What is a media converter?
A media converter is a device used to connect media that would otherwise be incompatible. It is used to link fiber optic cable to twisted pair for supporting ethernet-compatible devices. It may also link together networks comprised of coax cable, and single-mode to multi-mode fiber optic cable.
What is a fiber optic media converter?
A fiber optic media converter is essentially the same thing as a plain media converter. One reason manufacturers and distributors call them fiber optic is to make it easier for customers to find them in an online search. Fiber optic cable is valued for its high speed and long distance capabilities.
- Fiber connection
Expanded Description of Types of Media Converters
For this section, think about context. Where and how will this media converter be deployed? The IoT isn’t just about fun microwaves that can talk to Alexa. Many businesses, like heavy manufacturing, transportation, mining, and utilities, have exploited the benefits of IP technologies for years.
Passive Optical Networking (PON)
The demand for faster bandwidth continues to expand, and installers and ISP providers are turning to fiber optic cable. Additionally, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are moving their delivery model to G.Fast. Fiber-to-the-Node (FTTN) or Fiber-To-The-Curb (FTTC) network architectures are beginning to be replaced because of the associated demands for bandwidth. GEPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) supports ATM, Ethernet, and WDM. GEPON only requires a single fiber cable to connect to an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) near a Customer’s Premise (CP) making it an attractive solution.
Standard Media Converters
The standard media converter does not require a web interface, and essentially convert signals from ethernet to fiber. These are some of the simplest models and are perfect for companies with junior IT staff and simple retrofits as their networks develop.
Media Converter Speeds
If you look on our Fiber Media Converter product page you will see this in the left-hand column:
Ethernet technology does employ optical fiber when required to reach greater distances. Signals over fiber optic cable can reach up to 74 miles; signals over copper in the processed form can only reach a distance of 328ft.
The definition of 1G
1G refers to Gigabit Ethernet transmissions. They can reach rates of up to 1000 Mbit/s. This application is widespread in the telecom industry which relies heavily on cables reaching much longer distances. These cables are also subject to harsher extremes.
The definition of 10G
10G, also known as 10Gbe or 10GigE, refers to the Gigabit Ethernet next generation that’s on track to achieve transmission rates of 10 gigabits per second. These speeds support robust networks that need larger bandwidth rates such as business class deployments.
The definition of Serial RS422/485
Serial RS422/485 are serial communication standards frequently used in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). RS-422, a single ended multi-drop standard, supports one transmitter and up to 10 receivers at distances of 40 feet at 10 Mbits/sec, 400 feet at 1 Mbit/sec, and 4,000 feet at 100kbps.
RS-485, is the multi-drop version, and can support 32 transmitters and receivers also at distances of 40 feet at 10 Mbits/sec, 400 feet at 1 Mbit/sec, and 4,000 feet at 100kbps.
SPF is simply small form factor pluggable and refers to a smaller device technology.
Media Converter Modes
What do we mean when we say media converter mode? This refers to the IEEE 802.3 fiber standards for communication. You can have a one-way or single mode. You can also have a two-way or multi-mode configuration.
Single-Mode light signals transmit in one direction on an optical fiber. One mode of light propagates through a decreasing diametral core producing low attenuation [number of time the signal passes back and forth]. That narrowing propels the light signal forward. This is also known a transverse mode. Single-Mode fiber has a core/cladding diameter ratio of 9 microns to 125 microns.
Multi-Mode light signals transmit in two directions on an optical fiber. Multiple modes of light pass through an increasing diametral core. Larger quantities of data can transmit because of high dispersion and attenuation rates. This type of signaling loses quality over long distances. Multi-Mode fiber has a core/cladding diameter ratio of 50 microns to 125 microns or 62.5 microns to 125 microns. Multi-Mode is best for LANs where data and video streaming take place. It does not transmit RF signals.
What Are Media Converters Used For?
Simply put, media converters are used in every industry and sector of the economy to provide a connection between fiber and copper. They are definitely a mainstay of the enterprise network toolkit.
Industries where you are likely to find media converters used are:
These are just a small cross-section of the notable places this little device is making a huge difference in performance and budget-friendly infrastructure purchases. We hope this one-pager will help you or a friend understand some of the jargon used to describe the functions of a media converter.