Can Single-mode and Multi-mode Fiber be Mixed?

1. Q: What are the differences between single-mode and multi-mode fiber?

A: Single-mode fiber uses solid lasers as the light source, while multi-mode fiber uses light-emitting diodes as the light source. Single-mode fiber optic transmission has the characteristics of wideband and long transmission distance, but because it requires laser sources, the cost is higher, while multi-mode fiber is characterized by low transmission speed and short distance, but its cost is relatively low. Single-mode fiber core diameter and dispersion is small, allowing only one mode of transmission, while multi-mode fiber core diameter and dispersion is large, allowing hundreds of modes of transmission.

differences between single-mode and multi-mode fiber


2. Q: What is the difference between single-mode and multi-mode optical transceiver module?

A: multi-mode optical transceiver module works at 850nm, single-mode optical transceiver module works at 1310nm, 1550nm. The devices used in single-mode optical modules are twice as many as those used in multi-mode optical modules, so the overall cost of single-mode optical modules is much higher than that of multi-mode optical transceiver modules. The transmission distance of single-mode optical transceiver module can reach 150 to 200km, and the transmission distance of multi-mode optical transceiver module can reach 5km. FiberMall’s single-mode and multi-mode optical transceiver modules are recommended because of their cost performance and compatibility.


3. Q: Where are single-mode/multi-mode fiber and single-mode/multi-mode optical transceiver modules used?

A: Single-mode fiber enables the fiber to be launched directly to the data center, which is generally used for long distance data transmission, while in multi-mode fiber the optical signal is propagated through multiple paths. Therefore, multi-mode fiber is commonly used in short distance data transmission. Single-mode optical modules are often used in metro networks over long distances and at relatively high transmission rates.


4. Q: Can single-mode/multi-mode fiber be mixed with single-mode/multi-mode optical module?

A: The results are shown in the table below, we can see that they can’t be mixed, we have to match the fiber and optical module well to use them normally.

Module TypeFiber TypeStatus
single-modemulti-modeWorking at short distance, but the effect can not be guaranteed
multi-modesingle-modeNot Working

5. Q: Can multi-mode fiber be used with single-mode optical trancevier module? If not, what is the reason?

A: No. multi-mode fiber is best used with multi-mode optical modules. Because multi-mode and single-mode converter must be the corresponding wavelength and optical transceiver function to achieve photoelectric conversion, multi-mode fiber and single-mode optical module used together can not guarantee the use of effect.


6. Q: All of our server room are single-mode optical trancevier modules, the fiber is multi-mode, do all the optical trancevier modules in the server room should be replaced with multi-mode?

A: It is best to replace all, single-mode and multi-mode can not be mixed. Because the core diameter of single-mode fiber and multi-mode fiber is very different, it will lead to too much insertion loss when matching them.

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