100G Ethernet Deployment with QSFP28 100G Optical Transceivers

Updated on Dec 15, 2021 by

Over the past few years, 100 Gigabit Ethernet technology has become mature, interoperable with broad vendor support, and has been applied to many networks. There is a variety of standards-based 100G optical transceivers enabling network operators to have several choices for media and distances. Among all the 100G transceivers, QSFP28 is the most popular type in the market, which has been chosen as the core transceivers by most data centers. In this post, we will discuss how QSFP28 100G modules outperform other 100G modules as a more cost-effective way to upgrade to 100G networks.

QSFP28 100G—— A Cost-effective Way for 100G Network Upgrading

The emergence of QSFP28 has changed the 100G upgrading road from 10G→40G→100G to 10G→25G→100G. It uses four 25G lanes to transmit signals, which is in accordance with the 100G Ethernet standards. The 100G uplink is converged by only four 25G links. In addition, the 25G network has the same cabling structure as 10G network but larger network capacity. Thus, the 100G road map with QSFP28 from 10G to 25G to 100G can largely simplify the cabling in data center and effectively decrease the cable density and the cost, which makes the QSFP28 100G modules a more cost-effective and efficient way for 100G network upgrading.

More Advantages of 100G QSFP28 over Other 100G Optical Modules

100G optical transceivers have various form factors, such as CFP/CFP2/CFP4, CXP and QSFP28. Since the need for faceplate densities is increasing, the trend for high-speed 100G optical modules is smaller size, lower power dissipation and higher rate and that's why QSFP28 100G suppresses other form factors in the perspective of 100G deployment.

From the table below, we can see QSFP28 100G modules enjoy more advantages than other 100G optical modules due to its higher port density, lower power consumption, and higher transmission capacity per lane. Details of the comparison between these different 100G optical transceivers can be obtained in the table below.

Line Rates 12x12G or 10x12G 40/100G 40/100G 40/100G 40/100G 4x25-28G
Applications InfiniBand, Ethernet Ethernet, Sonet/SDH, OTN Ethernet, Sonet/SDH, OTN Ethernet, Sonet/SDH, OTN Ethernet, Sonet/SDH, OTN InfiniBand, Ethernet
Hot Pluggable Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dimensions (WxLxH, mm) 21x29 82x145x14 41x104x13 34.8x101.2x11.6 22.92x10 18x52x8.5
Electrical Interface 12xQDR Infiniband or CPPI CAUI, XLAUI, SFI-S, SFI-5.2 CAUI-4, CAUI CAUI-4, CAUI CPPI-4 CPPI-4
Max Power 6W 3-18W 3-18W N/D 1.5-6W 3.5W

Different Types of QSFP28 100G Modules to Choose From

Among all the 100G transceivers, QSFP28 is the most popular type on the market, which has been chosen as the core transceivers by most data centers due to their compact size and low power consumption and wide application. There are mainly five types of 100G QSFP28 modules for different applications, including QSFP28 SR4, QSFP-100G-LR4, 100G QSFP28 PSM4, QSFP-100G-CWDM4, QSFP-100G-ER4 and QSFP-100G-ZR4 . Check the following chart for more details about each type of them.

Types of 100G QSFP28 Fiber Mode Connector Wavelength Distance
100G QSFP28 SR4 MMF MPO-12 850nm 100m
100G QSFP28 PSM4 SMF MPO-12 1310nm 500m
100G QSFP28 CWDM4 SMF Duplex LC  1271nm/1291nm/1311nm/1331nm 2km
100G QSFP28 LR4 SMF Duplex LC  1310nm 10km
100G QSFP28 ER4 SMF Duplex LC  1310nm 25km-40km
100G QSFP28 ZR4 SMF Duplex LC 1310nm 80km

With so many benefits it provides, it's obvious that QSFP28 would be the best choice for your 100G deployment. But how to choose from those different types of 100G QSFP28. Please check this article for reference: How to Choose the Right 100G QSFP28 Optical Transceivers?

Further Discussion

It’s undeniable that the cost of 100G transceivers is still higher than the common 10G or 40G optics as you see in many data centers. But don’t worry. 100G transceivers will continue to be more affordable, making the cost difference between 40G and 100G even small. On one hand, the production of cost-effective 100G silicon and the technology become mature. On the other hand, the adoption of widespread use of the 100G devices, and the vast increases in Internet traffic are core to change in the communications infrastructure markets.

FS 100G QSFP28

100 Gigabit Ethernet is the unstoppable trend for the future network and 100G QSFP28 can provide a cost-effective way for upgrading to 100G. What about higher speeds beyond 100G? Attentions from IT community have already been paid to 200G and 400G. To know more about 200G and 400G development, please read this article: Global Optical Transceiver Market: Striding to 200G and 400G.


Related Article: Decoding 100G QSFP28 Fiber Optic Transceiver

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