Fiber Connection

What Does Fiber Connection 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.

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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 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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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.