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The difference and selection of single mode fiber and multimode fiber
Nov 28, 2017

The difference and selection of single mode fiber and multimode fiber


As the communication transmission of demand is higher and higher, due to its advantages of transmission speed, distance, security, stability, anti-interference, expansion convenient etc, optical fiber is more and more usually becoming  the first choice in communication. We often see the demand for long-distance data transmission in intelligent building projects, basically using optical fiber transmission. But users will find that there is the difference between the single-mode fiber and multimode optical fiber during usage process, so what is the difference between the two, what kind of situation to adapt, here this article will do a simple answer.


single mode & multi-mode fiber.png

First of all, no matter single mode fiber or multimode fiber, they are both for the high quality of data transmission over a long distance, the difference is the transmission of light in a different way. Light in single-mode fiber is spread along a straight line, no reflection, so the transmission distance is very far. Multimode fiber can carry the transmission of multichannel optical signals.

single mode & multi-mode fiber transmitting.png

Single-mode fiber is the optic fiber with only one (most of the applications are two) glass fiber , the diameter of fiber core is 8.3 mu m~10 mu m, there is only one transmission mode. The bandwidth of single-mode fiber is higher than that of multi-mode fiber, but the spectrum width and stability of the light source have higher requirements, that is, the spectrum width is narrow and the stability is better. Single mode fiber has a higher transmission rate than multi-mode fiber, and the transmission distance is 50 times higher than that of multi-mode fiber. Therefore, its price is higher than multi-mode fiber.


Compared with multi-mode fiber, the core diameter of single-mode fiber is much smaller, and the characteristic of small core makes the optical signal transmitted in single mode fiber without being distorted by the overlap of optical pulse. In all optical fibers, single mode fiber has the lowest attenuation rate and maximum transmission speed.

single mode & multi-mode fiber colors.png

Multimode fiber is another common optical fiber type. The core diameter is 50 μm~100 μm, which can transmit many modes at the given working wavelength. The multi-mode fiber can support longer transmission distance than the double stranded cable, and in 10mbps and 100mbps Ethernet, multi-mode fiber can support the transmission distance of up to 2000 meters.The core diameter of common multimode fiber is 50 μm, 62.5 μm and 100 μm.


Due to the multimode optical fiber transmission model of as many as hundreds, each mode propagation constant and the group velocity is different, making the fiber band width narrow, dispersion large, loss big, only suitable for short distance and small capacity optical fiber communication system.

In the actual application process, usually the single mode fiber will be used if the normal transmission distance is far away, otherwise will use the multimode fiber. The price of the transceiver with single mode fiber is higher than that of multi-mode fiber.


One of the main methods to distinguish the different fiber is to check the diameter of the fiber core and cladding diameter, and the industry has formulated the industry standard. These industry standards play an important role one the choice for fiber connection of connectors and connector and tools.

single mode & multi-mode fiber diameters.png

If it is an indoor optical fiber, we can also distinguish the fiber type. The indoor single-mode optical cable are yellow and the indoor multi-mode optical cable are orange.

Optico Communication Co., Ltd is one of the leading manufacturer of fiber optic components and fiber cables in Shenzhen China, with an experience in fiber optic industry for more than 18 years. Optico Communication Co., Ltd research, develop and manufacture AWG, MPO, WDM, PLC splitter, ODN etc with good quality, competitive price and best service. We look forward to establishing long term business partnership with you.

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