Comparison of Expanded Beam and Physical Contact Connectors in Data Center Applications, Phase 2

Call-for-Participation Webinar

Presentation: Call-for-Participation (May 14 & 15, 2024)


Webinar recording: click here if you cannot view the YouTube video above.

Statement of Work & Project Statement

Statement of Work (v1, April 25 2024)

Project Statement

This is a fast-turnaround project in which non-member organizations can participate for a one-time participation fee.  See instructions below regarding how to join the project. Initial Sign-up ends June 14, 2024, and project kick-off is planned for the week of June 24. 
Duration: approximately 12 months — we will start at the end of June 2024 and present findings no later than June 2025.

Project Motivation

The large number of fiber optic connectors used in data centers makes it necessary for connections to be made quickly and to be done correctly the first time without the need for skilled installers. Ideally, it should be as easy to make a fiber optic connection as a copper connection.
Expanded beam connectors offer the potential for rapid installation using unskilled labor. These connectors do not need to be cleaned before use and, unlike physical contact (PC) connectors, there is no risk of damage if dirty expanded beam connectors are mated since there is no physical contact between the mating surfaces.

Project Focus

Phase 2 of the Comparison of Expanded Beam and Physical Contact Connectors in Data Center Applications Project will investigate and compare the impact of contamination on the optical performance of expanded beam, physical contact and air-gap connectors in an actual data center. Impact will be determined by measurements of insertion loss (IL) and return loss (RL) and theoretical calculations. The purpose is to demonstrate the benefits — in terms of optical performance and maintenance costs — of using expanded beam connectors in data center applications.

How to Join the Project

iNEMI Members


  • Contact Mark Schaffer ( to discuss participation and request a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
  • Complete and sign the MOU.
  • Download the Project Statement, fill out and sign.
  • Email the completed PS and MOU to Mark.
  • iNEMI will provide an invoice for the fast turnaround project participation fee.


Mark Schaffer