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Optical Transceiver Interoperability: Unveiling the Four Key Elements

Posted on Dec 13, 2023 by
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FS 25G SFP28 Optical Modules

Ensuring seamless communication between different components is paramount in the ever-evolving landscape of networking technologies. Optical transceiver interoperability, the ability of various transceivers to work together efficiently, plays a pivotal role in maintaining the integrity and efficiency of data transmission systems. This article highlights the importance of optical transceiver interoperability and delves into the four key elements contributing to its success.

Importance of Optical Transceiver Interoperability

Optical transceiver interoperability ensures that devices from different manufacturers can seamlessly communicate and exchange data without compatibility issues. This simplifies network management and allows for cost-effective upgrades and replacements. Without interoperability, organizations may find themselves locked into a specific vendor's ecosystem, limiting flexibility and hindering the adoption of new technologies. Therefore, understanding and implementing the key elements of optical transceiver interoperability is crucial for maintaining a robust and future-ready network infrastructure.

Optical Transceiver Interoperability

Four Key Elements

Element 1: Same Wavelength

One of the fundamental requirements for optical transceiver interoperability is operating on the same wavelength. The wavelength, measured in nanometers, is the distance between successive peaks of a wave. In optical communication, different wavelengths are used to transmit multiple signals simultaneously over a single fiber optic cable.

To ensure interoperability, transceivers within the same network must operate on the same wavelength. This alignment allows for seamless communication between devices, preventing signal interference and data collisions. Take FS 25G SFP28 SR and 25G SFP28 LR optical transceivers as an example. The transmission wavelength of SR is 850nm while the transmission wavelength of LR is 1310nm, so these two optical transceivers cannot be interconnected because of the inconsistent wavelength. So network administrators must carefully configure transceivers to operate within the specified wavelength range, ensuring optimal performance and data integrity.

Element 2: Same Rate

Another critical factor in optical transceiver interoperability is maintaining the same data rate. The data rate, often expressed in gigabits per second (Gbps), represents the speed at which data is transmitted between devices. When integrating transceivers from different vendors, it is essential to match the data rates to prevent data synchronization issues.

Example 1: Both ends of the switch have different optical transceivers

The switch at end A is a 10G switch with FS 10G SFP+ optical transceiver inserted; the switch at end B is a 25G switch with FS 25G SFP28 optical transceiver inserted. In this case, the switch at end A and the switch at end B cannot be connected normally because the optical transceiver rates of the two switches are not the same.

Example 2: Both ends of the switch have the same optical transceiver

The 1G switch at end A and the 10G switch at end B are both inserted with FS 10G SFP+ optical transceivers. In this case, end A will be limited to 1G while end B is 10G. In this case, the switch at end A and end B cannot be connected because the optical transceivers used at both ends are the same, but the rates are not the same. It follows that when the optical transceivers at both ends of the switch do not have the same rate, they cannot be connected.

Mismatched data rates can lead to data loss, packet errors, and network instability. Therefore, meticulous attention to detail during the configuration of transceivers is necessary to align data rates and achieve optimal interoperability.

Element 3: The Right Fiber Type

Common fiber types include single-mode and multi-mode fibers, each with its unique characteristics. Single-mode fibers are suitable for long-distance transmissions, while multi-mode fibers are preferred for shorter distances. Ensuring that transceivers are compatible with the selected fiber type prevents signal degradation and loss, promoting reliable and efficient data transmission. Multimode optical transceivers need to be paired with multimode patch cords, and single-mode optical transceivers need to be paired with single-mode patch cords.

Element 4: Proper Operation

The success of optical transceiver interoperability also hinges on the proper operation of transceivers within the network. This involves adhering to industry standards, following manufacturer guidelines, and conducting regular maintenance and updates. All FS optical transceivers are tested in the targeted switch before shipment to ensure error-free operation.

FAQs on Optical Transceiver Interconnect

Q: Why doesn't the optical port light come on after connecting two optical modules?

A: There are 3 possible reasons:

1. The parameters of the optical modules at both ends do not match, such as wavelength, speed, and transmission distance.

2. The type of fiber optic patch cord used does not match the optical module.

3. The optical module is not compatible with the switch brand.

Solution: First, check if the optical port is enabled, then check if the parameters of the optical modules at both ends match, and if the optical module type matches the patch cord type. Also, check if the gateway is configured and if the VLANs are consistent. If the switch brand is incompatible with the optical module, replace the compatible optical module.

Q: Why does DDM receive low light after connection?

A: There are generally 3 reasons for the low received light of the optical module's DDM:

1. The emitting light of the opposite module is low.

2. There is a problem with the link causing excessive loss.

3. The detector of the optical module is damaged.

Solution: First check if the emitting light of the opposite module is normal. If the emission is normal, then check if the link is normal using tools such as OTDR or face testing equipment. If there are no issues with the opposite module or the link, the detector of the optical module may be damaged, and it needs to be returned for repair.

Q: What to do if the indicator light on the switch turns red after inserting the optical module?

A: On the switch, different indicator lights have different meanings. Here, we are referring to the Ethernet port status indicator light. Generally, a green light indicates that the port is in a connected state, blinking indicates data transmission, and besides green, Ethernet port indicator lights can also be red or orange. However, the meaning of the same-colored indicator lights may vary for different brands or models of equipment. For example, some brands' port supports multiple rates (1G/10G/25G or 100M/1G/10G), distinguishing link speed based on indicator light color, while others use red or orange to indicate alarm information.

Solution: First check the specific meaning of the device indicator light color (usually found in the switch product manual) or log in to the switch to see if there are any alarms. If the inserted module is incompatible, replace it with a compatible one.

Q: What to do if there is an interface alarm message after inserting the optical module?

A: First, determine the type of alarm, whether it is "not supported," "unknown," "unqualified," or if it is a receive/transmit light power alarm. If it is "not supported," "unknown," or "unqualified," it is because the module is incompatible with the device, and you need to replace it with another compatible module. If there is a receive/transmit light power alarm, check if the module is faulty or if there is an issue with the paired patch cord.

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