Transceivers & Termination Points | CompTIA Network+ N10-007 | 2.1b

In this video you will learn about various fiber optic transceivers & various cabling termination points.


A transceiver is an electronic device which is a combination of a transmitter and a receiver, hence the name. It can both transmit and receive digital signals for communication purposes. These two related functions are often combined in a single device to reduce manufacturing costs.

Fiber Transceiver

A fiber transceiver is a single, packaged device that uses fiber optic technology to transmit and receive data.  The fiber optic transceiver comprises of both a transmitter and a receiver which are combined and share circuitry or a single housing.  It is an important part of optical network equipment that has electronic components to condition and encode/decode data into light pulses and then sends them to the other end as electrical signals.

  • Bidirectional (BiDi): Usually consists of 2 different wavelengths to achieve transmission in both directions on just one fiber (single-mode or multi-mode). BiDi transceivers enable the signal to be sent & received in both directions by different center wavelengths.
  • Duplex: A duplex fiber cable consists of 2 strands of glass or plastic fiber. Typically found in a “zip cord” construction format, this cable is most often used for complex communication between devices where a separate transmit & receive are required.

SFP (Small Form-Factor Pluggable)

The SFP is a compact, hot-pluggable network interface module used for both telecommunication & data communications applications.  An SFP interface on networking hardware is a modular slot for a media-specific transceiver in order to connect a fiber-optic cable or sometimes a copper cable.  The advantage of using SFPs compared to fixed interfaces (modular connectors in Ethernet switches) is that individual ports can be equipped with any suitable type of transceiver as needed.

GBIC (Gigabit Interface Converter)

A GBIC is a standard, hot-swappable electrical interface, single gigabit port can support a wide range of physical media, from copper to long-wave single-mode optical fiber, at lengths of hundreds of kilometers.

SFP+ (Enhanced Small Form-Factor Pluggable)

SFP+ takes the benefit of the SFP design and improves on their data capacity.  SFP+ still functions with copper and optical cabling, but it can achieve much higher speeds.  Data rates at 10 Gbps, and on the newer Fibre Channel design, SFP connections can hit speeds up to 32 Gbps.

QSFP (Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable)

Another expansion of the original SFP concept, QSFP uses double fiber pairs.  QSFP allows for substantially more powerful data transmission.  QSFP connectors are still small and hot-pluggable, and they still support Ethernet and fiber optics.

Termination Points

66 Block

A 66 block is a type of punch down block used to connect sets of wires in a telephone system.  They have been manufactured in 3 sizes:  A, B, & M.  A & B have 6 clips in each row while M has only 4.  The A blocks have the rows spaced farther apart and have been obsolete for many years.  The B style is used mainly in distribution panels where several destinations need to connect to the same source.  The M blocks are often used to connect a single instrument to such a distribution block.

110 Block

A 110 block is a type of punch down block used to terminate runs of on-premises wiring in a structured cabling system.  The designation 110 is also used to describe a type of insulation displacement contact (IDC) connector used to terminate twisted pair cables, which uses a punch down tool similar to the type used for the older 66 block.

Patch Panel

A patch panel is a device or unit featuring a number of jacks, usually of the same or similar type, for the use of connecting and routing circuits for monitoring, interconnecting, and testing circuits in a convenient, flexible manner. Patch panels are typically built into a wiring closet or added to equipment racks. Patch panels are primarily designed as a termination point for twisted pair (TP) & fiber cables used in networks.

Fiber Distribution Panel

A fiber distribution panel (fiber optic patch panel) is mainly used for accommodating fiber cable terminations, connections and patching.  With fiber optic distribution panels, network technicians can control massive fiber cables and connection points in a standard panel or enclosure structure.  Therefore, fiber distribution panels make it simple and convenient for us to do cable management and maintenance.