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GBIC vs Media Converter Comparison and Application

In the field of optical communications, many devices have similar functions, such as GBIC vs media converter. They can be considered as the equipment for photoelectric conversion. But do you know their corresponding operating principles? How can the optical transceiver be used in conjunction with the media converter? In this article we are going to talk about their working ways and applications.

GBIC vs Media Converter: How Does Optical Transceiver Work

As a kind of optical transceiver, GBIC, also known as gigabit interface converter, is commonly used in GbE and Fibre Channel environments. The optical module is made up of optoelectronic devices with transmitter and receiver, functional circuits and optical interfaces. To put it simply, the function of an optical transceiver is photovoltaic conversion. The transmitter converts an electrical signal into an optical signal and the receiving end transforms the optical signal into an electrical signal so that the information could transmit in the optical fiber. The principle of optical transceiver is the same as media converter, but it is safer and more efficient than media converter.

GBIC vs Media Converter: How Does Media Converter Work

Media converter is made up for the traditional Ethernet short transmission distance to realize long distance transmission of the signal. For GBIC vs media converter, the latter is a simple networking device that makes it possible to connect two different media types, such as twisted pair copper with fiber optic cable. Currently, there are commonly two types of media converters: copper to fiber media converter and fiber to fiber media converter.

GBIC vs Media Converter: Coordination Between Optical Transceiver and Media Converter

A fiber media converter is used to extend copper UTP Ethernet cabling to distances beyond 100 m by converting the signals to fiber optic cabling. Media converters have two types of ports. One is for copper and the other is for fiber. In terms of fiber ports, there are also two kinds. One is designed for fiber optic transceivers (SFP, XFP and etc), and the other for fiber optic patch cables (SC, LC and etc). The copper ports are designed for RJ45 copper cables. SFP module is for LC while GBIC is for SC.

Fiber Media Converter

If you want to use an application that uses fiber media converters, the copper and fiber industry standards must match. Below shows the coordination between SFP vs media converter.

1. Connect the copper port of Cisco switch with RJ45 port of fiber media converter by using an UTP cable.

2. Insert an SFP module into SFP port of fiber media converter.

3. Insert an SFP module into SFP port of Brocade switch.

4. Use fiber optic patch cable to connect the fiber media converter with Brocade switch.

Coordination Between GBIC vs Media Converter


To sum up, media converter is a device that converts electrical signal used in copper unshielded twisted paired (UTP) network cabling into light waves used in fiber optic cabling, and vice versa. Media converter is usually used with the optical fiber patch cords to extend the transmission distance. What should you notice is that different optical transceiver, like SFP and GBIC, should be connected with relevant ports, such as LC, SC and etc. GBIC vs media converter is not the only way to achieve photovoltaic conversion. If you are looking for a media converter, Fiberstore would be a good choice.

How Fast Fiber Optic Cable Speed Is

In recent years, it is increasingly obvious that fiber optic cable is replacing copper cable as an optimal way of communication transmission step by step. One reason is that fiber optic cable can span a large distance between local phone systems and assume responsibility of backbone for many network systems and system users, including university campuses, office buildings, industrial plants and electric utility companies. In addition, current fiber optic cable is capable of operating at astounding speed to meet the ever growing demands from business infrastructure. In this article, we are going to illustrate the fiber optic cable speed and involve the speed introduction to single mode fiber and multimode fiber.

fiber optic cable speed of SMF and MMF

Fiber Optic Cable Speed Introduction

Fiber optic cable contains strands of optically pure glass which is thinner than a human hair and can carry digital information over long distance. Digital signals are sent as pulses of light without interference or limitation, so the digital transport system is faster and more reliable. Fiber optic technology allows for more data to be transferred in shorter time than older internet technology, like cable and DSL. For internet users, this higher data-transfer rate leads to faster fiber optic cable speed, higher-quality streaming and a better internet experience.

Single Mode and Multimode Fiber Optic Cable Speed Introduction

Fiber optic cable comes down to being one of these two types: single mode fiber or multimode fiber. For instance, there are single mode LC fiber for long distance transmission and multimode LC fiber for short distance transmission. Certainly, different types of cable will have corresponding fiber optic cable speed as well.

  • Single Mode Fiber Optic Cable Speed

Single mode cable is a single stand of glass fiber with a relatively narrow diameter of 8.3 to 10 microns that has one mode of transmission, which can propagate at the wavelength of 1310nm and 1550nm. On that account, there is little light reflection caused when light passes through the single mode fiber core. This will reduce fiber attenuation and optimize the speed for the signal to travel further. For single mode fiber optic cable speed, no matter it supports at 100 Mbit/s or 1 Gbit/s data rate, the transmission distance can reach to at least 5 km. So it is used for long distance signal transmission.

  • Multimode Fiber Optic Cable Speed

Multimode fiber is made of glass fiber with a common diameter in the range of 50 to 100 microns and has larger core that guides many modes simultaneously. This gives rise to more transit of data through the multimode fiber core and causes more light reflection, higher dispersion and attenuation rate. Multimode fiber provides high bandwidth with high fiber optic cable speed over short distance and is mostly used for communication, such as within a building or on a campus. Typically, the multimode fiber optic cable speed and distance limits are 100 Mbit/s for distance up to 2 km (100BASE-FX), 1 Gbit/s up to 1000m, and 10 Gbit/s up to 550 m.

the transmission distance of SMF and MMF with different fiber optic cable speed

The following chart lists the transmission distance of SMF and MMF with different fiber optic cable speed:

the transmission distance chart of SMF and MMF with different fiber optic cable speed


Fiber optic cable is the fastest mode of broadband technology available today. They offer commercial grade bandwidth and set an excellent example for businesses which are looking forward to optimize their system performance at the same time. In general, single mode fiber with a much smaller core gives you a higher transmission rate than multimode fiber. From this article, you would have a deeper understanding about fiber optic cable speed for both single mode fiber and multimode fiber. If you have any need in this respect, FS.COM will always be your good choice.

Do You Know the Difference Between Single Mode Fiber and Multimode Fiber

With regard to data transmission in optical networks, fiber optic transceiver is a vitally necessary part used for sending and receiving electrical and optical signals between facilities like computers, input/output devices, peripheral devices or switches. Based on the difference of transceiver models, optical modules can be separated into single mode optical transceivers and multimode optical transceivers with their relevant characteristics. When faced with situation for building a fiber optic network, you need to know the distinctions between single mode fiber and multimode fiber. In order to get the whole picture of it, this article will present you a brief introduction and major differences of single mode fiber and multimode fiber.

Single Mode Fiber vs. Multimode Fiber: Definition

Single mode fiber is a single stand of glass fiber with a diameter of 8.3 to 10 microns and one mode of transmission, which can propagate at the wavelength of 1310nm and 1550nm. For this reason, there is little light reflection caused when light passes through the single mode fiber core. This will reduce fiber attenuation and optimize the ability for the signal to travel further.

Multimode fiber has larger core that guides many modes simultaneously and gives rise to more transit of data through the multimode fiber core. This will create more light reflection, higher dispersion and attenuation rate. It reduces the quality of the signal over long distance.

Single Mode Fiber vs. Multimode Fiber: Differences

As mentioned above, the inner structure of single mode and multimode fiber are diverse, so what would result in this circumstance?

  • Light Propagation Types Difference

Single mode fiber has one type of light propagation: step index, while multimode fiber has two types: step index and graded index. What is more, the light propagation reduces less in single mode fiber transmission than that of multimode fiber.

  • Transmission Distance Difference

Multimode fiber has a correspondingly large light carrying core and is usually used for short distance transmission with LED based fiber optic equipment. Single mode fiber has a small light carrying core and is normally applied for long distance transmission with laser diode based fiber optic equipment.

  • Deployment Cost Difference

In terms of price, single mode transceiver costs 1.5 to 4-5 times more than multimode transceiver according to their different data rate.

Single Mode Fiber vs. Multimode Fiber: How to Choose?

It depends on transmission distance as well as overall budget. If the distance is less than a couple of miles, like 300-400 meters, multimode fiber will work well and transmission system costs, including transmitter and receiver, will be in the range of $500 to $800. If the distance is more than 3-5 miles, single mode fiber would be more suitable with the cost of more than $1000.


Single mode fiber is more effective for wide-range data applications and commonly used in carrier networks, PONs, and MANs. Multimode fiber is more suitable for shorter distance operations and used in enterprise data centers. And price is also a consideration. You can make a choice based on your needs. If you are interested in these fiber cables, Fiberstore is a good choice.

A Brief Introduction of Optical Transceiver

As an elementary part in the whole optic communication systems, an optical transceiver is a device that uses fiber optical technology to transform electrical signals into optical signals so that the information could transmit in the optical fiber. And when optical signal arrives at the destination, the transceiver then transforms optical signals into electrical signals. In general, it is a device used to send and receive information which includes two parts: a transmitter and a receiver. Nowadays, optical transceiver modules are extensively used in high-speed optical communication systems which require high performance, compact package, and low power consumption.

Different Optical Transceiver Types

There are lots of optical transceiver types, such as SFP+ (SFP Plus) transceiver, X2 transceiver, XENPAK transceiver, XFP transceiver, SFP (Mini GBIC) transceiver, GBIC transceiver, CWDM/DWDM transceiver, 40G QSFP+ & CFP, 3G-SDI video SFP, WDM Bi-Directional transceiver and PON transceiver.

How to Choose an Optical Transceiver

There is an old saying: a good horse with a good saddle, a good flower with a good pot. It shows the importance of choosing a proper type of optical transceiver for your device. Meanwhile, you need to consider some factors so as to find the right one. Based on the above, we are going to help you to go through the necessary factors so that you would have a basic understanding and know what should be taken into consideration for your choice.

  • Wavelength

It is important to understand wavelength when choosing optical transceiver since our eyes are sensitive to lights of which wavelength is in the range of 400 nm to 700 nm. While in the fiber optics, lights are used in the infrared region where wavelengths are longer than visible light. Common wavelength usually ranges from 850 nm to 1610 nm. Multi-mode fiber operates at 850 nm to 1310 nm, while single mode operates at 1310 nm to 1550 nm.

  • Compatibility

Compatibility is also an vital factor before you buy an optical transceiver. It is essential to test the interoperability and compatibility of each fiber optic transceiver. Since there are so many Brands, such as Cisco, HP, Ciena. They could lock the third party transceivers and not allow non-certified module works with their switches.

  • Transmission Distance

Comparing with the traditional copper cable, the fiber optic network has been an increasingly popular subject with the advantages of high speed, high density, high bandwidth and etc. Although the fiber optic cable could support further distance, the exact distance is still limited by many factors. Transmission distance has already become one of the problems needed to be solved urgently in the super fast optical communication. So you have to know the maximum distance in your fiber connection systems.


The whole optical communication system could not be operated orderly if there is no an optical transceiver. If you are in search of an optical transceiver, Fiberstore would be your proper choice. There are a good deal of fiber optic transceivers available with different types, which can be used for plenty of applications both in home and industrial fields. The desirable transceivers are waiting for you in Fiberstore!

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