Choosing a best fiber transceiver for your network is not always easy since a variety of factors should be considered. Apart from the data rates, other factors like packaging form and functionality are also important. If you’re not aware of what you need to know in selecting the best fiber transceiver, this article will offer you some tips and help choose the one that works best for you.
Before discussing about the tips for selecting a fiber transceiver, you should first know the common types of fiber transceivers. Here I’d like to introduce the most commonly used SFP, SFP+, 40G QSFP and 100G QSFP28 transceivers. Other transceivers like GBIC, XFP, CFP, etc. will not be introduced in detail.
SFP: SFP (small form-factor pluggable) module is also referred to as mini GBIC due to their similarity in function to the GBIC transceivers though smaller in dimension. It is mainly used to link equipment in data communications and telecommunications like switches and routers. It supports applications like Fiber-to-the-desktop (FTTD), SONET/SDH Network, Gigabit Ethernet, and high-speed computer links among others.
SFP+: It is an upgraded version of the SFP, sharing a common physical form factor with SFP modules. The only difference is that it can support up to 10Gbps data rates. Compared with earlier 10G Xenpak and XFP modules, SFP+ is smaller and becomes the most popular 10 gigabit Ethernet module in the market.
QSFP/QSFP+: The QSFP (quad small form-factor pluggable) specification supports Ethernet, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and SONET/SDH standards with different data rate options. QSFP+ is an evolution of 4x4Gbit/s QSFP. QSFP+ transceivers are designed to support Serial Attached SCSI, 40G Ethernet, QDR (40G), FDR (56G) InfiniBand and other communications standards.
QSFP28: The QSFP28 standard is designed to carry 100G Ethernet or EDR InfiniBand. This transceiver type is also used with direct attached breakout cables to adapt a single 100G port to four independent 25G ports. Sometimes this transceiver type is also referred to as “QSFP100” or “100G QSFP”.
When choosing a fiber optic transceiver, the following factors should be taken into account.
Not all fiber optic transceivers transfer the same distance. Generally, the multimode transceivers have shorter transmission distance, while single-mode transceivers have longer transmission distance. For instance, a 10GBASE-SR transceiver has maximum distance of 300 m over OM3 fiber and 400 m over OM4 fiber. A 10GBASE-LR transceiver can reach up to 10 km over single-mode fiber. This is important in selecting a transceiver for an application. Knowing the transmission distance can help you quickly select the transceiver that best suits your network demands. Data transmission distance may be affected by whether the transceivers are single fiber or dual fiber. In addition, the dispersion and attenuation during the transmission should also be taken into consideration when measuring the data transfer distance.
Fiber optic transceivers operate in three modes of channels: the simplex, half duplex and full-duplex modes. The simplex mode is one way and does not send back error information. Since it is one way, its use is phasing out and today it is mainly used in radios. Half duplex can only handle a signal at a time, i.e., it can only transmit or receive a signal at a time, not both. A full-duplex transceiver can handle the reception and transmission of all signals simultaneously. One thing to note though is that the transmitter and receiver need to work on different frequencies in order to avoid collisions between transmit and receive signals.
In order to ensure that the transfer time and the loss of the fiber optic transceiver are at an acceptable level, you may need to run a connection test. If the transceiver fails the test, you will need to consider another device.
Some transceiver modules are designed with copper interface or optical interface. Take SFP as an example, 1000BASE-T SFP module operates on standard Category 5 wiring and has a RJ-45 connector, while 1000BASE-SX SFP module operates on multimode fiber for short distance transmission, 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP and 1000BASE-ZX SFP on single-mode fiber for longer transmission.
Fiber optic transceivers should never work overheated. They may fail prematurely if they run at temperatures that are higher than they could adapt to. So it is important to know their exact temperature adaptability.
The factors mentioned above are typically considered on a case-by-case basis. Taking these few simple tips into consideration can help you identify the proper type of fiber transceiver. It’s not always easy, but the best type of fiber transceiver can be found if due diligence is performed. FS.COM is a leading third-party fiber transceiver manufacturer, supplying a full range of transceiver modules like SFP, 10G SFP+, 10G XFP, 40G QSFP/QSFP+, etc. Moreover, the transceivers have gone through a series of testing on corresponding equipment and passed the monitoring of our intelligent quality control system. Besides, OEM service is also available. For more details, please visit www.fs.com.
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