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Fiber Connection (FICON)

Definition - What does Fiber Connection (FICON) mean?

A fiber connection (FICON) is a fiber optic channel technology that increases capacity and lowers the cost of enterprise system connection (ESCON). FICON is a proprietary IBM fiber channel (FC), layer-4 protocol with a channel to control unit cabling infrastructure.

FICON is often used with IBM 64-bit mainframe z/Architecture and Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS), as well as a number of mainframes supporting fiber channel protocol (FCP) via a small computer system interface (SCSI) command set over fiber channel.

Techopedia explains Fiber Connection (FICON)

FICON increases input/output (I/O) aptitudes through faster physical link rates and innovative architecture - making it eight times faster ESCON. FICON also supports older technology like ESCON and parallel topology.

FICON's features include:

  • FC switches or directors
  • Only one required channel address
  • Network layout flexibility with larger distances
  • Supports ESCON control units with a bridge feature
  • Compatible with S/390 G5 server installed channels
  • Supports 100 Mbps bidirectional transmissions up to 12 miles
  • Multiplexing support of small bits of data with large data transfers.
  • Full-duplex data transmission )FDDT) with simultaneous data reading/writing over a single link
  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard FC physical and signaling interface (FC-PH) for cabling, signal and transmission speed

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