Fiber Optic Cable Assemblies | Corning

Corning Optical Cable Assemblies

Corning Optical Cable Assemblies

Our broad portfolio contains a range of solutions including single or multi-fiber assemblies for both indoor and outdoor applications in various lengths and multiple cable diameters. These optical cable assemblies are available in a wide range of connector types including SC UPC, SC APC, LC UPC, LC APC, ST® Compatible, FC, and MTP®.
And at the core, our assemblies feature Corning® ClearCurve® LBL and ZBL G.657 bend insensitivity fibers, Corning® SMF-28® Ultra G.657.A1 & G.652.D fiber and Corning® ClearCurve® Multimode fibers with OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4 and OM5 bandwidth capabilities, our strongest optical fibers capable of withstanding the most challenging environments.

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Indoor Fiber Cable Assemblies

Outdoor Fiber Cable Assemblies

Key aspects to consider for high quality cable assemblies

Transmission performance

Transmission performance

•  High fiber quality (e.g. geometric performance)
•  Consistent connector end face geometry
•  Connector cleanliness (Corning® CleanAdvantage™ Technology)
•  Repeatability of the manufacturing process

Transmission performance


•  Robust designs for repeated moves/adds/changes without degradation
•  Vertical integration manufacturer (fiber, cable and connectors)
•  External qualification by most stringent entities

Transmission performance

Standards compliance

•  IEC fiber specifications (ITU.T G.652.D, G.657.A/B, etc.)
•  Flame retardant cable specifications (CPR, FRNC/LSZH, etc.)

The science behind cable assemblies

The science behind cable assemblies

They seem simple in their appearance, yet bonding the fiber inside the ferrule and polish the end-face of the ferrule is a very delicate process and can be time-consuming if manually done.

Common errors during this process are contamination of the connector end face, poor polishing of the ferrule, damage to the optical connector or on the ferrule end face.

The result will allow the optical signal either to seamlessly transition from one optical device to another or, if anything went wrong during the assembly process, the signal will suffer from too high optical loss causing ultimately network failure.

Corning manufacturing process

Corning manufacturing process

In Corning we believe that only automation of the assembly process can ensure consistent quality across our products. Automation reduces cycle times from minutes to seconds so we remain competitive without trading off on the quality of the materials we use.

We also complement the robustness and repeatability of our automation process with a dedicated labor workforce that enhance those products designed to meet our very customers specific needs.

A history full of innovation

A history full of innovation

Just as we did with the invention of the world’s first low-loss optical fiber nearly 50 years ago, Corning continues to transform the way the world connects through optical cable assemblies. Throughout our history full of innovation we have engineered products that have made network deployments easier and faster,  reducing the total cost of ownership while maintaining network reliability and performance.

Manufacturing capabilities around the world

Manufacturing capabilities around the world

With our worldwide network of manufacturing plants we ensure reliable supply of optical cable assemblies for our customers to maintain supply even in difficult times so we can serve our customers to build reliable connections everywhere, any time.

Discover all the ingredients of our cable assembly portfolio



Connector Types

Connector Types

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Frequently asked questions

  • What is a cable assembly?

    Cable assemblies are cables pre-terminated at the manufacturing plant with connectors at either one or both ends, and with one or multiple fibers inside.

    When the cable carries only one optical fiber inside, it is called “pigtail” if only one end is pre-connectorised, and “patchcord” or “jumper” if both ends are pre-connectorised.

    If we have more than one fiber in the cable, we will call “trunk” when both ends are pre-terminated with the same number of connectors, or “harness” if we transition from one multifibre connector to multiple single fiber connectors.

  • Which are the most important aspects of a cable assembly?

    Each of the three components of a cable assembly (optical fiber, cable design and type of connector) equally matters when choosing the right product for a given application. Which one to choose among the variety of options we offer will depend on the equipment that the assembly will be plugged into as well as the specific requirements of the environment where it will be installed.

    Central office and Data Centers have similar requirements as in fact they are merging now with central offices redesigned into data centers. In these environments density of connectors, small cable diameters and matching the cable assembly with the hardware are very important aspects to consider.

    In FTTH deployments pre-assembled distribution and drop cables can speed up network deployment and lower installation costs. In terms of deployment speed, micro cables are very popular as they can easily cover hundreds of meters using blowing techniques. This is an environment very exposed to bends though, so bend insensitive fibers play also an important role in these application space.

    In mobile sites where cable assemblies are heavily exposed to the elements, strong cable jackets can be become critical to ensure that the link can withstand the adverse climatology and/or the attack of birds and rodents. It is also typical  in this scenario the use of bend insensitive fibers to protect the link from undesired bends that could cause signal loss.

  • Which are the main differences between most common optical connectors?

    LC, SC, FC and ST are the acronyms that refer to four of the most popular types of connectors.

    FC stands for “ferrule connector” and it was the first optical connector that featured a ceramic ferrule. Developed in Japan, the screwed fitting of this connector makes it vibration-proof therefore very useful on scenarios where there is motion or where precission is paramount (e.g. OTDR measurements). They are also very popular in CATV neworks. Although it was the first using ceramic ferrules, the use of FC connectors is less widespread than SC and LC connectors.

    With half the size than SC or ST connectors, Lucent Connectors (LC), developed by Lucent Technologies in 1997, are frequently used in high-density applications where space matters. They come with push-and-pull fitting making them safer and more compact than the SC-type. These connectors are often required for SFP (small form-factorable pluggable) modules and widely deployed in racks and panels.

    Straight Tip (ST) connectors are similar in shape to the FC, except for its bayonet style fitting. It was developed by AT&T™ in the US and it is used in professional environments like corporate networks and even military field. -designed connector.

    Suscriptor Connectors (SC) were developed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone becoming nowadays the most popular connector in the optical industry because of its low production costs. It also features a quick push-and-pull fitting, and it s is compact in its design allowing a good density of connectors for FTTH and CATV networks.

  • What does PC, UPC and APC mean?

    The PC/UPC/APC terminology refers to the type of polishing applied to the ceramic ferrule that hosts the optical fiber inside.

    • PC stands for Physical Contact and in this polishing type the ferrule is levelled and finished in a plain surface to avoid empty spaces between two ferrules coupled. The insertion loss for this type of polishing is between -30 dB and -40 dB and it is no longer used.

    • UPC stands for Ultra Physical contact and in this polishing type the ferrule is levelled and finished in a sharper curve of the bevel allowing lower return losses between -40 and -55 dB.

    • APC is the most used polishing type and it stands for Angled Physical Contact. In this case the ferrule ends in a plain, 8 degree-angled surface allowing the connectors to achieve a better coupling, lowering return losses below -60 dB.

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