GBIC (Gigabit Interface Converter) was one of the first standards released in 1995 by the Small Form Factor Committee (now part of the Storage Networking Industry Association) for flexible hot-swappable transceivers and was revised in 2000. While the GBIC is now all but obsolete technology, people still sometimes refer to transceivers in general as GBICs. It was originally able to transmit at up to 1 Gbps over single mode or multimode optical fiber.
SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) transceivers were launched in 2001 as a smaller version of GBIC with the same functionality. They are sometimes known as “mini-GBIC” and largely replaced GBIC. When introduced, typical speeds were 1 Gbps for Ethernet and up to 4 Gbps for Fibre Channel. Data rates available range from 100 Mbps to 4Gbps. SFP can use different connector such as LC Duplex, LC Simplex, RJ45, SC Simplex and many more, with distances from 100m to 160km.
QSFP28 was launched in 2014. Based on the same technology as QSFP+ but instead using 4 lanes of 25Gbps. QSFP28 is now the standard interface of choice for 100G applications. The dimensions of the transceiver are the same as QSFP+ and is available in several different configurations from 100m using multimode to 80km using singlemode. Connectors available are LC Duplex and MPO-12.
CSFP (Compact Size SFP) is an advance on bidirectional SFP, providing two bi-directional streams of traffic using a SFP port. The only requirement is that the port needs to support CSFP. CSFP can be used to connect two sites which have bidirectional SFP, thus doubling the port density and reducing power consumption with half the number of ports required. Supports 2 x 1000Mbps up to 20km.
SFP+ (Enhanced Small Form-factor Pluggable) is an enhanced version of SFP but with a higher data rate and was originally introduced in 2006. Data transmission is available at 8 Gbps, 10 Gbps and 16 Gbps. SFP+ has become a dominant industry format and is supported by many network vendors, with the latest update to the standard in 2013. Distances covered range from 30m to 120km and SFP+ transceivers are available several different connector types such as LC Duplex, LC Simplex and RJ45.
SFP28 was designed for speeds of up to 32 Gbps with the same physical dimensions as SFP and SFP+. Launched in 2014, SFP28 provides a single 28 Gbps Ethernet channel which is able to transmit 25 Gbps of data plus encoding overhead. For Fibre Channel configurations with support for 32 Gbps are available. Modules are available in either single or multimode fiber connections. With a reach of between 100m and 40km, SFP28 transceivers only use 1 channel and are available with LC Duplex and Simplex connectors
SFP-DD (Small Form-factor Pluggable Double Density) is a new multisource agreement standard. It is one of the smallest form-factors enabling data centers to double port density and increase data rates. Based on 50G PAM4 modulation it supports 2 channels with up to 100 Gbps and will be backward compatible with both SFP+ modules and cables along with new SFP-DD products. For use in data centers, the standard offers a cheaper option for high port density break-out applications. With a data rate of 100 Gbps it will eventually be able to support 200 Gbps with two 100 Gbps PAM4 channels and supports distances of between 500m and 10km.
QSFP (Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable) transceivers are slightly larger than SFP and were launched in 2006. They have 4 lanes enabling data transmission at 4 times the rate over multi-mode or single-mode fiber at 4 Gbps. They are available to cover distances ranging from 500m to 10km with LC Duplex and MPO-12 connectors.
QSFP+ (Enhanced Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable) is a 4-channel small hot pluggable optical transceiver that supports LC Duplex and MPO-12 fiber connectors. Launched in 2012 it is larger in dimensions that SFP+ optical transceivers and covers distances of between 100m and 40km. It is the main and dominant form factor for data rates at 40 Gbps.
In 2019, QSFP56 was standardized and was able to double the achievable data rate of QSFP28 with a top speed of 200 Gbps. This is achieved by using parallel fibers and 8 x 25Gbps wavelengths or taking advantage of PAM4 modulation and an internal multiplexer pushing 50Gbps over 4 wavelengths. It is available in different configurations reaching 100m using OM4 up to 10km using OS2. It uses LC or MPO-12 connectors.
QSFP-DD (Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable Double Density) standard was released in 2019 and uses a form factor which is also backward compatible with other versions of QSFP. It has an additional row of contacts which provide an 8 lane electrical interface to enable high-speed solutions. The eight lanes enable data rates of up to 800 Gbps and connects to LC and MPO-16, it also introduced a new connector – the CS connector. With 2 x CS Duplex on one transceiver which can be utilized in breakout and aggregation applications. QSFP-DD enables data rates of 400Gbps and 800Gbps.
XENPAK was defined in 2001 via a multisource agreement (MSA) between Agilent Technologies and Agere Systems and adhered to the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) standard from the IEEE 802.3 working group.
X2 was announced in 2002 and launched in 2003 with a 10 Gb/s data rate over 10 kilometers. It was half the size of the XENPAK. The latest update to the X2 definition was in 2005.
The XFP (X Form-factor Pluggable) standard was originally announced in 2002, adopted in 2003 and updated in 2005. The “X” in the abbreviation is the Roman numeral for “10” and all XFP modules are 10G. From 2010 onwards, XFP modules were in the past generally used for longer distances especially for DWDM and SFP+ modules were used for higher densities. XFP covers distances of 300m to 120km with LC Duplex and Simplex connectors.
OSFP was launched in 2019 supporting bitrates of 400G and above and introduced the new CS connector (along with LC Duplex and MPO-12), which allows 2 x CS Duplex on one transceiver making aggregation possible without the need for MPO. Available with data rates of 400G and 800G, It can cover distances of between 500m and 40km.
CFP (C Form-factor Pluggable). Introduced in 2009, the Roman numeral “C” indicates its original design for 100 Gigabit systems supporting ultra-high bandwidth networks forming the backbone of the Internet. 10 x 10G lanes or 4 x 25G lanes, supporting a single 100 Gbps signal (such as 100GbE or OTU4) or one or more 40 Gbps signals (such as 40 GbE, OTU3, STM-256/OC-768) can cover distances from 150m to 3000km and above in amplified long-haul systems. Connectors available include LC Duplex and MPO-24.
Since the introduction of CFP in 2009 improvements in technology now allow higher performance and higher density and the CFP2 and CFP4 specifications were developed. CFP2 launched in 2012 specifies a form-factor of ½ the physical size of the original specification. CFP2 provides data rates from 100Gbps to 200Gbps, for distances from 10km to 2000km and above in amplified long-haul systems with LC Duplex connectors.
CFP4, which was released in 2014 is a quarter of the size of the original CFP standard developed in 2009. It can still deliver the same 100 Gbps data rate and is suitable for distances of up to 10km. It uses LC Duplex connectors, with less than 6 W power usage.
Single mode transceivers transmit one wavelength of light over long distances up to 120km over singlemode fiber without additional amplification. Some common types include LR (Long Range) at 1310nm; ER (Extended Range) at 1550nm; ZR (Further Extended Reach) at 1550nm. They are available in configurations ranging from 100 Mbps to 800 Gbps.
Multi-mode transceivers transmit multiple signals at shorter distances (up to 2km) over a larger core cable. 100Mbps Fast Ethernet can be transmitted up to 2km and Gigabit up to 550m. However, the larger the bandwidth the shorter the distance the signal can be transmitted. For example: 10 Gbps up to 300m, 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps up to 100m.
CWDM Optical Transceivers are used in CWDM installations to connect to the CWDM multiplexer. They transmit using separate optical wavelengths on the same fiber pair. They support wavelengths from 1270nm to 1610nm in 20nm increments and are compliant with the ITU G.694 CWDM standard. Available for SFP, SFP+, SFP28, XFP, QSFP28 form factors.
DWDM Optical Transceivers transmit at different optical wavelengths on the same fiber pair. They support wavelengths between 1525–1565 nm with 100GHz or 50GHz spacing. Available in SFP, SFP+, SFP28 and XFP form factors
Transmit data over simplex single mode fiber at rates of between 1Gbps to 10Gbps and are most used in FTTH installations and access netowkrs as they offer high bandwidth but only requires a single fiber strand reducing costs. Typical BiDi transceivers are SFP 1G (2km to 120km), SFP+ 10G (10km to 60km) and SFP28 25G (up to 40km).
Coherent modulation is used in high-bandwidth (100/200Gbps) long-distance communications applications, with distances up to 3000km and above. Coherent optical transceivers were originally proprietary in design, but now adhere to MSA standards, such as CFP2-DCO and 400G ZR/ZR+. Coherent modules uses tunable lasers which can be tuned to different optical wavelengths. (LC Duplex, Single mode).
Copper transceivers are designed to communicate over twisted pair network cables with RJ45 connectors. They can transmit to distances of up to 100m at a data rates of 100Mbps to 1000Mbps over SFP and up to 30m at 10Gbps with SFP+.
Non-Return-to-Zero (NRZ) is the traditional modulation for optical communication. It uses on-off keying (two voltage levels to represent binary ‘0’ and’1’). It is used for short distances and limited to 28Gbps data rate but using WDM can be combined to achieve a data rate of 100Gbps.
Pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM4) increases the amount of bits per symbol transmitted to achieve bit rates of 56Gbps or higher. It uses 4 voltage levels to represent the binary states ‘00’, ‘01’, ‘10’, ‘11’. PAM4 for transmitting at rates of 200G, 400G and 800G over longer distances.
VCSEL stands for Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser and is a semiconductor laser, rather than an edge-beam laser. It uses the 850nm wavelength for transmission over multimode fiber. VCSEL lasers are inexpensive to make, have low power consumption and are used in optical transceivers for distances up to 500m.
Fabry Perot (FP) lasers are used in optical transceivers for distances below 40km. FP lasers are available for specific wavelengths and have large output power, a high modulation rate. However, their smaller divergence angle and narrow spectrum mean that they cannot be used for transmission over WDM. FP Lasers use the 1310nm and 1550nm wavelengths.
EML uses a design which integrates a laser diode with an electro-absorption modulator (EAM) in a single chip. This design features lower chromatic dispersion, so it is better suited to higher data rate transmission over longer distances.
Pro Optix transceivers come with guaranteed compatibility, designed and manufactured to Multi Source Agreement (MSA) compliance ensuring full [BRAND] compatibility and meeting manufacturer warranty requirements. Pro Optix transceivers come with 3 year or lifetime warranties and are tested and manufactured under ISO conditions.
Originally introduced in 1980 Ethernet was followed in 1995 by Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet in 1998 following the 1000BASE-T (or IEEE 802.3ab) cabling standard for transmission of Ethernet frames over twisted pair at 1Gbps. Gigabit Ethernet transmission is also possible over shielded balanced copper cable (1000BASE CX) and optical fiber (1000BASE-X). Various optical fiber options are available: This optical transceiver is [SPEED].
Fibre Channel is a protocol typically used in commercial data centers to connect data storage to servers and switches in a storage area network (SAN) where increased security, reliability and excellent performance is required. Originally devised to run over fiber optic cables it is also able to run over copper cabling. It supports data rates of between 1Gbps and 128Gbps. This optical transceiver is a [SPEED] module providing lossless data transmission of large volumes of data at low power consumption.
Pro Optix are proven leaders in fiber optical networking, providing products and services to the highest quality.
Over the last decade we have sold millions of optical transceivers and are continuing to expand. From the company’s start Pro Optix products have been used extensively across the Nordics and are now used and relied on by companies across the globe.
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Technical support is available on demand and the Pro Optix team of experts can provide any project support you may need. Our warrantied transceivers are selected with due-diligence to ensure portfolio compatibility and customer satisfaction. All our suppliers operate under ISO quality control standards.