What Is An Optical to Electrical Transceiver and How Does It Work? - NADDOD Blog

What is an Optical to Electrical Transceiver and How Does It Work?

NADDOD Jason Data Center Architect Jan 11, 2023

In recent years, optical to power transceivers are widely used in data center machine rooms, mainly with switches, Nics and other products used together. For professionals in the communications industry, optical to power transceivers are not unfamiliar, but in view of the fact that some users are not very familiar with it, this article NADDOD will provide a detailed introduction to the definition and use of optical to power transceivers, leading you to reacquaint yourself with optical to power transceivers.

What is an Opto-electrical Transceiver? Is It an Optical Transceiver?

Optical to electrical transceiver, that is, the electrical port transceiver, is an optical transceiver with an electrical interface (RJ45) , in line with the MSA standard, supports hot-swappable, with good performance, compact design, the role of the optical signal into an electrical signal. The optical transceiver with similar function but different interface is optical port transceiver, whose interface is mainly LC/MPO/MTP fiber optic interface, the role of photoelectric conversion. In addition to the different types of interfaces, they have the following differences:

  1. Transmission Medium
    Optical to electrical transceiver transmission is the electrical signal, optical port transceiver transmission is the optical signal.
  2. Matching Products
    Optical to electrical transceivers are usually connected with network cables, such as Category 6 network cables and super Category 6 network cables, etc.; optical port transceivers are usually connected with fiber optic patch cords, such as single-mode fiber optic patch cords and multimode fiber optic patch cords, etc.
  3. Wavelength
    Because the optical to electrical transceiver transmission is the electrical signal, so there is no fiber wavelength this parameter, while the optical port transceiver has fiber wavelength of the difference.
  4. Transmission Distance
    Optical to electrical transceiver is generally used for short distance transmission, the farthest transmission distance is 100m; while the optical port transceiver can be used for long and short distance transmission, the farthest transmission distance can reach 120Km.

    As can be seen from the above, the optical to electrical transceiver is actually a kind of optical transceiver, and the main difference between it and the common optical port transceiver is that the interface and transmission distance are different.

Introduction of Optical to Electrical Transceiver Types

Optical transconductor transceivers are divided into 100 Gigabit SFP optical transconductor transceivers, Gigabit SFP optical transconductor transceivers and 10 Gigabit SFP+ optical transconductor transceivers according to the package type and transmission rate, among which Gigabit SFP optical transconductor transceivers and 10 Gigabit SFP+ optical transconductor transceivers are most widely used. The following is an introduction to these three types of optical-to-electrical transceivers.

100 Gigabit SFP Optical to Electrical Transceiver
The transmission rate of 100 Gigabit SFP optical to power transceiver is 100Mbps, which is generally used in 100 Gigabit Ethernet, usually connected with Cat5 network cable to realize the transmission of 100M network, and the farthest transmission distance is 100m.

Gigabit SFP Optical to Electrical Transceiver
Gigabit SFP optical-to-power transceiver has a transmission rate of 1Gbps and is generally used in Gigabit Ethernet, usually connected with Cat6 network cable to realize the transmission of 1G network. Gigabit SFP optical-to-power transceiver can be used to interconnect the RJ45 interface and SFP interface of Gigabit Ethernet switch, that is, the optical port (i.e. SFP interface) of the optical-to-power transceiver is inserted into the SFP interface of the switch, and then the RJ45 interface of the transceiver and the RJ45 interface of the switch are connected with the network cable.

Optical to Electrical Transceiver

10 Gigabit SFP+ Optical to Electrical Transceiver
The 10 Gigabit SFP+ optical to power transceiver has a transmission rate of 10Gbps, which can realize the transmission of 10G network with more stable performance, and is generally used in 10 Gigabit Ethernet. A major advantage of 10 Gigabit SFP+ optical to power transceiver is that it can convert the optical port on the switch to electrical port to meet the demand of insufficient RJ45 ports on the switch.

How to Use the Optical to Electrical Transceiver

As you can see from the introduction above, the optical to power transceiver works by connecting devices (such as switches, servers, network patch panels, etc.) via network cables, and the specific operation tutorials are as follows.

  1. Before using the light to power transceiver need to wear anti-static gloves or anti-static bracelets, to prepare for anti-static.
  2. After gently removing the optical to electrical transceiver, observe the end of the equipment to adjust the transceiver direction. Take the 10G SFP+ optical transceiver as an example, adjust its direction to the pull ring and label facing up, and the gold finger facing down (key note: the front and back side must not be reversed). But different brands and manufacturers of optical transceivers label side direction and the upper and lower ports of the switch may not be exactly the same, so the direction of use of the optical adapter transceiver needs to be judged according to the actual application.
  3. Slowly insert the transceiver into the slot of the switch until it encounters resistance to push and is tightly connected to the bottom of the switch slot, at which time a click will be heard, indicating that the transceiver has been fully inserted.
  4. Plug the network cable into the RJ45 interface of the optical to electrical transceiver, and the other end of the cable into the network wiring frame or other network equipment.
  5. Finally, observe whether the indicator light on the switch is on, if the light is on, it indicates that the link is successfully connected.

    Pay Attention:
    1.When installing the optical to electrical transceiver, be sure to take care of lightly and install it horizontally to avoid damaging the transceiver.

    2.Do not hot-swap the optical-to-electrical transceiver frequently, otherwise the service life of the transceiver may be shortened.

    Conclusion:
    In short, the optical to electrical transceiver is an optical transceiver with an electrical interface, which can be used with a network cable for a maximum transmission distance of 100 meters, and must be installed correctly when used.