What’s the Difference Between Single Mode and Multimode Fiber?

In the data center, single mode and multimode fiber optic cable is commonly used. However, What’s the difference between single mode and multimode fiber? Today, this article will have an introduction for us.

Brief Introduction of Single Mode and Multimode Fiber

Single mode fiber is only with single transmission channel, usually used in the long-distance transmission. While multimode optical fiber is with multiple fiber transmission channels, applied in the short-distance transmission. Except for this, the difference between single mode and multimode fiber is also shown in these aspects.

Single Mode VS Multimode Fiber

Bandwidth: Due to their difference in the channel type, they differ in bandwidth. The bandwidth of single mode and multimode fiber respectively is 2000MHz/Km and 50MHz~500MHz/Km.

Wavelength: The fiber optic wavelength includes 850nm,1310nm and 1550nm. 850mn is usually for the multimode fiber interconnection; 1550nm is usually for the single mode fiber interconnection; While 1310mn is for both single mode and multimode fiber interconnection. To some degree, the attenuation of 850mn is relatively larger, but economical for the 2~3MILE(1MILE=1604m)interconnection.

Transmission Distance: Multimode fiber is commonly used in the Network with relatively lower transmission rate and relatively shorter transmission distance, such as LAN. Such kind of Network is usually with these characteristics, such as with multiple nodes, polylinkers, detours, large consumption of connectors and couplers, and with multiple optical light sources in each fiber length. The usage of multimode fiber is beneficial to save the Network cost. While single-mode optical fiber is usually applied in the network with long distance and relatively lower transmission rate, such as long-distance trunk transmission and MAN construction.

Diameter: The diameter of single mode fiber is short, about 10mm. It’s only available for one mode transmission, with small dispersion, working at 1310nm and 1550nm wavelength, and relatively hard to couple with optical components. While the diameter of multimode optic fiber is long, about 62.5m m or 50m m. It’s available for hundreds of modes’ transmission, with large dispersion, working at 850nm or 1310nm wavelength, relatively easy to connect with optical components.


However, for the optical transceiver, seriously speaking, there is no distinction in mode, whether about single mode or multimode. So-called single-mode and multimode optic transceiver module means that the optical components  adopted in the end of optics match with some kind of fiber to reach the best transmission effect.

Above all is about the difference between single mode and multimode fiber. If wanting to know more other details, welcome to consult us!


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