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Do fiber media converters have to be used in pairs?

July 30, 2019

Do fiber media converters have to be used in pairs? Do the media transceivers distinguish one is received and the other is sent? Or as long as they are two pcs media converter, they can be used in pair? If the media converter must be used in pair, is it necessarily the same brand and model? Or can you use any combination of brands?


Media converters are generally used in pairs as photoelectric conversion devices, but it is also possible to use them with fiber switches, or with SFP transceivers. In principle, as long as the optical transmission wavelength and the signal package format is the same, and both support a certain protocol, they all can achieve optical fiber communication.


Generally, the dual-fiber (two fibers required for normal communication) transceivers are not divided into the transmitting end and the receiving end. Only the single-fiber transceiver (which requires one fiber for normal communication) will have the transmitting end and the receiving end.


Whether it is a dual-fiber transceiver or a single-fiber transceiver, it is compatible to use different brands in pairs. However, different rates (100 megabits and gigabytes) and different wavelengths (1310 nm and 1300 nm) are not compatible with each other. In addition, even a single-fiber transceiver and a dual-fiber transceiver of the same brand do not form a pair. They can‘t be interoperable.


The dual-fiber transceiver has a TX port (transmitting port) and an RX port (receiving port). Both ports emit the same wavelength of 1310 nm, and the receiving is also 1310 nm, so the parallel two fibers are connected in cross-connection. The single-fiber transceiver has only one port, which implements both the transmitting function and the receiving function. It uses the wavelength division multiplexing technology to transmit and receive two optical signals of different wavelengths on one optical fiber. Generally they use wavelengths of 1310 nm and 1550 nm.


Different brands of fiber optic transceivers support Ethernet protocols. They are interoperable with transceivers of the same specification, but some transceivers add some functions (such as mirroring) and support some protocols. If other transceivers do not have these Function, this case is not supported.


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