What's the Difference Between SFP and QSFP Fiber Modules?

What’s the Difference Between SFP and QSFP Fiber Modules?

You may have already heard of the SFP+ modules, but do you know what SFP and QSFP are? What’s the difference? This article explains these two popular fiber modules and outlines some of the benefits of each. If you’re planning to purchase an SFP module for your network, keep reading to learn more about their different features and advantages. Then you can make an informed decision about the best type of cable for your needs.

SFP module

The SFP module is a popular technology for networking devices. Its maximum data rate is 5 Gbit/s, and it was primarily used by 4GFC Fibre Channel and DDR Infiniband. The SFP+ standard introduces direct attach cables. These cables come in active optical (AOC) and passive (7 m) varieties. They are generally cheaper than transceivers. If you’re buying a network adapter for a server, it is a good idea to get a genuine Cisco-manufactured  module.

Modern optical SFP transceivers are built with digital diagnostics monitoring (DDM) functions. This allows for real-time monitoring of SFP operating parameters such as optical input and output power, temperature, and transceiver supply voltage. DDM-compatible optical fiber transceivers can display diagnostic data and alarms to end users and help troubleshoot transceivers. This functionality makes the SFP module a valuable tool for network engineers.

SFP+ QSFP module

A SFP+ or Quad SFP module is a type of optical fiber transceiver with an improved form factor.

It is compatible with legacy designs and offers higher port density than other forms. Unlike SFP modules, however, they do not perform data recovery or clock recovery. These functions are handled by the host board. Another type of SFP interface is known as a QSFP module. These are basically four channels of SFP with the ability to transmit four times the amount of data as a single channel. This results in a higher port density and overall system cost reduction over traditional  products.

The QSFP module supports 10/100/1000 Base T Ethernet and fiber ports. The   most common form factor for transceivers. SFP+ and QSFP are interchangeable, so you can switch between them with little trouble. However, QSFP is a newer version of SFP and is not as widely used. To learn more about these newer versions of transceivers, visit the Cisco QSFP page.

QSFP56 module

A QSFP56 module is an upgraded version of the 100G QSFP28 or 40G-QSFP optical modules. It is used for interconnecting two Ethernet switches and can be divided into four different types depending on the distance between them. These are known as QSFP56 CR, SR, and DR. Each of them is capable of transmitting a different amount of data over single-mode or multi-mode fibers.

Originally designed to replace single-mode SFPs, the QSFP was developed to provide higher bandwidth than  modules. This new module offers four lanes of wavelengths, up to four, and it can also be used in high-density applications. QSFP56s are currently available in the market and will continue to be available for a while. As a result, there are more applications for QSFP56 modules than ever before.

QSFP28 module

There are several types of QSFP28 modules. The most common of these is the 100GbE form factor, or QSFP28. It is also called QSFP28-DD and will be used in the next generation of 200G and 400G modules, which will be widely used in top of rack switches and technological solutions. Both versions will be available in mid to late 2020. The differences between the two types of modules are in their wavelengths.

Both SFP and QSFP28 are similar in size and design. They are similar to the previous generation of QSFP, but the former has a larger bandwidth. The QSFP28 module will support up to 100 Gbit/s, with the DAC/AOC cable able to run up to twox 50 Gbit/s. The two types are compatible with each other and can be used for network applications.

Applications of SFP modules

There are several applications of SFP modules. For example, they are widely used in Ethernet switches, routers, and firewalls. They are also used in fibre optic networks for bridging communication on distances of up to 100 km. These modules support both single-mode and duplex optical fibre and are compatible with DWDM/CDN technologies. They are also suitable for high-speed long-range cables. To see more applications of SFP modules, read on.

Final Thoughts

SFP modules are compatible with most network interfaces. While MSA compatibility helps ensure that the modules are compatible, it also complicates equipment cost optimization and deployment. SFPs are available in copper and fiber versions, making them suitable for a wide range of networks. Copper-based SFPs are most commonly used for bridging network switches.

Copper-based SFPs are also available, which are faster than fiber-based connections.

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