TIA-942 revision likely to recommend optical connectors

APRIL 7, 2010 -- Lightwave’s sister publication, Cabling Installation & Maintenance, will report in its May issue that the TIA-942 “Telecommunications Infrastructure for Data Centers” standard is in the early stages of revision. That revision will likely include the recommendation of specific connectors for the first time.

APRIL 7, 2010 -- Lightwave’s sister publication, Cabling Installation & Maintenance, will report in its May issue that the TIA-942 “Telecommunications Infrastructure for Data Centers” standard is in the early stages of revision. That revision will likely include the recommendation of specific connectors for the first time.

Per ANSI guidelines, standards must be reaffirmed, withdrawn, or revised every five years. TIA-942 was published in 2005, so its revision cycle is underway. The revised standard will be named TIA-942-A.

In the Cabling Installation & Maintenance article, TIA-942-A co-editor Jonathan Jew will detail some of the changes that can be expected when 942 becomes 942-A. Specifically, part of the article details what influence the already-published ISO/IEC 24764 and/or the CENELEC EN 50173-5 data center standards may have on the development of TIA-942-A. In addition to horizontal cabling lengths, cabling type recommendations, energy efficiency, and other topics, Jew discusses the fiber-connector types the standard will likely include.

The article states, "Unlike TIA-942 [the original, now being updated], which specifies no particular connectors, ISO/IEC 24764 specifies the following connectors:

  • LC and MPO for multimode fiber at the EO [equipment outlet] and ENI [external network interface]
  • LC and MPO for singlemode fiber at the EO
  • Angled LC connector for singlemode fiber at the ENI

"TIA will probably recommend but not require the use of LC and MPO connectors," Jew writes (emphasis added).

The LC connector long ago emerged as the victor in a "connector battle" that the TIA ultimately let the market decide, rather than specifying a preferred connector type (see "Handicapping the small-form-factor connector race"). The MPO has enjoyed significant deployment in data centers; the array-style connector can accommodate dense connecting fields and its construction supports parallel-optic transmission of next-generation applications including 40- and 100-Gigabit Ethernet (see "MPO/MTP connectors targeted for high-density parallel optics").

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