fiber optics 101


Duplex Round, 2.8mm



Duplex Zip-Cord, 2.0mm ea.






Hitachi Nanocore

72F Diameter: 0.335-in

72F Weight: 47.8 lbs/1000 ft



Hitachi Multi-Unit Round

72F Diameter: 0.75-in

72F Weight: 216 lbs/1000-ft



Hitachi Indoor Armored


Patch Cord (Jumper) Construction Materials

Optical patch cables (jumpers) can take many forms.  The most common is a duplex jumper, with one fiber acting as the transmit leg (Tx) and one fiber acting as the receive leg (Rx).  The term "duplex" indicates that the assembly has two optical fibers: Tx and Rx.

A duplex cable contains two fibers while a simplex cable contains only one.  However, jumper cable design varies based on the primary applications.  The most common patch cord constructions are duplex round and duplex zip-cord.

The primary advantages of a duplex round construction are obvious.  Eliminating a separate (discreet) strand of jacketed cable in a duplex environment, cuts the discreet number of cables by 50%, greatly reducing entanglment and cable management complexities in high volume patching areas such as a data center main cross-connect.  In addition the overall diameter and weight of the some thin diameter DFX, round cables is reduced, making it a more efficient material in terms of pathway and tray fill-rate capacity and shipping costs.

Multi-fiber Trunk Cable Construction Materials

Multi-fiber (trunk) cables can also take different forms. Three of the most widely utilized indoor cable construction materials are: Nanocore, MultiUnit Round and Armored.

Hitachi Nanocore Fiber Optic Cable is an ultra thin-diameter, ultra light-weight cable material that maximizes the utilization (fill rates) of patchways, tray systems and conduits.  Microcore offers extremely high-density (up to 72 fibers in a 10/8 mm product), saving space, shipping costs and wear and tear on the installer. 

Multi-Unit Round is widely utilized in data center backbone applications.  The cable is "unitized" in 12-fiber sub-units, making it a potentially more rugged solution than Microcore.  It does not compete favorably from a cost standpoint and is further disadvantaged by a lower efficiency in its diameter and weight characteristics. 

Hitachi Indoor Armored cable eliminates the need for innerduct or conduit.  It is protected by aluminum interlock armor.  It is ideal for more challenging environments where backbone cabling is at greater risk from mechanicals, vendors and contractors.

TIP: Trunk cables are typically specified by fiber count (the total number of fiber strands in the assembly) and/or pair count (the total number of fiber pairs in the assembly - exactly half the fiber count).  For example: a trunk cable with 48 fibers (24 duplex connectors on each end) would be specified as 48F/24C.  

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