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Pluggables Home


Pluggable interfaces are small, hot-swappable, managed port interface modules that provide physical layer (copper or fiber) signaling for data, voice, storage and video transport networks.

Pluggables started with GBIC (Gigabit Interface Converter) modules, which allowed Gigabit Ethernet devices to provide a generic, modular interface to optical transceivers. This capability allowed optical transceivers of various distances (10km or 80km for example) to be plugged into a switch-card slot without changing the card. In the days before GBIC, Gigabit Ethernet switch vendors provided a blade of, say, 8 ports of Gigabit to the customer, with all the same type of optical interface (mostly multimode). When a customer needed a few ports of single-mode optics, they had only two choices:
  • Use a media converter, or
  • Buy a separate card for each type of optical interface
Each of these options is expensive and wastes resources. The GBIC solution provided a mechanism of supplying a simple blade with GBIC slots, and allowing the customer to choose the optics for each slot individually.

Fast forward by a few years, and GBIC has been 'upgraded' to SFP (Small Form Pluggable). SFP optical interfaces are less than the size of GBIC interfaces, and the usage (protocols and applications) has dramatically expanded. Today, MRV Communications provides an astonishing variety of optical and copper interfaces using GBIC and SFP technology, and a wide array of systems to which these interfaces attach.

Read on to find out more about MRV's Pluggables technology, solutions and products:
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