GBIC Transceiver vs SFP Transceiver – Which One Is Best?

GBIC Transceiver vs SFP Transceiver – Which One Is Best?

What is the difference between GBIC Transceivers and SFP Transceivers? 

To transmit and receive signals among devices, it is necessary to choose the best fiber optic transceivers that will not only enhance the connectivity across the network but will also help in connecting devices over long distances.

There are two ways the network devices can be connected, i.e. Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC) and Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) transceivers. These networking transceivers can send and receive data between fiber and wire, where the end of the fiber connection usually faces two-way traffic at the front. Later these signals are transformed and transmitted through copper wires. Further, these modules help with converting the signals.

Here is a brief guide on GBIC vs SFP transceivers, and how they are different from each other.

GBIC and SFP Transceivers

GBIC and SFP transceivers are hot-pluggable optical transceivers that are used to convert optical signals and optical signals. Generally, SFP transceivers are used as an upgraded version of GBIC with the major difference being in their sizes, SFP transceivers are smaller.  Whereas, GBIC and SFP transceivers possess the same performance. As large enterprises usually require networking devices that can connect devices across large networks at high data rates. These transceivers are used by large organizations that require networking devices to send and receive signals over large distances at high data rates.

Let’s review each of these transceivers in more detail, separately.

What Is a GBIC Transceiver?

Gigabit interface converter (GBIC) transceivers consist of the modular interface that is specifically designed for Gigabit Ethernet-to-fiber connectivity. These transceiver modules can be easily configured and help with upgrading electro-optical communication networks. Further, these GBIC transceiver modules are plug-in modules that can be easily plugged in and removed without turning the system off. Also, they help with ruling out or replacing entire boards at the system level.

GBIC transceivers

Following are a few of the main attributes of GBIC transceivers that sets them apart from SFP transceivers.

  • Helps with connecting networking devices such as remote switches and routers
  • Are usually larger in size
  • Consists of a popular standard connector (SC)
  • They have been replaced by SFP and SFP+ transceivers that can work in the range of 4.25G/s to 10GB/s.

What Is an SFP Transceiver?

An SFP (small form-factor pluggable) transceivers are compact, hot-swappable transceivers that are used in wide telecommunication or data communication networks. Also, these transceivers can support communication standards that include synchronous optical networking (SONET)/synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH), gigabit ethernet, and fiber channels. Moreover, they also help with transporting fast Ethernet and gigabit Ethernet LAN packets over time-division-multiplexing-based WANs, followed by transmitting E1/T1 streams over packet-switched networks. Although these transceivers work the same as GBIC transceivers and are also called mini gigabit interface converters (GBIC).

SFP (small form-factor pluggable) transceivers

Following are the key features of SFP transceivers.

  • Facilitates faster connection with data transmitting speed up to 10GB/s.
  • Have a small form factor
  • Takes up less space than a traditional GBIC transceiver
  • Also supports MT-RJ and little connector (LC)

GBIC vs SFP – What Are the Differences?

GBIC and SFP transceivers seem to offer the same performance, yet have several differences that set them apart. For instance,  there is a visible difference between the shell of both transceivers. The shell of GBIC is comparatively larger as compared to SFP transceivers and uses an LC interface, whereas, GBIC uses an SC interface. The performance of both of these transceivers is the same but due to the smaller size, SFP transceivers have begun to replace GBIC transceivers. Following are a few of the major differences between these two transceivers.

Transceiver TypeGBIC TransceiverSFP Transceiver
Data Rate155 Mbps
622 Mbps
1.25 Gbps
155 Mbps
622 Mbps
1.25 Gbps
2.125 Gbps
3 Gbps
4.25 Gbps
Wavelength850 nm
1310 nm
1550 nm
850 nm
1310 nm
Max Distance120 km160 km
ConnectorSC, RJ-45LC, SC, RJ-45

Where to find the best GBIC and SFP transceivers online?

To enhance communication by receiving or transmitting signals between the devices, find the best deals on network transceivers at These high-end transceivers are available in different variations of mode, wavelength, connector type, and more. In case of any confusion regarding selecting the right fiber optic transceivers and modules, please reach out to our network engineer to help you make the right choice. 

Also Read: 

What is a transceiver and how does it work?

Top Rated Fiber Optic Transceivers and Modules

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