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What is the difference between OM1 and OM3?
Knowledge Base + 2024.01.09

OM1 (Optical Multimode 1) and OM3 (Optical Multimode 3) are different categories of multimode optical fibers, each with its own characteristics and performance specifications. Here are the key differences between OM1 and OM3 fibers:

  1. Bandwidth and Data Rates:

    • OM1: OM1 fibers have a lower bandwidth compared to OM3 fibers. They are typically used for applications that require lower data rates. OM1 fibers can support data rates up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) for Ethernet applications.

    • OM3: OM3 fibers have a higher bandwidth and are designed to support higher data rates. They can support data rates of 10 Gbps for Ethernet applications and are commonly used in high-speed networking environments.

  2. Modal Bandwidth:

    • OM1: OM1 fibers have a modal bandwidth of 200 MHz·km at 850nm, which is the wavelength commonly used for multimode fiber applications.

    • OM3: OM3 fibers have a higher modal bandwidth, typically around 2000 MHz·km at 850nm, allowing them to support higher data rates and longer distances.

  3. Distance Capability:

    • OM1: OM1 fibers are suitable for shorter-distance applications. They are commonly used in local area networks (LANs) and premises cabling for relatively short connections.

    • OM3: OM3 fibers are designed to support longer distances at higher data rates. They are often used in data center environments and high-speed networks where the need for increased bandwidth and performance exists.

  4. Color Identification:

    • OM1: OM1 fibers are typically identified by an orange jacket.

    • OM3: OM3 fibers are often identified by an aqua or turquoise-colored jacket, which helps distinguish them from other fiber types.

  5. Applications:

    • OM1: Commonly used in legacy installations where lower data rates are sufficient, such as 100Base-FX and 1000Base-SX Ethernet.

    • OM3: Suited for modern high-speed applications, including 10G Ethernet and higher.

In summary, OM1 and OM3 fibers differ in terms of bandwidth, data rate support, modal bandwidth, distance capabilities, and color identification. When planning a fiber optic installation, it's important to choose the appropriate fiber type based on the specific requirements of the network, taking into consideration factors such as data rates, distance, and application needs.

What’s the Difference between Multimode Fibers?

  • Physical Difference. Physical difference mainly lies in diameter, jacket color, optical source and bandwidth.

OM350/125µmAqua BlueVSCEL2000MHz*km
OM450/125µmAqua Blue or VioletVSCEL4700MHz*km
OM550/125µmWater GreenVSCEL28000MHz*km
  • Practical Difference. Multimode fibers are able to transmit different distance ranges at various data rate.