Fiber Optics Transmission – Acronyms & Terminology

Acronyms and Terminology for the Fiber Optics Novice

Gbit/s or Gbps – Gigabits per second indicates bandwidth.  The guiding principle is the higher the bandwidth, the more data the link can transmit.

MSA: Multi-source agreement

EOL:  End of life, i.e. when a product is being phased out and vendors no longer carry it.

Hot pluggable:  Hot-pluggable devices are devices you can remove and install while the server is running without disruption.

Hot-swappable:  A transceiver that can be easily inserted into the port to connect with its motherboard. A hardware component that can be changed in this manner, without disrupting operations, is known as hot-swappable.

SFP:  Small form-factor pluggable. These devices use hot-swappable interfaces and can be found in network and storage switches. The SFP ports on a switch and SFP modules enable the switch to connect to fiber and Ethernet cables of different types and speeds.

Quad:  Means four.  When part of the name of a transceiver, it means four bidirectional optical paths.  The presence of four paths optimizes the speed of data transmission.

QSFP: Quad small form factor pluggables

QSFP-DD:  Quad small form factor double density

CSFP: Compact small form-factor pluggable or compact SFP

WDM: Wavelength Division Multiplexing. A communications technology that transmits several wavelengths of light (lambdas) simultaneously over a single optical fiber. WDM has dramatically increased the carrying capacity of the fiber infrastructure of telephone companies and other carriers.

DWDM:  Dense wavelength division multiplexing

CWDM:  Coarse wave division multiplexing

For a more detailed explanation, read this article, CWDM or DWDM, which is best for you?

NRZ: non-return to zero, a two-level binary modulation format

PAM4: four-level pulse amplitude modulation. PAM4 contains twice the amount of data without requiring significant increase in the speed of the optical components.

Single Lambda: An innovation developed by fiber optics engineering to accommodate faster data transmission and higher bandwidth mostly for 100G transceiver speeds. The single-lambda approach uses PAM4 (four-level pulse amplitude modulation). Prior to this, nearly all 100G optical specifications incorporated NRZ (non-return to zero), which is a two-level binary modulation format. The full 100G data stream is transmitted by a single laser. That means no WDM or parallel fiber.

Talk to a Vitex product expert about your next project. Our technical team can guide you to the right connectivity solution.

Related Products

Group working together

Subscribe and stay informed

Your job is easier with a fiber optic expert for a friend.