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What Are the Differences of SFP, SFP+, XFP?

Nov 27th 2015 at 12:52 AM

SFP, SFP+, and XFP are all terms for a type of transceiver that plugs into a special port on a switch or other network device to convert the port to a copper or fiber interface. These compact transceivers replace the older, bulkier GBIC interface. All these three compact transceivers are hot-swappable and commonly used. It's easy to change interfaces on the fly for upgrades and maintenance without shutting down a switch to swap out a module. These modules are good solutions in having a great quality signal delivered. Which kind of module should you choose? Your choice needs to be based on your understanding of what they are and how they differ from each other.

What Are SFP, SFP+ and XFP?

SFP: SFP stands for small form-factor pluggable. SFP transceiver is a compact, hot-pluggable transceiver used for both telecommunication and data communications applications. The form factor and electrical interface are specified by a multi-source agreement (MSA). These modules can link equipment like routers and switches. SFP transceivers are designed to support SONET, gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and other communications standards. For every type of SFP transceiver, it works with different wavelengths at a designated location or distance. SX SFP uses 850nm for a maximum of 550 meters, LX SFP use 1310nm for a maximum 10km, ZX SFP could reach 80km. Copper SFP uses a RJ45 interface. It is a popular industry format jointly developed and supported by many network component vendors.

SFP+: SFP+ is an enhanced version of the SFP. The SFP+ specification was first published on May 9, 2006. SFP+ supports 8 Gbit/s Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet and optical transport network standard OTU2. It is a popular industry format supported by many network component vendors. Although the SFP+ standard does not include mention of 16G Fibre Channel it can be used at this speed.

XFP: XFP stands for 10 Gigabit small form factor pluggable. XFP modules are hot-swappable and protocol-independent. With XFP you will surely experience a fast transmission of data in your computer network including your telecommunication links. They typically operate at near-infrared wavelengths (colors) of 850 nm, 1310 nm or 1550 nm. Principal applications include 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gbit/s Fibre Channel, synchronous optical networking (SONET) at OC-192 rates, synchronous optical networking STM-64, 10Gbit/s optical transport network OTU-2, and parallel optics links. They can operate over a single wavelength or use dense wavelength-division multiplexing techniques.


What Are the Differences?


The main difference between SFP and SFP+ is that the SFP+ is used in Gigabit Ethernet applications while SFP is for 100BASE or 1000BASE applications. SFP+ transceivers use the same dimensions of pluggable transceivers in the 10Gbs Ethernet and 8.5Gbs fiber channel with SFP and SFP comply with standards of IEEE802.3 and SFF-8472.


Generally speaking, both of them are 10G fiber optical modules and can connect with other type of 10G modules. In comparison to earlier XFP modules, SFP+ modules leave more circuitry to be implemented on the host board instead of inside the module. The size of SFP+ is smaller than XFP, thus it moves some functions to motherboard, including signal modulation function, MAC, CDR and EDC. XFP is based on the standard of XFP MSA while SFP+ is compliance with the protocol of IEEE 802.3ae, SFF-8431, SFF-8432.

Fiberstore is a professional manufacturer and supplier for optical fiber products and provides various kinds of SFP, SFP+ and XFP transceivers branded by many famous companies, like Cisco, HP, and Finisar. For example, Cisco XFP-10G-MM-SR, XFP-10GLR-OC192SR, XFP-10GER-192IR+ XFP transceivers, and HP JD118B, JD119B, J9142B SFP transceivers offered by Fiberstore are the most cost-effective standards-based transceiver modules and fully compatible with major brands and backed by a lifetime warranty.

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