Different Transmission Distance Solutions for 10G to 40G Migration

Different Transmission Distance Solutions for 10G to 40G Migration

Posted on by FS.COM

As we all know, 40G QSFP+ transceivers have two connector options. Usually, for a multimode QSFP+ like 40GBASE-SR4 or 40GBASE-CSR4 QSFP+, a MPO/MTP connector is used. A single-mode QSFP+, such as 40GBASE-LR4 or 40GBASE-ER4 QSFP+, usually uses a duplex LC connector. But with the demand for diverse fiber optic cabling requirement, some multimode QSFP+s (40GBASE-LX4 QSFP+) are also designed with duplex LC connector and some single-mode QSFP+s (40GBASE-PLRL4 QSFP+), however, use a a MPO/MTP connector as its interface. Following table lists some standardized 40G QSFP+ types and their specifications. They are the most commonly used 40G QSFP+s in the market today.

Type Wavelength Fiber and Distance Connector Original model
40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ 4x850nm 100m(OM3) 150m(OM4) Male MPO Cisco QSFP-40G-SR4
40GBASE-CSR4 QSFP+ 4x850nm 300m(OM3) 400m(OM4) Male MPO Cisco QSFP-40G-CSR4
40GBASE-LX4 QSFP+ 1270,1290,1310,1330 nm 100m(OM3) 150m(OM4) 2km(SMF) Duplex LC Juniper JNP-QSFP-40G-LX4
40GBASE Universal QSFP+ 1270,1290,1310,1330 nm 150m(OM3) 150m(OM4) 500m(SMF) Duplex LC Arista QSFP-40G-UNIV
40GBASE-PLRL4 QSFP+ 4x1310nm 1km(SMF) Male MPO Arista QSFP-40G-PLRL4
40GBASE-LR4 QSFP+ 1270,1290,1310,1330 nm 10km(SMF) Duplex LC Cisco QSFP-40G-LR4
40GBASE-LRL4 QSFP+ 1270,1290,1310,1330 nm 1km(SMF) Duplex LC Arista QSFP-40G-LRL4
40GBASE-PLR4 QSFP+ 4x1310nm 10km(SMF) Male MPO Arista QSFP-40G-PLR4
40GBASE-ER4 QSFP+ 1270,1290,1310,1330 nm 40km(SMF) Duplex LC Cisco QSFP-40G-ER4


In this article, we may mainly take the 10G SFP+ transceiver (usually uses a duplex LC connector) and 40G QSFP+ transceiver for example to discuss the 10G to 40G migration strategies. For a QSFP+ with MPO/MTP connector, we can use a MTP to LC break out cable to connect a QSFP+ to four SFP+ directly. However, since a QSFP+ with LC connector supports 40 Gigabit transmissions over duplex fibers with four wavelengths. Therefore, we can’t connect it to SFP+ directly. So I will not discuss the latter case in following passages.

10G to 40G MigrationTo upgrade from 10G to 40G directly, we can either use the direct-attach breakout cables or MPO/MTP QSFP+ fiber optic transceivers. For different transmission distance requirements, we may choose different connectivity options. Direct attach breakout cables (DACs) are usually used for short-distance transmission. MPO/MTP QSFP+ transceivers can achieve different transmission distance, from 100m to 10km. You should choose the right type QSFP+ transceiver to achieve your transmission distance needs at the least cost. Followings are some common cases you might encounter in your cable deployment.

Solution1: upgrade from 10G to 40G less than 10 m
QSFP+ to four SFP+ direct-attach breakout cables are suitable for very short distances and offer a very cost-effective way to connect within racks and across adjacent racks. These breakout cables connect to a 40G QSFP port of a switch on one end and to four 10G SFP+ ports of a switch on the other end. They can be usually provided at 0.5m, 1m, 2m, 3m, 4m, 5m, 6m, 7m, 8m, 9m, 10m or other customized length less than 10m.

QSFP+ to 4 SFP+ Breakout Cable

Solution2: upgrade from 10G to 40G less than 150 m
40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ modules support link lengths of 100 meters and 150 meters, respectively on OM3 and OM4 multimode fibers. It uses a 12-fiber parallel MPO/MTP female connector. Since it is optimized to guarantee interoperability with any IEEE 40GBase-SR4 and 10GBase-SR, we can achieve 10G to 40G migration up to 100m or 150m, respectively on OM3 and OM4 MTP to LC break out cable.


Solution3: upgrade from 10G to 40G less than 400 m
40GBASE-CSR4 QSFP+ modules extend the reach of the IEEE 40GBASE-SR4 interface to 300 and 400 meters on OM3 and OM4 multimode fiber. Each 10-gigabit lane of this module is compliant to IEEE 10GBASE-SR specifications. To achieve 10G to 40G migration less than 400m, we should use multimode MTP to LC break out cable to connect a 40GBASE-CSR4 QSFP to four 10GBASE-SR SFP+.

Solution4: upgrade from 10G to 40G less than 1 km
If you want to achieve 10G to 40G migration less than 1 km, you should use a 40GBASE-PLRL4 QSFP+ transceiver, which supports distances compatible with 10GBASE-LRL and can reach 1km over single-mode fiber. We can directly connect a 40GBASE-PLRL4 QSFP+ to four 10GBASE-LR QSFP+ with a single-mode MTP to LC break out cable to achieve 1km transmission.


Solution5: upgrade from 10G to 40G less than 2 km
The 4x10GBASE-LR Lite QSFP+ transceiver supports 4 independent streams of 10GBASE-LR Lite. It uses a 12-fiber MTP connector and can reach up to 2km over single-mode fiber. This 4x10GBASE-LR Lite QSFP+ is compliant with the IEEE 802.3ae 10GBASE-LR/LW, which is designed for use in high density 10 Gigabit Ethernet links over single-mode fiber.

Solution6: upgrade from 10G to 40G less than 10 km
40GBASE-PLR4 QSFP+ supports distances compatible with 10GBASE-LR, which is 10km on single-mode fiber. As a single-mode parallel 40G QSFP+ transceiver, it allows for splitting into 4x10G (single-mode). 40GBASE-PLR4 QSFP+ is fully compatible with 10GBASE-LR up to the maximum distance of the transceiver. To connect with the 10GBASE-LR SFP+, we only need to use a single-mode MTP-12 ribbon fibers.


Fiberstore provides a variety of 40G direct-attach breakout cables and parallel QSFP+ transceivers to help you achieve 10G to 40G migration easily. To connect a QSFP+ to four SFP+more than 10m, we only need to use a MTP to LC break out cable. We also offer all kinds of specification mulitmode or single-mode MTP to LC break out cables. For more information, please feel free to contact us at sales@fs.com.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

FS.COM data center switch
FS.COM LC polarity switchable patch cable
Most Used Categories
October 2017
« Aug