A Brief History of Transceiver Technology

SFP-Ge-s, copper network, Fiber GBIC

A Brief History of Transceiver TechnologySFP

In today’s ultra-connected world, it’s difficult to imagine just what life was like before we were all able to communicate with whom we wanted when and wherever we wanted to. Connectivity has become so intertwined into our daily existence that we often take such a benefit for granted. Yet none of what we currently enjoy would have ever been possible without a remarkable little device that we all may familiar with, yet of whose origins we know little about: the transceiver.

From the Backpack Radio to the Walkie-Talkie

Can you imagine if the technology that you currently carry in your pocket or purse (with ample room to spare, mind you) would instead have to be hauled around like a backpack? That’s exactly what the earliest successful combinations of transmitter and receiver required. The early SSCR-194 and -195 systems were developed by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1938. Bulky, often unreliable, and with only a range of 5 miles, these units were nonetheless the top technology of the day. That is, until Motorola was contracted to develop the first ever handheld transceiver. Thus came the SCR-536, or, as it’s more  commonly known, the “walkie-talkie.”

The First Handheld Phone

Fast forward to the late 70’s and early 80’s and you see the first signs of life of mobile telephones as we know them today. A heated rivalry between Bell Systems and Motorola to create the first true handheld cellular phone produced the old brick-style DynaTAC phone. Oddly enough, the DynaTAC was developed by Motorola but only worked on Bells Labs own Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS), the world’s first 1G network.

Today’s TransceiversSFP-10G-SR

Today, newer, more powerful transceivers have allowed for interconnectivity at levels once thought to be impossible. Beginning with gigabit interface converter, or fiber GBIC transceivers as they were often referred to in the late 90’s, and progressing on to the small form-factor pluggable technologies such as the SFP-Ge-s systems used today, users can seamlessly communicate within a network via a motherboard device interfaced by either fiber optic or copper network cable. SFP advances also opened the door to the many data communication applications that we enjoy today.

As you can see, the transceiver has undergone quite a transformation over the years. Yet at each of every step along the path of its evolution, its end goal remained the same: to offer one person the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere, at any point on the globe.

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