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Cisco 10GBase-ER SFP+ SFP-10G-ER
Cisco 1000Base-LX/LH SFP GLC-LH-SM
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Cisco SFP+ Copper Twinax Cable 1M SFP-H10GB-CU1M
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What is GBIC?

GBIC stands for  Gigabit Interface Converter. A GBIC is a type of Optical Transceiver. It is an module which converts serial electric signals into serial optical signals and vice versa.

In the Optical Networking world, a GBIC is commonly used to interface a Fiber Optic system with an Ethernet system.  Common applications include Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet.  The GBIC form factor allows manufacturers to design one type (form factor) of device which can be used for either copper or optical applications.  GBIC modules are hot swappable, which increases the ease of upgrading Optical networks.

The GBIC has become a standard form factor for optical transceivers, and can support a variety of physical media, from legacy copper to long wave single mode fiber up to lengths of hundreds of kilometers.  The GBIC is an appealing standard in networking equipment because of its flexibility.  In networks where a variety of different optical technologies are deployed, IT staff can purchase GBIC modules as needed, for the specific type of link needed.  The flexibility of the GBIC standard drives costs down and gives IT administrators far more flexibility.  The GBIC standard is non proprietary and is defined by the SFF Committee in document # SFF-8053i.

A variation of the GBIC called the mini-GBIC or SFP exists as well. It has the same functionality / modularity but in a smaller form factor.

October 19, 2010