Basic Knowledge of Optical Transceiver Module

In optical fiber communication field, optical transceiver module is very important and widely used by communication systems and local area networks (LANs) built in big companies for both conversion and transmission functions. Receiving the basic knowledge about the optical transceiver modules is an important first step for those who plan to go depth into the fiber optic communication industrial. This text will provide some basic information on optical transceiver module, hoping it to help you easily understand the fiber optic transceiver working principle, its types and even facilitate you choosing the correct target transceiver modules for use in the feature.

Structure of Optical Transceiver Module

An optical transceiver module, also called fiber optic transmitter and receiver, is a device comprising both a transmitter and a receiver which are combined and share common circuitry or a single housing. It transmits on one direction on one fiber and on another fiber in the reverse direction. The role of optical transceiver module is photoelectric conversion.

Working Principle of Optical Transceiver Module

In the fiber optics, information is sent in the form of pulses of the light. The light pulses have to be converted into electrical ones in order to be utilized by an electronic device. Optical transceiver module includes both transmitter and receiver inside. The work process is: in its fiber optic data links, the transmitter takes in an electrical signal and then converts it into an optical one with the light source device like a laser diode or light-emitting diode (LED). The light converted from the transmitter is then coupled into the fiber with a connector and is transmitted through the fiber cable plant outside. The light from the end of the cable is coupled to a receiver, where a detector converts the light back into an electrical signal and finally adopted by the receiver equipment. The working principle is shown below.

working principle of transceiver

Types of Optical Transceiver Module

There are a number of different fiber optic types available in the market. They differ in the type of connections, data transmission speed, as well as packing forms. Some common types of fiber optic transceiver modules popular in the market are SFP transceiver, SFP+ transceiver, XFP transceiver, X2 transceiver, XENPAK transceiver, CFP transceiver and so on. And connector types for fiber optic transceivers are various, including D4, ESCON, FC, FDDI, LC, MTP, MT-RJ, MU, SC, SMA, ST, etc. The following picture shows an XFP transceiver.

XFP

Applications of Optical Transceiver Module

Fiber optic transceivers are designed for use with single mode or multi-mode cable. Single-mode fibers transmit infrared laser light at wavelength from 1300 to 1550 nm. They have small cores and are used with laser sources for high speed and long distance links. Multi-mode fibers have larger cores and are used mainly with LED sources for lower speed, shorter distance links. The typical transmission speeds and distance limits are 100 Mbit/s for up to 2km, 1Gbit/s to 220-550m, and 10Gbit/s to 300m. Other applications include FTTH (GPON, EPON, Point to Point), Base Station, Fibre Channel and Ethernet systems (from 100Mbps to 10Gbps with different form factor SFP, XFP and SFP+).

Several major brands, like Cisco, HP, Juniper, and Finisar, they manufacture various optical transceiver modules with high quality, for example, XFP-10GLR-OC192SR, X2-10GB-ZR and X2-10GB-ER branded by Cisco, JD093B, J9142B and JD119B branded by HP, and FTLF8519P3BNL, FTLF1319P1BTL, and FTLF1217P2BTL branded by Finisar. Every different transceiver meets different applications, so before you buy it you should learn about more details about them.

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