Difference Between GBIC and SFP

GBIC and SFP are transceivers that can be used as optical transmission receiver devices use to connect to motherboards.


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This helps in interconversion between electrical signals and optical signals as every transceiver does.

The only difference is that is an optical medium device unit.


The difference between GBIC and SFP is that while SFP is the smaller and small-space friendly transceiver GBIC is much larger and takes up a lot of space which might hinder the movements of the other connecting wires and transceivers provided that the user has much more than just one optical transmitting device.


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It transmits optical signals after converting them into electrical ones and the receiver on the other end concerts the incoming signals to optical and thereby receives the data. This connector device has a lot more optical activity and functions.

SFP stands for Small Factor Pluggable. An overall variant of regular transceivers is a major optical medium connector used in the present day by business firms or IT companies to connect and transfer data over a local area network (LAN).

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGBICSFP
SizeBigger in comparisonSmaller compared to most other transceivers at the time
PopularityWas popular during the 1990sPopular even today despite the other new versions that are in the market
Price RateExpensive for the time period of its releaseLess pricy
Space Usage EfficiencyLesser due to larger sizeMore due to smaller size
Whether Still in MarketsNoYes

What is GBIC? 

GBIC stands for Gigabit Interface Converter.

This name has been rightly derived from the functional capacity of the device that is a transceiver.

Transceivers are devices that have been introduced in the early 20th or late 19th century to aid with the transfer of data that were in a different signal type like electrical or optical.

The optical transceiver GBIC has been around for a long time helping out firms and mostly IT companies with local data transmission.

What is SFP?

SFP stands for Small Factor Pluggable.

The name itself suggests the highly efficient small-sized nature of the transceiver.

This helps in the connection to the motherboard of a circuit thereby having an increased customer purchase strategy.

Being one of the smallest transceivers it has gained a lot of popularity in recent times and has not yet gone out of the market sales.

Their major connection purpose to the motherboard and data transmission-receiving functions are required by tech companies having a large transmission every other minute.

Other users who are freelancers or individual IT group owners with a home office might not necessarily purchase it in bulk but rather as a single device.

The greater popularity of the SFP has been quite a competition for the other existing transceiver since the time they have been invented.

Main Differences Between GBIC and SFP

  1. GBIC has lost its market value and has been out of sales for some time now after the introduction of new versions but SFP is still in demand despite later versions being released.
  2. The new version of GBIC is SFP while the later version of SFP is SFP+.
Difference Between GBIC and SFP
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1601269/
  2. https://www.embrionix.com/storage/app/media/presentation/Evolution_pluggable_August2012.pdf
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