The momentum behind the new OM5 wideband multimode fiber type in buildings and data centers recently received several significant boosts.
In an international standards ballot that closed in 2017, OM5 was chosen by an overwhelming majority of nations as the official designation for cabling containing Wide Band Multimode Fiber in the upcoming 3rd edition of the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electric technical Commission standards, or ISO/IEC 11801. This is an important milestone in standards progress and for market acceptance of this new and revolutionary fiber cabling performance category. It extends the benefits of multimode fiber within connected and efficient buildings and within data centers worldwide.
Meanwhile at the TIA meetings subcommittee TR-42.12 (fiber and cables) passed a motion to associate the color lime with WBMMF. The motion opened a new project, TIA-598-D-2 (addendum), to accommodate lime as the jacket color for WBMMF (TIA-492AAAE, OM5) involving the jacket color table and any other specification items to define this jacket color.
The Shortwave Wavelength Division Multi-Source Agreement Group (SWDM MSA) announced the formation of an industry consortium to define optical specifications and promote adoption of shortwave WDM standards for use in data center and enterprise campus applications using duplex multimode fiber. The group also announced publications of its first two standards that define optical specifications for four-wavelength SWDM to transmit 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s Ethernet signals (“40 GE SWDM4” and “100 GE SWDM4”, respectively).
All these developments are key to the market’s acceptance of OM5 and its applications. The convergence of applications and cabling infrastructure specifications for OM5 is proceeding at a rapid pace, positioning OM5 as the ideal choice for new multimode installations.
Here are 5 reasons why we choose OM5 fiber:
1. OM5 fiber specifications are already published by the Telecommunications Industry Association as TIA-492AAAE, and are in late-stage ballot within the IEC to be published as IEC 60793-2-10 edition 6.
2. OM5 and TIA-492AAAE specifications will be recognized in the upcoming ISO/IEC 11801 Edition 3 and the American National Standards Institute cabling standard ANSI/TIA-568.3-D.
3. OM5 cabling supports all legacy applications at least as well as OM4, and is fully compatible and interoperable with OM3 and OM4 cabling.
4. OM5 is designed to support at least four low-cost wavelengths in the 850-950 nm range, enabling optimal support of emerging Shortwave Wavelength Division Multiplexing (SWDM) applications that reduce parallel fiber count by at least a factor of four to allow continued use of just two fibers (rather than eight) for transmitting 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s and reduced fiber counts for higher speeds.
5. OM5 is sold worldwide and the pre-terminated patch cables provided by Sun Telecom have been installed in a variety of network environments, including campuses, buildings, and data centers.
OM5 provides a significant advantage over legacy OM3 and OM4 fibers to support SWDM applications. In the future, SWDM technology could be leveraged to enable 200, 400 and 800 Gb/s Ethernet traffic on multimode fiber as well.