Glossary Word: Transceiver
The word “transceiver” is a shortened expression for the phrase “transmitter-receiver.”
A transceiver is a Physical-Layer device (or circuit) that has two responsibilities:
- To transmit data over some communication media (be it copper, optical fiber, or in the air for RF applications).
- To receive data from some communication media (again, this can be copper, optical fiber, or air).
In other words, a transceiver supports both a “transmitter” and a “receiver” function.
Transceivers are designed in either the form of an IC (integrated circuit) or via discrete circuitry on a board.
Modern-day transceivers also include circuitry that performs the following functions:
- CDR – Clock and Data Recovery
- Signal Conditioning/Modulator/Demodulator (e.g., conditions the signal for transmission over the communication media). Examples would be E/O (Electrical to Optical) Conversion and O/E.
- Pre-Emphasis (e.g., compensating for impairments and the limited bandwidth of the communication media – before transmitting data/symbols onto the line).
- Equalization (e.g., compensating for impairments and the limited bandwidth of the communication media – after receiving data/symbols from the line).
Transceivers may also include circuitry that supports “zero-suppression” techniques, depending on the protocol it supports. In this case, the transceiver would consist of circuitry that ensures that it will never transmit a long string of consecutive “0s” out onto the line. The purpose of “zero-suppression” is to ensure that the Clock and Data Recovery PLL (Phase Locked Loop) at the Receiving Terminal will have enough transitions in the line signal (that it receives) to maintain “phase/frequency lock” with the incoming signal.
Examples of Zero-Suppression techniques would be:
- Encoding/decoding STS-1 signals into/from the B3ZS format while transporting it over coaxial cable.
- Encoding/decoding 100 Gigabit Ethernet data into/from the 64B/66B format while transporting it over a CAUI-4 or CAUI-10 interface.