With the expansion of fiber optics and the migration to 40 or even 100 Gigabits/s, fiber optic transceivers have seen a surge in attention the past few years. Quiktron, an industry leading name in fiber products and solutions for over 20 years, has been working to make all things fiber more easily understood by contractors and integrators unfamiliar with this emerging market today. In this two part series, we explore what transceivers are, how they work, and then we will go into deeper detail on how to select transceivers, and what specifications you will need to keep in mind for your installation.
What are Fiber Optic Transceivers?
|Fiber optic transceivers are modular, pluggable/interchangeable optoelectronic devices that are at the heart of a fiber optic communication system. They basically convert the switch's electrical signals to optical signals on one end and back again on the other.
|There’s no doubt that the “need for speed”, or faster data transmission rates, is an ever increasing requirement for tomorrow’s data centers, local area networks and digital communication systems.|
Did you know?Fiber optic transceivers also have built-in memory chips that “program” them to work with the specific switch gear, routers and transmission equipment which they are designed to plug into.
Also, transceivers may use different schemes, like PAM4 to increase the modulation of the light containing the encoded data. The transmission throughput can be increased by adding more fibers (parallel optical transmission) or even adding more wavelengths on a single fiber (WDM).
|Therefore, transceivers can come with different formats or in so many shapes and sizes (form factors) in order to fit into the switch equipment “slots”. It can sometimes be quite confusing to figure out what products you actually need to use.|
What about MSA or MMWA?Transceivers are interchangeable. They are designed that way from different manufacturers, under an MSA, or Multi –Source Agreement, which has been established in the industry by transceiver suppliers to assure standardized and compatible mechanical and electrical interfaces.
So, what about the transmission equipment warranty if you use someone else’s transceiver!!? It turns out that the Government “has your back” with the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act (MMWA) enacted in 1975. Equipment manufacturers cannot require that only their brand of transceivers be used with the switch in order to retain the warranty.