GBIC / Transceiver

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GBIC transceivers - Enhanced connectivity for your network

Stable and at the same time fast networks form the basis of the modern IT landscape. However, the proven Ethernet technology often reaches its technical limits when bridging larger distances. Due to the effect of signal attenuation, the transmission speed is reduced when long copper cables are used, thus increasing the technical effort and costs required to establish such connections. Optical fibre technology is less affected by these limitations. It enables high transmission rates over long distances, so modern fibre optic cables can be used to connect Fibre Channel storage systems, for example, over many kilometres with almost no losses. If you want to access the available network technologies with flexibility, you can realise this by using standardised interface converters called GBICs.

The advantages of versatile GBIC modules

A GBIC (Gigabit Interface Converter) is a replaceable interface module for easily extending the connectivity of network devices such as switches, routers and firewalls. Since the modules are transmitters and receivers at the same time, they are also called transceivers. After installation, they convert electrical and optical signals for further processing. In this way, the various transmission technologies can be used as required without having to replace complete switches, for example. Another advantage of the plug-in modules is the uncomplicated replacement in the event of a defect, as they are hot-swappable and can be quickly replaced during operation.

Mini-GBIC - smaller form factor, increased functionality

The further development of GBICs is represented by today's widespread Mini-GBICs, which are characterised by a significantly more compact design. Due in part to the use of space-saving LC connectors (Lucent Connector) in the connection area, these modules, also known as SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable), are only about half the size of their predecessors. This doubles the possible number of ports with the same space requirement, and they also support higher data rates depending on the design. Since SFPs are designed for different communication standards, they can be used, for example, with Gigabit Ethernet, SONET/SDH (Synchronous Optical Network/Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) and Fibre Channel.

Depending on the possible transmission speed, a distinction is made between mini-GBICs with identical form factor in different variants or specifications:

- SFP for use in gigabit networks, specification up to 5 Gbit/s
- SFP+ for use in 10 Gigabit networks, specification up to 16 Gbit/s
- SFP28 for use in 25 Gigabit networks, specification up to 28 Gbit/s

QSFP - High-end transceivers for data centres

Increasingly higher bandwidths are required, especially in the data centre sector. In order to meet the requirements, specialised transceivers are used here. Although QSFP (Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable) is a larger form factor, four channels are transmitted or combined simultaneously. This quadruples the possible data rate compared to SFP. Due to the support of various standards such as InfiniBand, Fibre Channel, SONET/SDH and Ethernet in different transmission speeds, they are suitable, depending on their specification, for application areas up to the fastest 40G and 100G networks.

As with SFPs, the differentiation of the available variants within the QSFP form factor is based on the possible data rates:

- QSFP with up to 1.25 Gbit/s per channel, total up to 4.3 Gbit/s
- QSFP+ with up to 10 Gbit/s per channel, total up to 40 Gbit/s
- QSFP28 with up to 28 Gbit/s per channel, total up to 100 Gbit/s

Monitoring and diagnosis with DOM GBICs - avoiding failures through early detection

Connection failures can cause high costs if, for example, production disruptions occur as a result of a network defect or entire company areas are cut off from important data. By monitoring the connections, such scenarios can be largely prevented. For this purpose, many optical transceivers have DOM (Digital Optics Monitoring) support. The module monitors the connection and it is possible to read out connection values for diagnosis via a digital interface. This data can be used, for example, to specifically identify whether a transmitting laser or a receiver unit is responsible for a possible drop in performance in the network. The complete failure of the connection can thus be avoided by early repair.

ServerShop24 - Refurbished network equipment, tested and affordable

Network components are usually not subject to much wear and tear, so used items are an excellent option for expanding and maintaining your network compared to expensive new hardware. Second-hand network hardware often offers comparable performance and reliability at a much lower cost. In our online shop you will find a wide range of carefully tested and high-quality servers, storage and network equipment from well-known brands, including accessories. Among other things, you benefit from our extensive stock, fast processing of your order and prompt dispatch with short delivery times. If you have any questions about your order, our friendly and competent customer service team will be happy to help you - just give us a call or use one of the many other contact options.

Fibre optics - high tech fibres for high speed networking

In principle, fibre optic technology is based on optical fibres (FOC) for the transmission of data via optical signals. These optical fibres consist of a sheathed quartz glass core, which is provided with a protective coating to protect it from external influences. A basic distinction is made between two types of optical fibres based on their structure and range of use - multimode fibres and singlemode fibres. Decisive factors here are the core diameter of the optical fibre and the wavelength of the transmitted signals. This determines which ranges can be realised. When selecting GBICs, it is important to note that only the specifically available transceivers can be used for each fibre type. For example, it is not possible to connect single-mode and multimode SFP due to the fundamental differences between the two types.

How do the fibre types differ?

Multimode fibres - This type of fibre works with short-wave light at a wavelength of mostly 850 nm and is usually used in local networks at distances of up to approx. 500 metres. The core diameter is significantly larger than that of a single-mode fibre, which limits the possible range due to variable signal propagation times and attenuation, among other things.

Four types of multi-mode fibre optic cables are widely used, which differ in their internal structure as well as the supported bandwidth and the maximum possible range:

- OM1: core diameter 62.5 μm; 10G up to 33 m
- OM2: core diameter 50 μm; 10G up to 82 m
- OM3: core diameter 50 μm; 10G up to 300 m, 40G and 100G up to 100 m
- OM4: core diameter 50 μm; 10G up to 550 m, 40G and 100G up to 150 m

The cable types OM1 and OM2 usually operate with LED light sources and are mainly used for applications with lower bandwidth in the gigabit range. In modern high-speed networks with transmission rates of up to 100 Gbit/s, only the cable types OM3 and OM4 are technically relevant, as they work on the basis of surface-emitting lasers with vertical resonators (VCSELs). The latest development is the OM5 multimode fibres. They operate in a wider wavelength range from 850 nm to 950 nm and require the use of special transceivers.

Single-mode fibres - These have a smaller core diameter of 8 to 10 μm and transmit data through long-wave light with wavelengths of mostly 1310 nm and 1550 nm. The fibre transports only a single wave with constant signal propagation times and very low attenuation. Depending on the wavelength and the transmission standard used, distances of up to 80 kilometres and sometimes even more can be realised.
The fibre optic cables used here are divided into types OS1 for indoor use and OS2 for outdoor use. They differ in their construction and the maximum possible distance that can be bridged. OS1 is designed for distances up to 10 km, the maximum range of OS2 cables is up to 200 km, depending on the scenario, and they also support 40G and 100G Ethernet connections.