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What is the difference between Step Index and Graded Index Multi-Mode Fiber Optic media, and which should I use for my Transparent Ready fiber optic interface?

The 3 components of fiber media are the core, cladding and jacket or buffer.
Core - The glass center that transmits light.

Cladding - The outer optical material that reflects light back to the core

Jacket - The outer protective covering that contains a strength member, or is a buffer tube when multiple fibers are packaged in the same jacket

Light can pass or propagate through fiber optic media as a single instance for single-mode, or refracted instances, for multi-mode, as shown below comparing single mode fiber and multimode fiber.



Within the multimode fiber choices, the degree of refraction change between the core and the cladding varies between graded index and step index .Graded index is more gradual as shown below.



Therefore, 62.5 micron core / 125 micron cladding Graded Index multimode fiber is recommended for those Transparent Ready devices requiring multimode fiber. Refer to the specifications to see if your Transparent Ready device also supports 50/125 fiber (50 micron core/125 micron cladding.

Note that step/graded index is a term applied to multimode fiber only. Transparent ready devices requiring single mode fiber such as certain ConneXium switches use 9/125 (9 micron core/125 micron cladding).

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