MPO or MTP terminated cables are widely used in high density cabling environments like data centers. Traditional, tight-buffered multi-fiber cable needs to have each fiber individually terminated by a skilled technician. MPO cable which carries multiple fibers, comes pre-terminated. Factory terminated MPO / MTP connectors commonly have either 12 fiber or 24 fiber array.
People use the terms MPO and MTP interchangeably and many customers have asked us to clarify the difference between the two.
MPO is a fiber connector type while MTP is a registered trademark of an MPO connector manufactured by US Conec. All MTPs are MPOs but not all MPOs are MTPs.
MPO stands for Multi-Fiber Push On. This connector is commonly used to terminate multi-fiber ribbon connections in indoor environments. It conforms to IEC-61754-7; EIA/TIA-604-5 (FOCIS 5) standards.
MTP is a brand name for an MPO connector manufactured by US Conec. It conforms to MPO specs. MTP stands for “Multi-fiber Termination Push-on” connector. MTP connectors are engineered for high mechanical and optical specs. Some of these features are covered by patents. To the naked eye, there is very little difference between the two connectors. In cabling they are compatible with each other.
The MPO connector can be either male or female. You can tell the male connector by the two alignment pins protruding from the end of the ferrule. MPO female connectors will have holes in the ferrule to accept the alignment pins from the male connector. To read more about connection rules and polarity, read this post.