Cisco's industry-standard Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC) is a hot-swappable input/output device that plugs into a Gigabit Ethernet port/slot, linking the port with the fiber-optic network. GBICs can be used and interchanged on a wide variety of Cisco products and can be intermixed in combinations of IEEE 802.3z- compliant 1000BaseSX, 1000BaseLX/LH, or 1000BaseZX interfaces on a port-by-port basis. Furthermore, Cisco is offering a 1000BaseLX/LH interface that is fully compliant with the IEEE 802.3z 1000BaseLX standard, but has the ability to go up to 10 km over single-mode fiber, 5 km further than garden-variety 1000BaseLX interfaces. As additional capabilities are developed, these modules make it easy to upgrade to the latest interface technology, maximizing investment protection.

The WS-G5487, 1000BaseZX operates on ordinary single mode fiber optic link spans of up to 70 km in length. Link spans of up to 100 km are possible using premium single mode fiber or dispersion shifted single mode fiber (premium single mode fiber has a lower attenuation per unit length than ordinary single mode fiber; dispersion shifted single mode fiber has both lower attenuation per unit length, and less dispersion).

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