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Max distance for multimode fiber

What is the maximum length we can use a multimode fiber between two nodes?

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This depends on what type of multimode fiber, how many connection points, number of splices, the type of transmitter (LED or laser) and the transmission speed.

There are three types of multimode fiber: 62.5/125micron (known as OM1), 50/125micron (OM2) and 50/125micron high bandwidth (OM3). There are two basic types of transmitters that work with multimode fiber: 850nm LED and 1300 nm Laser. Supported speeds can range from 16Mbs token ring to 10Gbs Ethernet. Also, keep in mind that each connection point can add 100-300 meters of logical distance to your maximum length calculation.

So, there really isn?t just one answer. However, in a best-case scenario -- assuming you?re using OM3 fiber, laser transmitters with only two connection points and no splices -- you can achieve 1Gb Ethernet up to 1000 meters and 10Gb Ethernet up to 300 meters.

This was first published in August 2001

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