OM5 Fiber Optic Cable? Are you for real?

It was previously known as the Wide Band Multimode Fiber or (WB MMF). After a heated argument on what the standard would be, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has finalized a standard. OM5 is a version of OM4 fiber optic cable with additional bandwidth characterization at 953nm.

TIA worked on the WB MMF standard and made it support short wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) transmission. The TIA standard is TIA-492AAAE. The mechanical and optical attributes are compliant with OM4 specs but also include additional specifications of effective modal bandwidth and attenuation at 953 nm. WB MMF is intended for operation using vertical-cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) transceivers across the 846 to 953 nm wavelength range.

Short wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) technology uses four wavelengths across the 850 to 940 nm range. SWDM transceivers were designed to use two strands of fiber connectivity into transceivers with OM3/OM4. The SWDM VCSEL transceivers are now commercialized beginning throughout 2017. See figure 1.


Mux to Demux example

4x25GbE/Wavelength 2 fiber SWDM


You may be asking yourself if SWDM is used over OM5. SMDW transceivers are compatible with OM3/OM4/OM5 and OM5 also pushes the data rates even further.

The specified modal bandwidth (EMB) values for OM5 are…

EMB > 4700 MHz – km at 850 nm

EMB > 2470 MHz – km at 953 nm

EMB for OM3/OM4 are only specified at 850 as with OM5 is specified for both 850 and 953nm.

The EMB of OM5 is lower at 953 nm by using a combination of low chromatic dispersion and high EMB. The ideal zero dispersion wavelength occurs at 1310 nm. 953 nm is closer to 1310 nm chromatic dispersion is lower, and consequently, the EMB requirement is lower and achieves the same system performance.

Currently, there is no specified optical transmission standard for OM5. Transmission standards typically include only one multimode fiber variant and that’s selected based on economic, commercial, and equipment criteria.

TIA specifies the new color jacket for OM5 as Green. No new polarity methods are specified, and traditional Corning universal will still be commonly used. Field loss measurements will not be required for both 850 and 953 um.

Hopefully, this has helped to bring you up to speed with one of the many happenings in the fiber optic market. For pricing and availability on OM5 contact

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