Friday, December 17, 2010

Introduction to transceivers

In switch or router, the first component customers facing is optical transceiver, which is used to connected optical fibre to PHY or EDCs inside switch/router. Transceiver is the device to convert optical signal to electrical signal, which could be processed by modern switch/router. The following is one list of optical transceivers commonly used in networking industry.
  1. GBIC(10M/100M/1000M)
  2. SFP/mini-GBIC(10M/100M/1000M)
  3. XENPAK(10G)
  4. X2(10G)
  5. XFP(10G)
  6. SFP+(10G)
  7. QSFP(40G)
  8. CXP(100G)
  9. CFP(100G)

Transceivers evolve  with smaller size and higher speed.  Most transceivers have the following features.
  • have EEPROM accessible via I2C or MDIO 
  • hot-pluggable
  • used with Ethernet or fibre channel. 
  • support bi-directional communications, while others only support one direction -- either up link or down link only. 
  • only support 1 speed, while others maybe  support multiple speeds.
  • no PHY inside, while some have PHY embedded. 

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