What’s the Difference: Transceiver vs Transmitter

Today, let’s learn and compare two terms in optic communication: transceiver vs transmitter(originated in the early 1920s. Looking up in the dictionary, we can distinguish that transmitter is a device that transmits something(in all senses), and transceiver is a combined transmitter and receiver.


A transmitter can either be a separate piece of electronic equipment or an integrated circuit (IC) within another electronic device. A transmitter generates a radio frequency current applied to the antenna, which in turn radiates radio waves for communication, radar and navigational purposes. The information that is provided to the transmitter is in the form of an electronic signal. This includes audio from a microphone, video from a TV camera, or a digital signal for wireless networking devices. The electronics for a transmitter are simple. They convert an incoming pulse (voltage) into a precise current pulse to drive the source. Different transmitter has different functions. Take the optical transmitter as an example, it consists of the following components: optical source, electrical pulse generator and optical modulator. And the role of it is to convert the electrical signal into optical form, and launch the resulting optical signal into the optical fiber.


A transceiver is a device made up of both a receiver and transmitter (the name “transceiver” is actually short for transmitter-receiver) and these two gadgets are in a single module. When no circuitry is common between transmit and receive functions, the device is a transmitter-receiver.

Transceivers can be found in radio technology, telephony as well as Ethernet in which transceivers are called Medium Attachment Units (MAUs) in IEEE 802.3 documents and were widely used in 10BASE2 and 10BASE5 Ethernet networks. Fiber-optic gigabit, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 40 Gigabit Ethernet, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet utilize transceivers known as GBIC, SFP, SFP+, QSFP, XFP, XAUI, CXP, and CFP, among which Cisco SFP is the most popular one. In addition, 1000BASE-T SFP, 10GBASE-T SFP+ and 1000BASE-T copper SFP we mentioned before are all transceivers.


Transceiver vs Transmitter

From the above information, we can know that the transmitter can only be used to transmit signals, while the transceiver can both transmit and receive signals. However, many view transceivers as a compromise in terms of performance, functionality, portability and flexibility and if they had any practical value it would be in mobile and portable applications. Transceivers sacrificed some features and performance to gain the smaller size/weight and cost.

As for the portability, a transceiver just needs the space of one module, but functions as two different modules. It is easy to be taken on the go. Separate transmitter is not as convenient in some circumstances as it is probably heavier, and takes up more room. But they are advantageous because each could benefit from its own design, without compromising in areas such as I-F frequency choice, conversion frequencies, and audio stages and they are easier to build and work on.

As far as the price is concerned, in most cases, a separate transmitter consumes more power. And the price of a single transceiver is much lower than that of a transmitter plus a receiver.Using a common frequency generation/tuning scheme, power supply and other components, it costs less to manufacture a transceiver than a separate transmitter and receiver.As to how to choose from them, the answer depends on your application.


You may find many transmitters in you life, like the TV remote control. Although transceiver is not commonly noticed around you, it is actually commonly applied to many places. We can say that it is invisible but versatile. I sincerely hope that this article will help you understand the difference: transceiver vs transmitter, only then, can you use them in the right way.

MGBSX1 vs MGBLH1: What’s the Difference?

Cisco SFP is fiber optic transceiver modules that provide fast and reliable connectivity between switches that are located in separate buildings, or on a large campus network. Its long-standing charm and good reputation have intrigued many people for a long time, inducing us to lift the veil on it. Today’s article will generally introduce the Cisco 1000BASE SFP transceivers: MGBSX1 vs MGBLH1.

MGBSX1 :1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver

MGBSX1 is a hot pluggable 1000BASE transceiver invented by Cisco. The 1000BASE-SX standard optics are developed to support lower cost multi-mode fiber runs in horizontal and shorter-length backbone applications. The MGBSX1 transceiver offers the ability to tap into faster networking speeds using fiber optic cabling. It supports dual data-rate of around 1 Gbps, with its operating temperature ranging from 32º to 158ºF (namely, 0º to 70ºC). The industry-standard Cisco Small Form-factor Pluggable Gigabit Interface Converter is a hot-swappable input/output device that plugs into a Gigabit Ethernet port or slot, linking the port with the network. The NGBSX1 SFP is compatible with the IEEE 802.3z 1000BASE-SX standard and operates on 50 micrometer multimode fiber links up to 550m and on 62.5 micrometer FDDI-grade multimode fibers up to 220m. More importantly, installing this module is as easy as sliding it into an accompanying port on a compatible Cisco switch.


MGBLH1 :1000BASE-LH SFP transceiver

MGBLH1 is also a 1000BASE SFP transceiver. However, it differs from MGBSX1 in that LH stands for long haul. Many vendors use LH for certain SFP modules, this SFP type is similar with the other SFPs in basic working principle and size. However, LH isn’t a Gigabit Ethernet standard, yet is compatible with 1000BASE-LX standard. The MGBLH1 transceiver module provides a low cost high-performance connection. Compliant with specifications of SFP transceiver MSA specification, 1000BASE-LH SFP operates a distance up to 70km over single-mode fiber. Cisco MGBLH1 1000BASE-LH SFP covers a link length of 40km that make itself perfect for long-reach application. Morever, The MGBLH1 transceiver provided by FS.COM is individually tested on a full range of Cisco Linksys equipment and passes the monitoring of FS.COM intelligent quality control system.



Media Type Multimode Fiber Single Mode Fiber
Max Range 500 m 40 km
Wavelength 850 nm 1310 nm
Connector LC LC

The large diameter core of multimode fiber increases the light reflection created as light travelling. Because of the high dispersion and attenuation rate with the multimode fiber, the quality of the signal is reduced over long distances. Therefore, the MGBSX1 is typically used for short distance, data and audio/video applications in LANs. Oppositely, MGBLH1 can be applied to long distance transmission. However, the actual distance will vary based on fiber plant and operating environment.


MGBSX1 vs MGBLH1: have you known the differences? Although they share something in common, they are totally different 1000BASE SFP transceivers. If the working distance is clear, you can choose from the two SFP transceivers according to my advice. When considering other elements, you can turn to the experts on FS.COM. There is a team of experienced networking specialists that is ready to assist you. Choose FS and save money!