Low profile multi channel optical connector

MPO standard connector for fiber array using MT ferrule has been proposed for the high performance optical interconnect of the servers or workstation. This connector is
designed to mate two MT ferrules together with latch and release mechanism. The facets of the two ferrules should be pressed together when connected by a single spring in each MPO connector body to realize low connection loss of a butt coupling.
This structure is optimized for single layer array with maximum of 12 fibers. This dimension is not suitable for stacked fiber array or stacked waveguide arrays because the inner diameter of the spring is too tight or even smaller for stacked fibers or waveguides. In addition, the length of the MPO connector should be relatively long because of the spring holder and a saucer required fixing the spring. Also, there is a chance to break the edge of the waveguide during the assembly process to insert the waveguide sheet into the inner side of the spring.
We propose a new structure to solve those problems, by extend the alignment pins of the connector toward the back side from the facet side, and insert two small springs around those pins, to apply pressure to the ferrule. Those springs press the ferrule at one end and the other ends are fixed to the connector body, directly or in directly. This new design has advatages as below.
1. It is easier to assemble especially when it is necessary to assemble two connectors in both end of the fiber array or the waveguide array.
2. It is more durable and reduce a risk of waveguide or fiber array damage during the assembly process or in use because the clearance of the spring and the waveguide or the fiber bundle edge is larger in a limited space inside the connector housing.
3. Connector profile is shorter (15.5mm) than conventional MPO connector (23mm). It is very important for the use in a server or computer because of the limited space and requirement of much more connectors to be packed in a limited real estate of the backplane.

By: Fumiaki Yamada

Published in: RT0911 in 2010


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