The word GBIC is an IT industry term which stands for Gigabit Interface Converter. A GBIC is a variety of Optical Transceiver, which is designed to convert serial electric signals into serial optical signals. GBIC modules are typically inserted into a network switch in order to connect a Fiber Optic system with an Ethernet system. The most common applications where GBIC modules are used include Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet.
The GBIC is fully hot swappable, which adds to its flexibility and ease of installation. It 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
Cisco GBIC modules and 3rd party equivalent, MSA (Multi Source Agreement) compliant modules can be interchanged on a wide variety of Cisco products and can be intermixed in combinations of 1000BASE-T, 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX/LH, 1000BASE-ZX, 1000BASE-CWDM, or 1000BASE-DWDM interfaces on a port-by-port basis.
The WS-G5483 is Cisco’s 1000BASE-T GBIC product, which connects a GBIC port to Category 5 wiring using a standard RJ-45 interface. The maximum Category 5 wiring distance is 328 feet (100 meters).
The WS-G5484 is Cisco’s 1000BASE-SX GBIC product, which operates on legacy multimode fiber (MMF) optic link spans up to 1815 feet (550 m) and on laser-optimized multimode fiber (OM3) optic link spans up to 3281 feet (1 km).
The Cisco WS-G5486 is Cisco’s 1000BASE-LX/LH GBIC product, which allows for reaches up to 6.2 miles (10 km) over single-mode fiber (SMF) and up to 550 meters over multimode fiber (MMF).
The Cisco WS-G5487 is Cisco’s 1000BASE-ZX GBIC product, which operates on ordinary single-mode fiber optic link spans up to 43.4 miles (70 km) long. Link spans of up to 62 miles (100 km) are possible using premium single-mode fiber or dispersion shifted single-mode fiber. The GBIC provides an optical link budget of 21 dB – the precise link span length will depend on multiple factors such as fiber quality, number of splices, and connectors.