Table of Contents
- What are fiber media converters
- Applications of fiber media converters
- How do fiber media converters work?
- Fiber media converter form factors
- Managed vs. unmanaged media converters
- Commercial vs. industrial grade converters
- Fiber optic media converter types:
- Ethernet copper to fiber media converters
- Ethernet copper to fiber converter for high-density distribution
- TDM (T1/E1/T3/E3) over fiber media converters
- Serial (RS-232,422,485,530) over fiber media converters
- Multimode to single mode fiber media converters
- Dual fiber to single fiber media converters
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What are fiber media converters?
A fiber media converter is a simple networking device that connects and translates signals between fiber optic cabling and another type of cabling media such as UTP (unshielded twisted pair) copper Ethernet cables as shown below.
It translates electronic signals to light signals and vice versa.
Fiber media converter between UTP Copper Ethernet and Fiber
Applications of fiber media converters
- Extend the life of legacy networking equipment and wiring plants
- Connect a variety of cabling types (translate between electronic and light signals)
- Coax cable
- BNC, Mini BNC
- UTP (twisted pair) Category 4, 5, and 6
- Copper RJ-45
- Multimode fiber
- Single mode fiber
- SFP, SFP+ and XFP standard wavelength transceivers
- SFP, SFP+ and XFP CWDM transceivers
- ST, SC, LC and MT-RJ connectors
- Dual and single fiber
- Support different communication protocols
- 10M, 100M, Gigabit and 10G Ethernet
- 10G OTN (Optical Transport Network)
- Serial RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, RS-530
- SONET (OC-3, OC-12, OC-48 and OC-96)
- Fibre Channel
- Protocol Transparent, supporting data rates up to 11.32 Gbps
- Extend the range of the connections in your network by using fiber optic cabling
How do fiber media converters work?
Media converters work on the physical layer of the network. They receive data signals from one media (such as electronic signal on a twisted pair copper cable) and convert them to another (such as light pulses on a fiber optic cable) while remaining invisible to other networking devices.
Media converters are as simple to install as patch cables and connectors. They do not interfere with upper-level protocol information. This makes them support Quality of Service (QoS) and Layer 3 switching.
Fiber media converter form factors
- PC card converters
- Small standalone devices
- High port-density chassis systems
PC card fiber media converters
Standalone fiber media converters
Chassis fiber media converter systesm
Managed vs. Unmanaged Media Converters
Unmanaged fiber media converters
- Managed device (the media converter)
- SNMP agent, software that runs on managed devices
- Network Management Systems (NSM) software that runs on the manager (administrative computer)
Commercial vs. industrial grade converters
Commercial grade fiber media converters
Industrial grade fiber media converters
Ethernet Copper to Fiber Media Converter
This application shows how to use fiber media converters to provide seamless integration of different Ethernet cabling media. A pair of copper-to-fiber media converters is used to connect two copper switches via fiber.
Ethernet Copper to Fiber Media Converter for High-Density Fiber Distribution
In this application example, Ethernet copper to fiber media converters are installed in a redundant power chassis for high-density fiber distribution from the network core (A).
- A UTP workgroup switch (B) is connected via fiber to the network core with a standalone media converter.
- Another media converter connects a PC UTP port in a fiber-to-desktop application (C).
- An Ethernet switch (D) is connected directly via fiber to the media converter module at the network core.
T1/E1 (T3/E3) TDM over Fiber Media Converter
T1/E1 (T3/E3) converters operate in pairs extending distances of TDM circuits over fiber. Fiber links can be extended up to 120km using single-mode fiber.
In this application, a pair of T1/E1 media converters is used to extend the demarcation point (hand-off from the Service Provider) to another tenant building with fiber.
Serial (RS-232,422,485,530) over Fiber Media Converters
Serial-to-fiber converters provide fiber extension for serial protocol copper connections.
They can automatically detect the signal baud rate of the connected Full-Duplex serial device, and support point-to-point and multi-point configurations.
In this example, a pair of RS-232 converters provides the serial connection between a PC and Terminal Server.
Multimode to Single-mode Fiber Media Converter
Enterprise networks often require conversion from multimode fiber to single mode fiber in these cases:
- Legacy networking equipment uses multimode fiber, and connectivity is required to single mode fiber equipment
- A building has multimode fiber equipment, while the connection to the service provider is single mode fiber
- Multimode fiber equipment is in a campus building and single mode fiber is used between buildings
A fiber-to-fiber media converter can extend a multimode fiber network across single mode fiber up to 160km.
Dual (Duplex) Fiber to Single-Fiber Media Converter
In some networks we need to convert between duplex fiber and single-fiber, depending on the type of equipment and the fiber installed in the facility.
Single-fiber is single-mode and operates with bi-directional wavelengths, often referred to as BIDI. Typically BIDI single-fiber uses 1310nm and 1550nm wavelengths over the same fiber strand in opposite directions.
In this application, two dual fiber switches are connected via single-fiber. Since BIDI single-fiber uses two separate wavelengths over the same fiber strand, the transmitter (Tx) at one end of the fiber link must match the receiver (Rx) on the other end, and vice versa.