Fiber Optical Transceiver Modules FAQs

In the last few weeks, we have respectively introduced transceiver modules from different aspects or some famous brands. I hope all these knowlegde will give you some help during your using or working with the transceiver modules. Today, we do not plan to begin a new topic about the transceiver modules, but make a summary of the FAQ of the transceiver modules. Though some of them are simple, this paper is mainly intended to help both new and experienced technicians as a learning tool and a reference source for better understanding or using the transceiver modules.

Ok, the following contents are all the frequently asked questions and the corresponding answers, we will introduce them from easy to difficult.

Q:What is Transceiver Module?
A:Transceiver module is the combination of a transmitter and a receiver into a single device which acts to connect the electrical circuitry of the module with the optical or copper network. In addition, most transceiver modules are hot-swappable I/O (input/output) devices which plug into module sockets. As we know, devices such as routers, switches, or network interface cards modules provide one or more transceiver module slot (e.g GBIC, SFP, XFP etc.), into which you can insert a transceiver module that is appropriate for that connection. The optical fibre, or wire, plugs into a connector on the transceiver module. There is a variety of transceiver modules available for using with different types of fiber optic patch cords, different wavelengths and different transmission distances.

Q:What does hot-swappable mean?
A:Hot-swappable is the capability of being able to disconnect and connect devices while the computer or other device is on and have those devices be detected without having to reboot the computer or device. A hot-swappable device is one which can be connected or disconnected from an electronic device without having to reboot. This is useful as it allows you to swap between transceiver modules without having to power off your device.

Q:Why would I use a Transceiver Module?
A:Transceiver modules have many uses, but much of their success lies in their inter changeability. An example would be in the event that multiple different optical technologies are used in your network, you can purchase transceiver modules when required, rather than in advance, furthermore these modules can be the specific type (wavelength) required for each link. This achieves 2 things; firstly it lowers the initial costs associated with building your network and then gives you greater flexibility in the future when expanding your network.

Transceiver modules also allow you to expand your network over distances of up to 80km, at data rates of up to 100GBase (100 Gigabit/s) when using Single Mode fibre (SMF). This allows you to connect multiple data centres, or office networks together with fibre optic cabling. The optical fibre plugs into a connector on the transceiver module, which then allows for bi-directional communication between the transceiver modules.

Another way in which transceiver modules can be used is to connect high speed peripheral devices to your network, such as NAS (Network Attached Storage) boxes or servers. In instances where the server has gigabit or greater networking capabilities, a transceiver module can be installed in a 10/100/1000 megabit switch which has an available high speed module slot. This increases the available bandwidth for the high speed device, and results in increased performance.

Q:What are the main types of Transceiver Module?
A:Transceiver modules are available in various form factors, and can be optical (fibre optic) or designed for copper wiring. Different transceiver modules support different data rates, from 100Base (100 Mbit/s) up to 100GbE (100 Gbit/s). There are some common types of transceiver modules as the following:

Q:What tools do I need when installing a Transceiver Module?
A:The following is a list of the tools which are recommended when installing a Transceiver module:

  • A Wrist strap or similar personal grounding device designed to stop ESD occurrences.
  • An Antistatic mat or similar which the transceiver can be placed on.
  • Fibre-optic end-face cleaning tools and inspection equipment.
  • A flat head screw driver is require to install a XENPAK transceiver module.

Q:What are CWDM and DWDM Transceiver Modules?
A:Wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) is a technology which multiplexes a number of optical carrier signals onto a single optical fiber by using different wavelengths (i.e., colors) of laser light. WDM is divided into different wavelength patterns, conventional/coarse wavelength-division multiplexing (CWDM) and dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM). In general, a CWDM (coarse WDM) MUX/DEMUX deals with small numbers of wavelengths, typically eight, but with large spans between wavelengths (spaced typically at around 20nm). A DWDM (dense WDM) MUX/DEMUX deals with narrower wavelength spans (as small as 0.8nm, 0.4nm or even 0.2nm), and can accommodate 40, 80, or even 160 wavelengths. CWDM and DWDM transceiver modules are the transceiver modules which are combined the CWDM or DWDM technology. The main advantage of both CWDM and DWDM is that they allow you to expand your networks capacity without the need for physical fibre optic cabling.

Q:What is DOM support?
A:DOM, short for Digital optical monitoring, is a feature which allows you to monitor many parameters of the transceiver module in real-time. DOM allows you to monitor the TX (transmit) and RX (receive) of the module, as well as input/output power, temperature, and voltage. Network administrators can then check and ensure that the module is functioning correctly.

Q:What is a ‘Rugged’ (RGD) Transceiver Module?
A:You may be interested in the “-RGD” in the product number of some transceiver module. In fact, these are enhanced transceiver modules which have been designed for greater durability, and can operate under more extreme conditions. Rugged transceivers may feature enhanced ESD protection, and extended operating temperature range.

Q:Can I connect a GBIC to an SFP ?
A:Functions of GBIC and SFP are equal. They are different in the size, namely, GBIC is bigger than SFP. Thus, they can be connected to each other, provided that the media type is the same. For example you could connect a 1000Base-SX GBIC to a 1000Base-SX SFP using an LC/SC cable. For optical transceivers the wavelength is defined by the media type, so two different form factors with the same media type would be compatible. LC/SC cables are commonly available, and comprise an SC connector at one end, and an LC connector at the other.

Q:What are the main types of Gigabit Ethernet?
A:Gigabit Ethernet describes technologies which transmit Ethernet frames at a rate of 1 gigabit per second as defined by the IEEE 802.3-2008 standard.

Medium: Twinaxial Cabling
Distance: 25 metres

Medium: Multi-mode fibre (MMF)
Distance: 220-550 metres
Wavelength: 770-860 nm

Medium: Multi-mode fibre (MMF)
Distance: 550 metres
Medium: Single-mode fibre (SMF)
Distance: up to 5km
Wavelength: 1270-1355 nm

Medium: Single-mode fibre (SMF)
Distance: up to 10km
Wavelength: 1310 nm

Medium: Single-mode fibre (SMF)
Distance: up to 70km
Wavelength: 1550 nm

Medium: Single-mode fibre (SMF)
Distance: up to 10km
Wavelength: 1490 nm (downstream)
Wavelength: 1310 nm (upstream)

Medium: Twisted Pair (Category 5 cable or higher)
Distance: up to 100m

Medium: Twisted Pair (Category 6 cable or higher)
Distance: up to 100m

Q:What are the main types of 10 Gigabit Ethernet?
A:10 Gigabit Ethernet is 10 times faster than gigabit Ethernet, with a data rate of 10 Gbit/s which is defined by the IEEE 802.3ae-2002 standard.

10GBASE-SR (short reach)
Medium: Multi-mode fibre (MMF)
Distance: up to 300 metres
Wavelength: 850 nm

10GBASE-LR (long reach)
Medium: Single-mode fibre (SMF)
Distance: up to 10 km
Wavelength: 1310 nm

10GBASE-LRM (long reach multimode)
Medium: Multi-mode fibre (MMF)
Distance: up to 220 metres
Wavelength: 1310 nm

10GBASE-ER (extended reach)
Medium: Single-mode fibre (SMF)
Distance: up to 40 km
Wavelength: 1550 nm

Medium: Single-mode fibre (SMF)
Distance: up to 80 km
Wavelength: 1550 nm

Medium: Multi-mode fibre (MMF)
Distance: up to 300 metres
Medium: Single-mode fibre (SMF)
Distance: up to 10 km
Wavelength: 1300 nm

Medium: Copper
Distance: up to 15 metres

Q:How about Fiberstore Transceiver Modules?
A:Fiberstore provides a full set of comaptible fiber optic transceiver module solution cover all the famous brands, such as Cisco, HP, and so on, which can satisfy you with a full range of services. We guarantee the compatibility of all of our transceiver modules, and always ensure that they meet or surpass the standards set by the manufacturers of the devices in which they are intended for use. In addition, we offer a lifetime warranty on all of our modules unless otherwise stated. If you need advise on transceiver modules, or have any questions, welcome to contact us and one of the team will get back to you shortly.

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