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GBIC vs SFP—When to Choose What?

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GBIC and SFP are both a kind of hot-pluggable optical transceiver which is mainly used to convert between the optical signal and electrical signal. GBIC stands for Gigabit Interface Converter. SFP is short for Small Form-factor Pluggable. Usually, SFP is considered as an upgraded version of GBIC module. However, GBIC and SFP are equal in performance. The only major difference between them is their size. SFP module is much smaller than GBIC module. For this reason, the SFP is also called mini GBIC in most cases.

These years, due to the small size of SFP, GBIC module is being replaced by SFP. Why is this happening? In fact, the most common reason is that the big size of GBIC module was not feasible to provide more number of interfaces on a line card or a switch since it occupies more space. In order to resolve this issue people came up with SFPs which were smaller in size hence you can have more interfaces on the same line card or switch compared to GBICs. Let’s take an example, have you ever heard of a 48 port GBIC line card on 6500 switch. The answer is no, because it’s not feasible to have 48 big GBIC interfaces on the form factor of the line card. But a 48 port SFP line card exists.

gbic module

Knowing the differences between these two modules, then which one should you choose? In general, it actually depends on the line card or the switch you have. Usually, the line cards and switches comes with empty GBIC or SFP slots where you need to purchase the GBIC module or SFP modules respectively and insert in those empty slot. However, if you already have a switch or line card which has GBIC slots you have to use GBICs, simply because SFPs won’t fit in and vice versa.

Another case where you don’t have a switch or line card and want to make a decision whether to use a GBIC or SFP will actually depend on the number of interfaces required and availability of the switches and line cards specific model. For example, if you want two fiber interfaces on a line card on 6500 switch, you won’t go for a 48 port SFP line card, instead you’ll use a 2 port GBIC line card. If you need some 24 fiber interfaces you won’t use a 16 (or 18 not sure) port GBIC line card, you’ll use a 48 port SFP line card.

After reading this article, you may get a clear understanding of whether to use SFP module or GBIC module. Fiberstore provides all kinds of SFP modules, such as 1000BASE-T SFP, 1000BASE SX SFP, 1000BASE LX SFP etc. If you need to buy GBIC modules, I also recommend you to visit Fiberstore. All their GBIC modules come with a lifetime advance replacement warranty and are 100% functionally tested.

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How Many SFP Module Types Do You Know

How many modules types do you know? From the Fiberstore, I find this answer.The Fiber Optic Transceivers have a full range of sfp modules. Fiberstore supply various kinds of SFP module 100% compatible with Cisco SFP, HP SFP, Juniper SFP, Netgear SFP, DELL SFP, CWDM SFP, DWDM SFP, BIDI SFP, 10G SFP and so on. Next, I will give you a brief introduction on SFP module types provided by Fiberstore.

SFP Module Types

First SFP Module Types: CWDM SFP

The CWDM SFP (small form-factor pluggable) transceiver is really a compact optical transceiver used in optical communications for both telecommunication and data communications applications on the wavelength. CWDM SFP are used to link the ports to the fiber optic network, typical CWDM SFP like Cisco’s could support both Gigabit Ethernet and Fiber Channel. CWDM SFP transceiver modules make use of the SFP interface for connecting the equipment and use dual LC PC fiber connector interface for connecting the optical network. FiberStore CWDM SFP transceivers can be found with a variety of different transmitter and receiver types, allowing users to decide on the appropriate transceiver for each link to provide the required optical reach over the available optical fiber.

Second SFP Module Types: DWDM SFP

The Dense Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (DWDM) transceivers offer DWDM transport with dramatically lower power and cost in a standard pluggable SFP package. Fiberstore DWDM SFP is available in all 100 GHz C/L-band wavelengths on the DWDM ITU grid. As multirate interfaces they support any protocol from 100 Mbps to 4.25 Gbps. The modules meet the requirements of the IEEE802.3 Gigabit Ethernet standard and ANSI Fiber Channel specifications, they are suitable for interconnections in Gigabit Ethernet and Fiber Channel environments. The DWDM SFP is designed to accept DWDM SONET/SDH (with or without FEC) for 200km links and Ethernet/Fiber Channel protocol traffic for 80km links.

Third SFP Module Types: 10G SFP

The 10G SFP Transceiver Modules refers to 10G SFP Plus Transceivers,someone know that the sfp+ is an enhanced version of the SFP that supports data rates up to 10 Gbit/s. Several standards for 10G SFP has been released, 10GBase-SR is for OM3 multimode optical fiber, relevant SFP plus working distance 300 meters max, 10GBase-LR is for single mode optical fiber, relevant SFP plus working distance 10km, 10GBase-LRM is for FDDI multimode fiber, the SFP plus working distance 220 meters.

Want to know more SFP Module Types, pls visit fs.com, We will continue to update fiber optic transceiver information.Our optical transceivers are backed by a lifetime warranty, and you can buy with confidence. We also can customize optical transceivers to fit your specific requirements.

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