UPC Connector: Factors to Consider Before Selecting One


When choosing fiber optic cables or UPC connector, you may find different descriptions. And each has its polish types and different performance when you connect them to fiber optic cables. 

You need to equip fiber optic cables with suitable connectors when preparing any fiber-related equipment for installation. Thus, you will develop a perfect and praiseworthy job. 

What do these words mean? What is the difference between these connector types? This article will shed light on these connector types and their differences for you. Then do not go away until you read this article to the end.

Table of Contents

What UPC Connector?

UPC (Ultra-Physical Contact) connector is one of the varieties of connectors. It is an improvement to the PC connector with a better surface finish and polishing. 

The back reflection of the UPC connector is about -55 dB which is lower than that of a standard PC connector. 

UPC connectors are helpful for digital, CATV, and telephony systems. These connectors are also ultra-polished connectors. 

With their unique polishing technique, UPC connectors alter the glass inside the connector to allow laser signals to pass through. While this does increase signal speed, it also makes the glass easier to damage. 

Connectors SC-APC, SC-UPC

Caption: Connectors SC-APC, SC-UPC

Understanding UPC Connector

Like others, the Ultra-physical connector is an electromechanical device. Also, it joins electrical conductors and creates an electrical circuit. As the improvement of PC connectors, it has a better surface finish and polishing and increases the signal speed of fiber optic cables. 

UPC connectors are helpful for digital, CATV, and telephony systems.  Let’s have a look at the reason.

Physical attributes

Its end face is flat and at zero-angle. Also, it has a curved end face so that the fiber cores make contact first. The generally accepted color code for connector bodies and boots depends on the type of cable to use it with. Furthermore, the UPC connectors come in blue color on the connector boot.

Insertion loss

UPC connectors outperform other connector types when it comes to IL. This is due to a mated pair of UPC connectors that keep the slightest air gap in-between. Like other connectors. The insertion loss of a UPC connector is more than 0.3dB. The insertion loss also depends on the quality of the fiber surface. But the UPC connector is always lower.

Return loss

Return loss is inevitable when installing a connector on the end of the fiber. It is a back reflection generated by the light source. And a UPC connector has a return loss of at -50 dB or more. 

UPC Connector--Fiber optic connectors on a core switch

Fiber optic connectors on a core switch

UPC Connector–Other Types of Fiber Connectors

Flat fiber connectors

FC is an older fiber optic connector and currently not of industry standards. While single-mode cables still use FC, it is unusual to see them on multimode cables. 

FC connectors take longer to unplug compared to newer fiber optic connectors due to their threaded screw-on design. The more complex design and use of metal make them more costly to manufacture.

To learn more about fiber optic communication, click here to watch this video. 

APC connectors

APC connectors reduce UPC’s wear-and-tear issue. They achieve this by angling the glass in the connectors at an 8° angle with the unique polishing technique’s help. And the angle stops extra damage from occurring. It also allows for tighter, more secure connections. 

The only downside is that the angle requires the connector to be in right-side-up. Unlike standard and UPC connectors. It is possible to have an APC connector upside down.

PC connectors

PC fiber connector is a connector with polish in the physical contact style. You can find it on the OM1 and OM2 multimode fiber. 

PC fiber helps overcome the air gap between two surfaces from slight imperfections in the original flat fiber connector. There is a cylindrical conehead in the PC fiber connector design to stop the air gap.

UPC Connector--Fiber Optic Connectors

Caption: Fiber Optic Connectors 

Difference Between APC and UPC Connector

There are different types of fiber optic connectors. So, choosing the correct one can be confusing. It is important to put certain factors into consideration, these include. 

  • Return loss
  • Insertion loss
  • Network design
  • Purpose and types of fiber connector
  • Standard requirement
  • Physical Appearance
  • Features
  • Performance

Flat Fiber connector is an old type of connector which is scarce in the industry. It is still in use by some in the industry due to its ability to its design. 

UPC connectors are the most common. These connectors have a domed end face. For identification, single-mode UPC connectors have blue colors. Also, APC connectors feature an 8-degree angle at the end face.

However, APC connectors have applications (GPON, FT TX, etc.). We recommend that you use them only when equipment requires them. So, it is now your choice to verify whether your installation requires UPC or APC connectors.

 UPC Connector--FC connectors close up

Caption: FC connectors close up


Fiber optic connectors have varying points of use and effectiveness. Their performance depends on their structure, quality, and nature. 

If you are unsure of the best connector to choose for your fiber optic, we are here for you! Contact us for further inquiries and help on connectors, their assemblies, and setup.