This paper introduces the product family of Cisco SFPs and explains their corresponding optical interface and patch cable type. We also give some tips on the Cisco SFP model which help us easily know the parameters of the SFP.
Cisco's small form-factor pluggable (SFP) transceivers are the hot-swappable input/output devices plug into a Gigabit Ethernet port or slot. Optical and copper models can be used on a wide variety of Cisco products and intermixed in combinations of 1000BASE-T, 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX/LH, 1000BASE-EX, 1000BASE-ZX, or 1000BASE-BX10-D/U on a port-by-port basis. We can easily judge the Gigabit Ethernet port type only by the description or model name of the SFP modules. However, when choosing or using the SFP transceivers, we are usually confused with the fiber optic interfaces of Cisco SFP transceivers. Today, we are going to have an overview of the fiber optic interface of Cisco commomly used SFPs.
The Product Family of Cisco SFPs
The product family of Cisco SFP transceivers includes the following types:
1000BASE-T SFP for Copper Networks
1000BASE-SX SFP for Multimode Fiber Only
1000BASE-LX/LH SFP for Both Multimode and Single-Mode Fibers
1000BASE-EX SFP for Long-Reach Single-Mode Fibers
1000BASE-ZX SFP for Long-Reach Single-Mode Fibers
1000BASE-BX10-D and 1000BASE-BX10-U SFP for Single-Fiber Bidirectional Applications
Fiber Optic Interfaces of Cisco SFP Transceivers
According to the product family of Cisco SFPs, each type has its own featured products. The optical interface and the corresponding fiber patch cable type of each product are mentioned in the following:
[GLC-BX-D=] single-strand SMF, 1490-nm TX/1310-nm RX wavelength, single LC/PC connector
[GLC-BX-U=] single-strand SMF, 1310-nm TX/1490-nm RX wavelength, single LC/PC connector
[GLC-2BX-D=] single-strand SMF, 1490-nm TX/1310-nm RX wavelength, two single LC/PC connectors
[GLC-EX-SMD=] SMF, 1310-nm wavelength, extended operating temperature range and DOM support, dual LC/PC connector
Some Tips on The Model of Cisco SFP Transceivers
When using or choosing Cisco SFPs, the meaning of the product's model (eg. the meaning of the letters and numbers) needs to be known. Here are some tips on them.
SX - 850 nm, for a maximum of 550 m at 1.25 Gbit/s (gigabit Ethernet) or 150m at 4.25 Gbit/s (Fibre Channel) for single-mode fiber.
LX - 1310 nm, for distances up to 10 km.
EX - 1310 nm, for distances up to 40 km.
ZX - 1550 nm, for distances up to 80 km.
BX - 1490 nm/1310 nm, Single Fiber Bi-Directional Gigabit SFP Transceivers, paired as BS-U and BS-D for Uplink and Downlink respectively, also for distances up to 10 km. Variations of bidirectional SFPs are also manufactured which use 1550 nm in one direction.
T - stands for port of BaseT port, they are not compatible with (or rather: do not have equivalents for) Fibre channel or SONET.
"D" in "GLC-SX-MMD" - Digital Optical Monitoring (DOM) support, performing transceiver monitoring and troubleshooting operations.
"RGD" in GLC-SX-MM-RGD - Rugged' (RGD) Transceiver Module, which features enhanced ESD protection, and extended operating temperature range.
"=" in GLC-SX-MM= - Field Replaceable Units which can be used as "spare" or be shipped individually to replace damaged units. The new parts that are ordered directly from a reseller or from Cisco usually don't come with the = sign.
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