10BASE-F is a generic term for the family of 10 Mbit/s Ethernet standards using fiber optic cable. In 10BASE-F, the 10 represents its maximum throughput of 10 Mbit/s, BASE indicates its use of baseband transmission, and F indicates that it relies on medium of fiber-optic cable. In fact, there are at least three different kinds of 10BASE-F. All require two strands of 62.5/125 µm multimode fiber. One strand is used for data transmission and one strand is used for reception, making 10BASE-F a full-duplex technology.
The 10BASE-F variants include 10BASE-FL, 10BASE-FB and 10BASE-FP. Of these only 10BASE-FL experienced widespread use. All 10BASE-F variants deliver 10 Mbit/s over a fiber pair. These 10 Mbit/s standards have been largely replaced by faster Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet and 100 Gigabit Ethernet standards.
10BASE-FL is the most commonly used 10BASE-F specification of Ethernet over optical fiber. In 10BASE-FL, FL stands for fiber optic link. It replaces the original fiber-optic inter-repeater link (FOIRL) specification, but retains compatibility with FOIRL-based equipment. The maximum segment length supported is 2000 meters When mixed with FOIRL equipment, maximum segment length is limited to FOIRL's 1000 meters.
Today, 10BASE-FL is rarely used in networking and has been replaced by the family of Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet and 100 Gigabit Ethernet standards.
The 10BASE-FB (10BASE-FiberBackbone) is a network segment used to bridge network hubs. Due to the synchronous operation of 10BASE-FB, delays normally associated with Ethernet repeaters are reduced, thus allowing segment distances to be extended without compromising the collision detection mechanism. The maximum allowable segment length for 10BASE-FB is 2000 meters.
10BASE-FP calls for a non-powered signal coupler capable of linking up to 33 devices, with each segment being up to 500m in length. This formed a star-type network centered on the signal coupler. There are no devices known to have implemented this standard.