Sumitomo Electric, Senko unveil AirMT noncontact multi-fiber optical connector technology

The AirMT offers an alternative to physical contact multi-fiber optical connectivity such as MPO connectors.

The AirMT connector technology is being offered initially in two formats: the FlexAirConnecT (left) and MPO (right)
The AirMT connector technology is being offered initially in two formats: the FlexAirConnecT (left) and MPO (right)
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. and Senko Advanced Components

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. and Senko Advanced Components have partnered to introduce AirMT multi-fiber optical connectors. The fiber-optic connectors are based on a Sumitomo-developed noncontact multi-fiber optical ferrule technology that the company has licensed to Senko; the AirMT name is a jointly registered trademark of the two companies.

The AirMT offers an alternative to physical contact multi-fiber optical connectivity as found in such formats as MPO connectors. The MPO connector, say the partners, requires high spring force to achieve physical contact for MT-to-MT ferrules and suffers from high sensitivity to dust contamination. The contamination problem is exacerbated by the difficulty in ensuring a pristine condition for the fiber endface, the companies add.

The AirMT offers an insertion loss of <0.5 dB and return loss of <55 dB (guaranteed in the FlexAirConnecT housing, one of two initial formats alongside MPO housing; see photo above), which Sumitomo and Senko say are comparable to the regular physical contact MPO connectors. The company sees the AirMT fiber connectors finding use for in-equipment fiber management and backplane as well as harsh environments with high levels of vibration.

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