Experience Cisco GBIC Module and SFP Module
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Experience Cisco GBIC Module and SFP Module

Posted on by FS.COM

Gigabit interface converter (GBIC) and Small Form-factor Pluggables (SFP) transceivers are designed for Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel applications. They are small, modular optical interface transceivers offering a cost-effective and convenient solution for data center, campus and storage area networks. This article will give a clear introduction to these two optical modules.

Understanding GBIC and SFP Module

A GBIC module is a transceiver that can convert electric currents (digital highs and lows) to optical signals, and optical signals to digital electric currents. The typical GBIC module is a hot swappable input/output device that plugs into a Gigabit Ethernet port or slot and links the port with the network. Data rates vary on GBIC model specifications, but it has at least 1Gbps. The common types of GBIC modules are 1000BASE-T GBIC, 1000BASE-SX GBIC, 1000BASE-LX/LH GBIC and 1000BASE-ZX GBIC.

gbic and sfp

While as the growing demand for high bandwidth, the SFP module is produced to suit the needs. SFP transceiver is designed for use with small form factor (SFF) connectors, and offer high speed and physical compactness for Gigabit Ethernet networks. In a simple term, SFP transceiver is a smaller version of GBIC module. Besides, SFP module is also a hot swappable module to maximize uptime and simplify serviceability in Gigabit Ethernet applications.

Comparison Between GBIC and SFP Module

As has mentioned above, the main difference between GBIC and SFP module is the size. Before SFP modules come into existence, GBIC modules are the most common interface for fiber connections. But due to the size of the GBIC module, it was not feasible to provide more number of interfaces on a line card or a switch since it needs more space. To solve this problem, SFP transceiver occurs.

SFP is an upgraded version of Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC) module. And it has only half the size of the GBIC. Hence when compared to GBIC modules, network operators can have more interfaces on the same line card or switches with SFP transceivers. SFP uses LC fiber optic cable for its interface whereas SC interfaces are used in GBIC. And SFP has transmission rate ranging from 100Mbps to 4Gbps and it can work at distances ranging between 500 meters to hundreds of kilometers.


Although there are differences between the GBIC and SFP module, when to use is also a problem that needs to be solved. In fact, it’s easy to choose which to use. If the device supports GBIC, then utilize GBIC modules. If the device supports SFP, then a SFP module is needed. The choice also can depend on the number of interfaces required and availability of the switches.

Best-Selling Cisco GBIC and SFP Transceivers in FS.COM

FS.COM supplies various kinds of GBIC and SFP module that are 100% compatible with brands like Cisco, Brocade, Extreme and Alucatel-Luncent, etc. Here is a list of Cisco compatible GBIC and SFP modules in FS.COM. If you have other needs, welcome to visit our website www.fs.com for more detailed information.

Type Description
Cisco Compatible 1000BASE-T GBIC RJ-45 100m Transceiver
Cisco Compatible 1000BASE-LX/LH GBIC 1310nm 10km Transceiver
Cisco Compatible 1000BASE-ZX GBIC 1550nm 70km Transceiver
Cisco Compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP 850nm 550m Transceiver
Cisco Compatible 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP 1310nm 10km Transceiver
Cisco Compatible 1000BASE-ZX SFP 1550nm 70km Transceiver

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