Versatility of universal optical transceivers

The aim of these four articles about optical transceivers is to familiarise potential users with the technology used in the modules, the potential solutions, functional differences, areas of application and possible integration with other GBC Photonics products.

Achieving the universal optical transceiver

GBC Photonics’ Simple Recode Device (SRD) is a professional device designed to alter the configuration of optical transceivers (SFP/SFP+/XFP/QSFP+/QSFP28/CFP/CFP2/CFP4) by modifying their memory in accordance with appropriate MSA standards. It also enables users to alter the wavelength, or channel number, in tunable DWDM modules. In this way, users can effectively turn their branded transceivers into universal optical transceivers.

Benefits of universal optical transceivers


The SRD will reduce the purchase costs of optical transceivers — instead of buying a variety of transceivers compatible with devices from multiple manufacturers, users can rely on universal optical transceivers which can easily be reconfigured to work with any target device.

Inventory management

This leads to a significant reduction in the cost of stock, since the same transceiver can be used in a variety of devices and be configured during installation. In this way, the SRD eliminates the need to keep large stocks of transceivers from different vendors, needed to match the different interfaces normally present in any given network infrastructure.

Technical support

The SRD is part of an ecosystem built on a private GBC Photonics’ cloud which hosts thousands of codes that users of optical transceivers can benefit from when using this device. GBC Photonics’ SRDs can also be used to receive remote technical support. For example, users can diagnose a problem, apply new code and test the transceivers in the actual application’s environment without having to send them to technical support engineers to be modified, and then back again. This significantly shortens the time lead times to implement a change and cuts the costs of such operations.

Versatility for dual rate transceivers

Thanks to the Simple Recode Device, universal 100G single and dual rate transceivers can become vendor-neutral and be programmed to work with network devices from multiple brands, such as Cisco, Juniper, Nokia and more. Additionally, in the case of dual rate transceivers, an SRD will easily allow users, with just one click, to set a default mode for transceivers to work on Ethernet or OTU4 if the target devices are designed to operate using only one of these standards. This feature makes these transceivers even more flexible and useful.

Designing a sustainable network architecture

Universal optical transceivers allow users to build or upgrade their network infrastructure sustainably. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that all our products and components are thoroughly tested to offer the highest possible quality, meaning that they can easily operate for up to a decade without the need to be replaced due to premature failure.

The second is that thanks to the Simple Recode Device, operators no longer need to replace all their transceivers any time they decide to change or upgrade switches, routers or other network equipment from different vendors.

If a company decides to replace all the switches in its network with ones from a different provider — for example, Juniper to Nokia, or vice versa — it can use our Simple Recode Device to reconfigure its existing optical transceivers in a few clicks, without buying new ones. This can not only save time and money, but also drastically reduce the amount of e-waste that company produces.

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