Four Common Types of Fiber Optic Connectors

The introduction of fiber patch cables has realized the data communicating at a much higher rate. And we can see a lot of fiber patch cables available in the market, such as LC to LC fiber cable, single mode LC to ST fiber patch cable, single mode fiber ST to SC patch cord, single mode fiber cable with LC connector, etc. Customers may wonder what LC, ST, SC refer to. In fact, those terms refer to the different types of fiber optic connectors.

What Are the Fiber Optic Connectors?

A fiber optic connector terminates one end of a fiber optic cable and enables quicker connection and disconnection than splicing. It needs to be aligned properly to the microscopic glass fibers completely in order to allocate for communication. In all, there are nearly 100 fiber optic connectors in the market, but only a few of them are applied frequently in the market — LC connector, SC connector, ST connector, FC connector etc. In the next part, some details about the four connectors will be presented to you.

Four Common Types of Fiber Optic Connectors

SC Fiber Optic Connector
SC, also called a square connector, stands for subscriber connector. It was developed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone. With the ever-increasing popularity in the market, the manufacturing cost for SC went down. Now it has widely applied in single mode fiber optic cable, analog CATV, GPON, GBIC. SC is a snap (push-pull coupling) connector with a 2.5mm ferrule diameter that operates under the standard IEC 61754-4. The connector’s outer square profile together with its snap-coupling mechanism that allows greater connector packaging density in instruments and patch panels.

LC Fiber Optic Connector
LC refers to Lucent Connector. It is a push-pull, small form factor connector that uses a 1.25mm ferrule, half the size of the SC. LC, due to the combination of small size and latch feature, is ideal for high-density connections, SFP and SFP+ transceivers and XFP transceivers. Along with the development of LC compatible transceivers and active networking components, it will continue to grow in the FTTH arena.

FC Fiber Optic Connector
FC is short for Ferrule Connector. It is a round, threaded fiber optic connector that was designed by Nippon Telephone and Telegraph in Japan. The FC connector is applied for single-mode optic fiber and polarization-maintaining optic fiber. The FC is a screw type connector with a 2.5mm ferrule, which was the first fiber optic connector to use a ceramic ferrule. However, FC is becoming less common and mostly replaced by SC and LC because of its vibration loosening and insertion loss.

ST Fiber Optic Connector
ST refers to Straight Tip. The ST connector was developed by AT&T shortly after the arrival of the FC. They may be mistaken for one another, but ST uses a bayonet mount other than a screw thread. And you have to make sure SC connectors are seated properly owing to its spring-loaded structure. SC is mainly used in multimode fiber optic cable, campuses and buildings.

The differences between types of fiber optic connectors are easy to be neglected in the complicated fiber installments. However, taking the time to select the right one can deliver substantial benefits, which saves your time and cost. FS.COM provides and stocks many different types of fiber optic connectors, which satisfies all your needs.

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