule inside the fiber can easily affect the mechanical properties of the fiber optic cable. The floating ferrule allows the MTP connector to float inside and, in this way, maintain paired physical contact under an applied load. This feature is unique to MTP connectors, MPO fiber optic cables are not this equipped with this device. The floating ferrule feature is particularly important for applications where the cable is plugged directly into an active Tx/Rx device, a feature that makes MTP cables more desirable to engineers in Tx/Rx applications, where better performance can be achieved with MTP cables.

Guide Pins

The guide pin head of MTP connectors is a stainless steel elliptical guide pin with tight tolerances. This guide pin allows for less wear on the guide hole. The adapter of the multi-fiber connector is different from the single-fiber connector, the adapter of multi-fiber connector is only used for coarse alignment. So when two MT ferrules are paired, the guide pin is very important for accurate alignment. When inserting MTP connectors, the oval-shaped pin is more protective of the ferrule and will not cause damage, and much less debris may fall into the pin guide hole or ferrule end face. Universal MPO connectors have chamfered guide pins, which can cause more debris generation when using the pins, which can have an impact on the performance of the cable.

MTP Elliptical Shaped Guide Pin VS. MPO Chamfered Shaped Guide Pin

Figure 3: MTP Elliptical Shaped Guide Pin VS. MPO Chamfered Shaped Guide Pin


Removable Housing for MTP Cable

The other very significant difference between MTP and MPO connectors is if their housings are removable. MTP connectors have removable housings, while MPO connectors do not. If the connector shell is removable, then engineers can easily rework and polish the MT ferrule and easily access performance tests, and you can also change their gender in the field once they are assembled. In addition to the conventional products, there is also an enhanced spot MTP PRO cable, which belongs to the enhanced MTP fiber optic cable, this cable can be quickly and effectively and easy to reconfigure the gender and polarity of the cable at the construction site, but also to ensure that the integrity and performance of the product will not be lost.

Different Optical Performance Between MTP vs MPO


With the development of technology over the years, the MPO connector is so widely used that it is recognized as an international standard in the network framework. As an upgraded version of the MPO connector, the MTP connector has a lower optical loss, less packet loss rate, and other problems compared to it. MTP connectors can ensure accurate alignment of male and female headers, thereby reducing insertion loss and return loss of MTP cables when transmitting data in high-density cabling systems. Since these years, the MTP connector has been developed more and more perfect, and the insertion loss rate is decreasing.


MTP cables provide more stable signal transmission than MPO cables because the latest MTP cables allow for lossless insertion and can avoid signal instability caused by bumps during insertion.The internal design of the MTP connectors has been redesigned, which allows the normal forces between the paired cores to be perfectly centered and ensures that all polished fiber tips in the core are in physical contact. The entry on the guide pin is also designed to be oval in shape as a way to avoid wear and debris on the plug-in connector. By making these small changes, the stability and durability of the MTP cable can be greatly improved and the reliability of the MTP cable made higher.


Through this article about the difference between MTP cable and MPO cable, you can know that the MTP connector is an enhanced version of the MPO connector. MTP connector can make it excellent for various new applications with its excellent performance. MTP cable can be used in 400G Ethernet, which is commonly deployed in the mega cloud, big data, and hyperscale computing. MTP cable can give data center MTP cable can bring higher data transmission speed and higher density cabling system. If you would like to learn more, please contact QSFPTEK via Welcome to get a quote.

You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered