Digital to optical switch conversion
Yes, that is the function of the GBIC (gigabit interface converter) on every switch port. The light pulses coming into the switch are converted to digital data, the switch looks into each frame to find the destination address, routes the data to the correct switch port that is attached to the target and the GBIC on the target port converts the signal back into light pulses for re-transmission to the target. This all happens extremely fast. Within the next ten years, I expect to see optical switches on the market that will eliminate that requirement. Optical
" switches will be able to move terabytes of data per second.
Editor's note: Do you agree with this expert's response? If you have more to share, post it in one of our
This was first published in February 2004