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A GBIC (Gigabit Interface Converter) is a standard for optical transceivers. A GBIC is commonly used with Gigabit Ethernet and Fiber channel.
A GBIC will offer a standard, hot swappable electrical interface and with GBIC, one gigabit Ethernet port can support a wide range of physical media, from copper to long-wave single-mode optical fiber, and GBIC supports lengths of hundreds of kilometers. This means a GBIC is very flexible in use.
The main advantage of GBIC transceivers over non GBIC or fixed transceivers is that GBIC transceivers offer greater flexibility when used in applications where a GBIC is most appropriate.
A GBIC optical transceiver is hot-swappable, making a GBIC invaluable where critical systems are involved.
GBIC follows a non-proprietary standard as defined by SFP for GBIC.
A GBIC may also be known as a Mini-GBIC or SFP. A Mini-GBIC or SFP is essentially the same as a GBIC, but is in a smaller form factor.