Understanding Fiber Polarity
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Understanding Fiber Polarity
1. What's Polarity?
In any installation, it is important to ensure that the optical transmitter at one end is
connected to the optical receiver at the other. This matching of the transmit signal (Tx) to
the receive equipment (Rx) at both ends of the fiber optic link is referred to as polarity.
2. Polarity Overview
Two types of fiber links are outlined in the TIA standard: serial duplex signals connections
and parallel signals connections. This paper discusses the impact of polarity as it pertains
to serial duplex signals and parallel signals.
2.1 Fiber Patch cords
Two types of duplex fiber patch cords are defined in the TIA standard: A-to-A type shown
in Figure 1 and A-to-B type shown in Figure 2.
Note: A-to-A patch cords are not commonly deployed and should be used only when
necessary as part of a polarity method (See ANSI/TIA-568-C.0).
A
B
B
A
A-to-A Patch Cord
Figure 1
A
B
B
A
A-to-B Patch Cord
Figure 2
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2.2 MTP/MPO Fiber Adapter
2.2.1 Type A adapters
There are two types of array adapters, Type A and Type B. Type A adapters shall mate
two array connectors with the connector keys key-up to key-down.
TYPE“A”ADAPTER
POS.1
CONFIGURATION
MALE
W/PINS
POS.12
POS.1
KEY-UP TO
POS.12
KEY-DOWN
FEMALE
W/O PINS
2.2.2 Type B adapters
Type B adapters shall mate two array connectors with the connector keys key-up to keyup (keys aligned).
TYPE“B”ADAPTER
MALE
POS.1
W/PINS
CONFIGURATION
POS.12
POS.12
POS.1
KEY-UP TO
KEY-UP
FEMALE
W/O PINS
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2.3 MTP/MPO array patch cord
There are three different 12-fiber MPO/MTP-to-MPO/MTP backbone cables defined in the
TIA standard. The three different cables: Type A, B and C are used for the three different
connectivity Methods A, B and C respectively.
Type A
“Straight Through”
1
Key-up to Key-Down
1
2
P1 to P1
2
.
.
.
.
.
.
11
11
12
A:
B:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
| | | | | | | | | | | |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
12
Type B
“Cross Over”
Key-up to Key-up
1
P1 to P12
2
12
11
.
.
.
.
.
.
11
12
2
A:
1 2 3 4 5
| | | | |
B: 12 11 10 9 8
6 7
| |
7 6
8 9 10 11 12
| | | | |
5 4 3 2 1
1
Type C
“Cross Pair”
1
Key-up to Key-Down
1
2
P1 to P2
2
.
.
.
.
.
.
11
11
12
A:
B:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
| | | | | | | | | | | |
2 1 4 3 6 5 8 7 10 9 12 11
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2.4 MTP/MPO array patch cord
There are three different 24-fiber MPO/MTP-to-MPO/MTP backbone cables defined in the
TIA standard. The three different cables: Type A, B and C are used for the three different
connectivity Methods A, B and C respectively.
Type A
Key-up to Key-up
P1 to P1
A:
B:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
| | | | | | | | | | | |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
A: 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
| | | | | | | | | | | |
B: 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Type B
Key-up to Key-up
P1 to P12
A:
B:
1 2 3 4 5
| | | | |
12 11 10 9 8
6 7
| |
7 6
8 9 10 11 12
| | | | |
5 4 3 2 1
A: 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
| | | | | | | | | | | |
B: 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13
Type C
Key-up to Key-Down
P1 to P13
A:
B:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
| | | | | | | | | | | |
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
A: 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
| | | | | | | | | | | |
B: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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2.5 8-fiber MTP/MPO breakout patch cord
There are two different 8-fiber MPO/MTP breakout cables: Type A and Type B.
1
2
3
4
Position 1
Position 12
Type A
9
Type A
10
11
Position 12
12
1
12
2
11
Position 1
Position 12
Type B
Position 1
3
10
4
Position 12
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2.6 12-fiber MTP/MPO breakout patch cord
There are two different 12-fiber MPO/MTP breakout cables: Type A and Type B.
1
2
3
4
5
Position 1
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Position 12
8
Type A
9
10
11
12
1
12
2
11
3
Position 1
10
Position 12
4
Type B
9
5
8
6
7
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2.7 20-fiber MTP/MPO breakout patch cord
There are three different 20-fiber MPO/MTP breakout cables: Type A, Type B and Type C.
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Position 1
10
11
14
15
Position 24
Type A
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
2
11
3
10
4
9
5
8
Position 1
6
7
14
Position 24
23
15
Type B
22
16
21
17
20
18
19
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2
14
3
15
4
16
5
17
Position 1
6
18
7
Position 24
19
Type C
8
20
9
21
10
22
11
23
2.8 24-fiber MTP/MPO breakout patch cord
There are three different 24-fiber MPO/MTP breakout cables: Type A, Type B and Type C.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Position 1
11
12
13
Position 24
14
Type A
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
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1
12
2
11
3
10
4
9
5
8
Position 1
6
7
13
Position 24
24
Type B
14
23
15
22
16
21
17
20
18
19
1
13
2
14
3
15
4
16
5
17
Position 1
6
18
7
Position 24
19
Type C
8
20
9
21
10
22
11
23
12
24
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2.9 MTP/MPO cassette modules
2.9.1 Base-8 series
Fiber Sequence
Type A adapter
2.9.2 Base-12 series
There are four different 12/24 Fibers MTP/MPO cassette modules: Type A, AF(Pair Flipped),
B1 and B2.
Polarity
Type
Inner Fiber Sequence
Type A
Up-to-Down
A
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Adapter
AF
Type A
Up-to-Down
B1
Type B
Up-to-Up
B2
Type B
Up-to-Up
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2.9.3 Base-24 series
There are two different 24 Fibers MTP/MPO cassette modules: Type A, and AF(Pair Flipped).
Polarity
Type
Inner Fiber Sequence
Adapter
A
Type A
Up-to-Down
AF
Type A
Up-to-Down
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3. Array polarity systems
All array connectivity methods have the same goal: to create an optical path from the
transmit port of one device to the receive port of another device. Different methods to
accomplish this goal may be implemented; however these different methods may not be
interoperable.
Any connectivity method requires a specific combination of components to maintain
polarity. Some of the components may be common to other connectivity methods. The
components associated with the three illustrated array polarity methods A, B and C are
given in below tables.
Table 1 – Summary of components used for duplex signals
Connectivity
method
Array connector
cable Type
Array adapter
Type
Duplex patch cord type
A
A
A
One A-to-B & one A-to-A
per duplex channel
B
B
B
A-to-B
C
C
A
A-to-B
Table 2 – Summary of components used for parallel signals
Connectivity
method
Array connector
cable Type
Array adapter
Type
Array patch cord type
A
A
A
One Type A & one Type B
B
B
B
Type B
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3.1 Connectivity Method A
3.1.1 Connectivity Method A for duplex signals
Type A
Type A
Type A
A-to-B Patch Cord
A-to-A Patch Cord
Note: If you don't want an A-to-A patch cord used, a TypeAF MTP/MPO cassette is
needed, as shown below:
Type A
Type A
Type AF
A-to-B Patch Cord
A-to-B Patch Cord
3.1.2 Connectivity Method A for parallel signals
Type A
Type A
Type A
Type B
Type A
3.2 Connectivity Method B
3.2.1 Connectivity Method B for duplex signals
Note: The Key Up to Key Up (method B) does not support Singlemode with standards
compliant connector endfaces.
Type B1
Type B
Type B2
A-to-B Patch Cord
A-to-B Patch Cord
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Base-8 MTP/MPO cassette used for 10G to 40G/100G migration with Method B.
Type B
A-to-B Patch Cord
3.2.2 Connectivity Method B for parallel signals
Type B
Type B
Type B
Type B
Type B
Type B
3.3 Connectivity Method C for duplex signals
Type A
Type C
Type A
A-to-B Patch Cord
A-to-B Patch Cord
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4. Polarity systems of 24-Fiber
The 100G-SR10 (100 GbE over multimode) requires a total of 20 fibers, 10 transmit and 10
receive. Position assignment shown below is recommended by IEEE.
4.1 Connection of Type C 24-Fiber MTP/MPO patch cord
Type C
Type A
Type C
Type AF
A-to-B Patch Cord
A-to-B Patch Cord
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