Does a universal optical transceiver exist?

Have you ever experienced a situation when you unexpectedly saw a notice: “transceiver unsupported”?
Have you ever experienced the situation when, after arriving at a site and inserting a transceiver into a port of a switch or router to set up a fibre-optic link, you unexpectedly see the words “transceiver unsupported”?

I think I can guess the words you uttered then, but to avoid bad language I won’t say them ;-)

After a while, when you finally calmed down, you made a trip back to the warehouse, exchanged the transceiver and made yet another trip to the installation site where finally, the link worked. But what did your calendar look like after that?

In such cases, we usually reflect on the problem by asking questions such as ‘Why did it happen?’ or ‘Who is to blame?’ And again, a number of people spend precious time trying to identify the reason. Was it the designer? Was the network inventory information incomplete or wrong? Or maybe the sales department didn’t discuss all details with the client they should have done?

But how about remodelling the entire system? Wouldn’t it be much easier if you could take a universal transceiver from the warehouse and install it in any device? Of course! It would make the life easier to everyone; the sales department, the designers, the warehouse staff and the engineers. But does such an ‘ideal’ transceiver exist? How much does it cost? Is it economical?

Perhaps creating a universal transceiver would be pretty expensive where there are several interfaces such as SFP, SFP+, QSFP and QSFP28 plus a variety of transceiver types such as SR, LR, ER and ZR. All of which would affect the price. So, let’s think about what should be done to find a better solution.

The transceiver is installed in the device at the very last stage of a long chain of design and sales processes. As producing a truly universal transceiver would be too expensive, maybe we should focus on the person who is the last to “touch” the transceiver and equip them with the tools that adjust the transceiver to work with any network device with one click.

When thinking of such a device, you might have both questions and doubts. Every few months new versions of devices and new interfaces appear, so even if you had such a device, you would have to update over and over again.

But what if such a device was connected to the provider’s cloud infrastructure so that it was updated in the real time and could be maintained remotely, when necessary, by a qualified engineer who would just needed a laptop with a USB port and access to the Internet?

You can get all this and much more from GBC Photonics. The device described above exists and is known as a Simple Recode Device (SRD). It enables you to alter the configuration of optical modules, diagnose problems, alter the wavelength and much more.

How can you benefit from SRD?

  • You can stock universal transceivers and adjust them for your purpose just before installation
  • Your engineer will travel less to installation sites giving you cost savings
  • Your designer or sales engineer will not have to ask the client about the device type in which the transceiver is to be installed
  • And finally, you will earn much more
GBC Photonics constantly undertakes research projects and develops its products so that they can work for you, not you for them.


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