Multimode Fibers: OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4, OM5
Now in the market, there are different types of fiber optic cables available for fiber optic communication systems. And the fiber modes include single-mode and multimode. In ANSI/TIA-568.3-D, the TIA adopted the nomenclature for fiber outlined in the international standard ISO/IEC 11801. The multimode fiber is prefixed with “OM” (optical mode) and the single-mode mode “OS”. Multi-mode cables are classified OM1, OM2, OM3 , OM4, OM5 types. Each type has different optical properties.
OM1 fiber has a core size of 62.5 micrometers (µm). With 200/500 MHz*km overfilled launch (OFL) bandwidth at 850/1300nm, it is commonly used for 100 Megabit Ethernet applications, and it can support 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up 33 meters. The cable in OM1 fiber typically comes with an orange jacket.
OM2 fiber has a 50µm core size, and with 200/500 MHz*km overfilled launch (OFL) bandwidth at 850/1300nm. It is more commonly used for 1 Gigabit Ethernet applications, but for 10 Gigabit Ethernet, the maximum transmission distance could reach up to 82 meters. Same as cables in the OM1 fiber, the recommended jacket color is orange too.
Both OM1 and OM2 work well with LED-based equipment that can send hundreds of modes of light down the cable.
OM3 fiber has a core size is 50µm, the same as OM2 fiber, but having 2000 MHz*km effective modal bandwidth (EMB, also known as laser bandwidth), 5 times wider than OM2 fiber. As a laser-optimized fiber, it is designed for 10 Gb/s transmissions, running 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 300 meters. Since its inception, production techniques have improved the overall capabilities of OM3 to enable its use with 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet up to 100 meters. 10 Gigabit Ethernet is its most common use. The cable in OM3 fiber typically comes with an aqua jacket.
OM4 fiber is a further laser-optimized 50um fiber having 4700 MHz*km EMB bandwidth designed for 10 Gb/s, 40 Gb/s, and 100 Gb/s transmissions. Same as OM2, OM3 fiber, OM4 fiber has a 50um core size, but supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up 550 meters and it supports 100 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 150 meters. The suggested jacket color of fiber cable in OM4 fiber is aqua.
OM5 fiber, also known as WBMMF (wideband multimode fiber), is the newest type of multimode fiber, and this higher OM5 fiber is compatible with OM4. Same as OM2, OM3, and OM4 fiber, the core size of OM5 fiber is 50µm. The jacket color of OM5 fiber cables was chosen as lime green. It is designed and specified to support at least four WDM channels at a minimum speed of 28Gbps per channel through the 850-953 nm window.