Fiber optic connectors include plugs that feature a protruding ferrule that holds the fiber in place and an associated adapter for aligning and mating fibers to form a connection point. The first ferrules introduced in the 1970s were comprised of metal or a hard plastic, and then in the mid-1980s, the introduction of the ceramic ferrule improved alignment and allowed for lower insertion loss.

Over the past several decades, the market has seen the introduction of various fiber optic connectors aimed at providing lower insertion loss performance, lower cost, higher density and/or easy termination. In fact, according to the Fiber Optic Association, in all there are about 100 different types of fiber optic connectors. Thankfully you don’t need to know the ins and outs of all of these types of connectors since there are just a handful that make up the majority of what you might come across in today’s cabling plants. These standard-compliant connectors are covered by EIA/TIA-604 Fiber Optic Connector Intermateability Standards (FOCIS).

Let’s take a closer look at the types you might come across and how they differ.