What is the MPO Patchcord and How to Use It - Fiber Optic Cabling Management
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MPO patch cord

What is the MPO Patchcord and How to Use It


The MPO patchcord is a special kind of cable that has many individual fibers bundled together and connected with MPO connectors at both ends. MPO stands for Multi-fiber Push-on, and it’s a standard type of connector that can hold up to 72 fibers in just one connector. Use these connectors in situations where there’s a need for lots of fibers in a small space and for fast data transmission, like in high-speed Ethernet networks that operate at 40G, 100G, 400G, and 800G.


Types of MPO Patchcord

There are three main types of MPO patch cords: trunk cables, breakout cables, and conversion cables. Each type has different functions and uses in different scenarios.

  • Trunk cables are MPO patch cords that have the same number of fibers and the same type of MPO connectors at both ends. They are used to connect devices and equipment with MPO ports, such as switches, servers, and transceivers. For example, a 12-fiber MPO trunk cable can connect two 40G QSFP+ transceivers directly, or a 24-fiber MPO trunk cable can connect two 100G QSFP28 transceivers directly.

MPO Trunk Cable

  • Breakout cables are MPO patch cords that have one MPO connector at one end and multiple duplex LC, SC, FC, or ST connectors at the other end. They are used to break out the MPO connector into individual fibers for connecting to devices and equipment with standard fiber ports. For example, an 8-fiber MPO to 4 LC breakout cable can connect a 40G QSFP+ transceiver to four 10G SFP+ transceivers, or a 12-fiber MPO to 6 LC breakout cable can connect a 100G QSFP28 transceiver to six 25G SFP28 transceivers.

MPO Breakout Cable

  • Conversion cables are MPO patch cords that have different numbers of fibers and/or different types of MPO connectors at both ends. They are used to convert the fiber count or the polarity of the MPO connectors for different applications. For example, a 24-fiber MPO to 2×12-fiber MPO conversion cable can convert a 24-fiber MPO connector to two 12-fiber MPO connectors, or a 12-fiber MPO type A to type B conversion cable can convert the polarity of the MPO connector from type A to type B.

MPO Conversion Cable


How to Choose an MPO Patchcord

  • Function: Depending on the application, you need to choose the right type of MPO patch cord, whether it is a trunk cable, a breakout cable, or a conversion cable. You also need to make sure that it is compatible with the devices and equipment that you want to connect.
  • Polarity:  Polarity refers to the alignment of the fibers in the MPO connector, which determines how the signals are transmitted and received. There are three types of polarity for MPO connectors: type A, type B, and type C. You need to choose the correct polarity for your MPO patchcord according to the standards and specifications of your network.

Polarity in MPO Connector

  • Fiber count:  Fiber count refers to the number of fibers in the MPO connector. This affects the bandwidth and transmission distance of the MPO patch cord. The most common fiber counts are 8, 12, and 24, but there are other options available. Choose the appropriate fiber count based on your network requirements and the devices you want to connect.
  • Fiber mode: Fiber mode refers to the type of fiber optic cable used in the MPO patch cord. It affects performance and cost. There are two main types: single-mode and multimode. Single-mode fiber can transmit signals over longer distances and at higher speeds, but it’s more expensive and requires precise alignment during installation. Multimode fiber can transmit signals over shorter distances and at lower speeds, but it’s cheaper and easier to install.

MPO patchcord Fiber mode

  • Jacket rating:  Jacket rating refers to the material and quality of the outer layer of the MPO patch cord, which affects the durability and safety of the MPO patch cord. There are different types of jacket ratings, such as LSZH, OFNP, and OFNR.



MPO patch cords are versatile and efficient solutions for high-density and high-speed fiber optic networks. They can simplify the installation and maintenance of the network, reduce cable clutter and space consumption, and improve the network performance and reliability. However, choosing an MPO patchcord is not a simple task, as there are many factors and options to consider. You need to have a clear understanding of your network needs and the specifications of your devices and equipment, and then select the most suitable MPO patchcord for your application.


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