MPO, MTP terminology clarified

March 5, 2012
Paper explains that every MTP is an MPO, but not every MPO is an MTP.

A brief white paper published by CommScope clears up the sometimes-confusing differences between the MPO connector and the MTP connector, both of which are used for fiber-optic cabling. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but CommScope explains that the term MTP is a registered trademark and identifies a specific brand of the MPO-style connector.

"The MPO connector is a multi-fiber connector," the paper explains, "that is defined by IEC-61754-7, 'Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components - Fibre optic connector interfaces - Part 7: Type MPO connector family,' and TIA-604-5-D 'Fiber Optic Connector Intermateability Standard, Type MPO.'"

The MTP, on the other hand, "is a registered trademark of US Conec," the paper explains. It further explains that the MTP product complies with the MPO standard. Therefore, the MTP connector is an MPO connector. The paper then discusses some marketing efforts that have resulted in the term "MTP" becoming widely used throughout the industry.

The paper has been written as an educational piece and an attempt to clarify some potential confusion about the extent to which the two terms can be used interchangeably.

The bottom line for users is that if you specify the MTP connector, you are specifying a specific brand. If you specify the MPO connector, you are specifying an interface type.

You can download the paper directly from CommScope here.

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