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Updated:March 1, 2006
The industry-standard Cisco® Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC) is a hot-swappable input/output device that plugs into a Gigabit Ethernet port or slot, linking the port with the network. Cisco GBICs can be interchanged on a wide variety of Cisco products and can be intermixed in combinations of 1000BASE-T, 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX/LH, 1000BASE-ZX, 1000BASE-CWDM, or 1000BASE-DWDM interfaces on a port-by-port basis.
As additional capabilities are developed, these modules make it easy to upgrade to the latest interface technology, maximizing investment protection. Figure 1 shows three Cisco GBIC models.
Figure 1. Cisco Gigabit Interface Converters
Cisco 1000BASE-T GBIC
The Cisco 1000BASE-T GBIC (product number WS-G5483) connects a GBIC port to Category 5 wiring using a standard RJ-45 interface. The maximum Category 5 wiring distance is 328 feet (100 meters).
Cisco 1000BASE-SX GBIC
The Cisco 1000BASE-SX GBIC (WS-G5484) operates on legacy multimode fiber (MMF) optic link spans up to 1815 feet (550 m) and on laser-optimized multimode fiber (OM3) optic link spans up to 3281 feet (1 km).
The Cisco 1000BASE-ZX GBIC (WS-G5487) operates on ordinary single-mode fiber optic link spans up to 43.4 miles (70 km) long. Link spans of up to 62 miles (100 km) are possible using premium single-mode fiber or dispersion shifted single-mode fiber. The GBIC provides an optical link budget of 21 dB - the precise link span length will depend on multiple factors such as fiber quality, number of splices, and connectors.
When shorter distances of single-mode fiber are used, it might be necessary to insert an in-line optical attenuator in the link to avoid overloading the receiver:
• A 5-dB or 10-dB inline optical attenuator should be inserted between the fiber-optic cable plant and the receiving port on the Cisco 1000BASE-ZX GBIC at each end of the link whenever the fiber-optic cable span is less than 15.5 miles (25 km)
Note: For optical GBIC modules, only connections with patch cords with PC or UPC connectors are supported. Patch cords with APC connectors are not supported. All cables and cable assemblies used must be compliant with the standards specified in the standards section.
Note: Optical patch cables need to be compliant with GR-326 (single-mode) or GR-1435 (multimode).
Table 1 provides cabling specifications for the Cisco GBICs that you install in the Gigabit Ethernet port. Note that all Cisco GBICs have SC-type connectors, and the minimum cable distance for all GBICs listed (MMF and SMF) is 6.5 feet (2 m).
Table 1. Cisco GBIC Port Cabling Specifications
Core Size (Micron)
Modal Bandwidth (MHz/km)***
722 ft (220 m)
902 ft (275 m)
1640 ft (500 m)
1804 ft (550 m)
3281 ft (1000 m)
1804 ft (550 m)
1804 ft (550 m)
1804 ft (550 m)
6.2 miles (10 km)
43.4 to 62 miles (70 to 100 km)**
* Mode-conditioning patch cord is required over legacy MMF and should not be used over OM3.
** Cisco 1000BASE-ZX GBIC can reach up to 62 miles (100 km) by using dispersion shifted SMF or low-attenuation SMF; the distance depends on fiber quality, number of splices, and connectors.
*** Specified at transmission wavelength.
• Compatible with GBIC standard as specified in IEEE 802.3z
• Compliant with GBIC Specification Revision 5.4
• GR-20-CORE: Generic Requirements for Optical Fiber and Optical Fiber Cable
• GR-326-CORE: Generic Requirements for Single-Mode Optical Connectors and Jumper Assemblies
• GR-1435-CORE: Generic Requirements for Multifiber Optical Connectors
Table 2 shows fiber loss budgets for 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX, and 1000BASE-ZX.
Table 2. Fiber Loss Budgets for 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX, and 1000BASE-ZX
* The WS-G5487 1000BASE-ZX GBIC provides a minimum optical power budget of 21 dB. To determine the supported link distance, you should measure your cable plant with an optical loss test set to verify that the optical loss of the cable plant (including connectors and splices) is less than or equal to this figure. The optical loss measurement must be performed with a 1550-nanometer light source.
Dimensions (H x W x D): 1.90 x 3.91 x 8.89 cm. Cisco GBIC typically weigh less than 75 grams.
Environmental Conditions and Power Requirements
The operating temperature range is 32 to 122°F (0 to 50°C). Storage temperature range is -40 to 185°F (-40 to 85°C).
Table 3 shows electrical power interface information.
Table 3. Electrical Power Interface
• Standard warranty: 90 days
• Extended warranty (option): Available under a Cisco SMARTnet® support contract for the Cisco switch or router chassis.
Table 4 lists product numbers to use when ordering Cisco GBICs.
Table 4. Cisco GBIC Product Numbers
Copper (Cisco 1000BASE-T)
Short wavelength (1000BASE-SX)
Long wavelength/long haul (1000BASE-LX/LH)
Extended distance (1000BASE-ZX)
Regulatory and Standards Compliance
Safety - Laser Class I 21CFR1040
For More Information
For additional information about the Cisco Coarse Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (CWDM) GBIC solution, contact: