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Taking for you to understand SFP connector

Author:danny / time:2020-11-11 / The number of clicks:132

When you ask for gigabit optical module in the market, they are mostly SFP connectors. But there is optical fiber module such as GBIC. They might seem similar, but they have different applications and connections. We will briefly introduce and compare these two connectors here.


            GBIC connector vs. SFP connector

            GBIC (short for Giga Bitrate Interface Converter) is an interchangeable product with international standard. It adopts SC connection port and is widely applied in the 90’s. Machines that adopted GBIC connection had a great market share at the time due to its flexibility. In recent years, a smaller sized SFP transceiver has gradually replaced GBIC.

            SFP (short for Small Form-Factor Pluggable) adopts LC connector. The function is basically similar to the GBIC connector; therefore, some manufacturers would refer to it as the MINI-GBIC. We can also consider it as an upgrade of GBIC. The outer case is half the size of GBIC, so it can have twice as many adapters on the same panel. It is also the most common transceiver in the market.

            SFP optical module can be classified by the “rate” and “wavelength”:

            Rate: there are 155M/622M/1.25G/2.125G/4.25G/8G/10G. Among them, 155M and 1.25G are the most widely used ones.

            Wavelength: there are 850nm/1310nm/1550nm/1490nm/1530nm/1610nm. 850nm is SFP multimode. Its transmission distance is below 2KM. 1310nm/1550n are monomode. Its transmission distance is above 2KM. The prices for these three wavelengths are cheaper than the other three.


A simple comparison between GBIC and SFC connectors are summarized as follows:


GBIC connector

SFP connector

Name in English

Giga Bitrate Interface Converter

Small Form-Factor Pluggable


SFP connector is half the size of GBIC, which can create twice as many adapters on the same panel.


Often used on routers, switches, transceivers, optical transceivers, etc.


Basically the same.


Hot plugging with flexibility.


SFP connector has Digital Diagnostics Monitoring (DDM). It has gradually replaced GBIC due to its low cost, reduced outer case size, and high reliability.

Market Trend

Widely used in the 20th century

21st century


SC optical fiber connector

LC optical fiber connector

Switch Socket

GBIC socket

SFP socket

Related Product

Gradually replaced by SFP

SFP+, XFP, FP electric port module, GLC-SX-MM SFP, GLC-LH-SM SFP, GLC-LH-SM-40 SFP, GLC-ZX-SM SFP



            After reading the introduction and comparison above, do you now have a more specific understanding of GBIC connectors and SFP connectors? Actually, SFP connectors are invaluable in our daily life. Things like our fiber optic TV box and cable are all connected by many big and small connectors with one another. In addition, once you have a basic understanding of SFP connectors, you can choose a suitable connector with a different wavelength and rate to greatly reduce cost and speed up the network connection.