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25G SFP28 Transceiver Module Overview

May 16, 2017

With the evolution of 5G technology, equipment providers are responding with 25Gbps edge devices that require more bandwidth than can be provided on a traditional 10Gbps interface. 25G SFP28 transceivers are the critical player among them. They come in various types that cover different transmission distances.

25G SFP28 Transceiver Type and Applications

25G Standard SFP28 Transceiver Module

25G SFP28 transceiver module can be classified into Short-Range (SR), Long-Range (LR) transceivers and Extended-Range (ER) transceivers in terms of the transmission distance. The SFP28 SR is mainly used with OM4 multimode fiber to transfer data over a short distance (up to 100m), while the SFP28 LR is mainly used with OS2 single mode fiber for long distance transmission (up to 10km) and the SFP28 ER used with OS2 single mode fiber can realize at most 40km transmission. They can be plugged into data center, campus and service provider switches and routers to provide high speed 25Gbps connectivity.

25G BiDi SFP28 Transceiver Module

The 25G SFP28 BiDi transceiver module adopts two optical signals of different center wavelengths, 1270/1330mm at the transmitting end and the receiving end to realize bidirectional transmission of optical signals on one optical fiber, thus saving fiber resources and leading the next generation of 5G communication technology. It has versions with different transmission distance. For example, 300m coverage 25G BiDi transceivers are usually used in base station, 10km coverage ones deployed for the long-distance and high-loss connection between Active Antenna Unit (AAU) and access unit.

25G WDM SFP28 Transceiver Module

25G WDM SFP28 transceiver consists of 25G CWDM SFP28 transceiver, 25G DWDM SFP28 transceiver and 25G LWDM SFP28 transceiver.

25G CWDM SFP28 transceiver is a single mode CWDM transceiver for duplex optical data communications. This module uses single mode fiber and operates at a nominal wavelength of CWDM (1271~1331nm). CWDM transceiver is designed for short-range communications and is mainly used for city and access networks. Moreover, 25G CWDM SFP28 solution can well solve the current 5G millimeter wave pre-transmission problem.

25G DWDM SFP28 transceiver, currently seen on the market, can convey the signal to 10km on single mode fiber, designed for long-haul transmission where wavelengths are packed tightly together in order to increase bandwidth over existing fiber networks.

25G SFP28 LWDM transceiver presents as a low-cost solution among 25G WDM transceivers, for it adopts relatively cheap DML lasers to keep a stable transmission, making it an ideal and efficient solution in 5G front-haul transmission. The module can also save fiber resources by achieving the multi-channel signals transmission on one single fiber. By applying SFP28 25G LWDM transceiver to wavelengths with low dispersion, the transmission distance can be extended to 40km.

Category Type Reach Application
25G standard SFP28 transceiver 25G SR 100m OM4 MMF 25GBASE-SR Ethernet
25G standard SFP28 transceiver 25G LR 10km SMF Data Center Backbone; High-speed Servers
25G standard SFP28 transceiver 25G ER 40km SMF High-speed storage area networks; CPRI 10
25G BiDi SFP28 transceiver 25G BiDi 10km SMF 25GE LR; eCPRI & CPRI
25G WDM SFP28 transceiver 25G CWDM 10km SMF 25G GE LR; eCPRI , CPRI; High-speed Servers; High-performance Computing Clusters
25G WDM SFP28 transceiver 25G DWDM 10km SMF 25G Ethernet Data Center Networks; CPRI/eCPRI 5G Fronthaul Networks
25G WDM SFP28 transceiver 25G LWDM 40km SMF 25GBASE-ER Ethernet Data Center Networks; CPRI/eCPRI 5G Fronthaul Networks

25G SFP28 Transceivers FAQ

What is the maximum supported distance for 25G SFP28 transceivers?

The maximum currently supported distance for 25G is 40km with SFP-25G-ER product. Additional optics may be released in the future to support longer distances.

Are 25G SFP28 transceivers of different brands interoperable with each other?

As long as the 25G SFP28 transceivers meet the associated industry standard specifications,they are fully interoperable.

Can I use SFP28 SFP28 transceivers in SFP+ ports?

If the port recognition software does not have specific requirements, it is theoretically viable to use SFP28 transceiver in SFP+ port as SFP28 is backward compatible with SFP+ ports and can be fully functional. SFP28 optical modules and SFP28 cables can be plugged into the SFP+ port, but not supports 25Gb/s data rate.

Can I use SFP+ transceivers in SFP28 ports?

Theoretically, the answer is yes. The link speed is limited to 10Gbps though.

Can I connect SFP28 ports with QSFP28 ports?

Yes, configure the QSFP28 100G transceiver to work at 4*25G breakout mode, and use a breakout cable. One 100G QSFP28 optical module is used on one side and four 25G SFP28 optical modules used on the other side.


25GbE transceiver is a critical carrier to implement 25G Ethernet technology in cloud and enterprise data center environments. As the enhanced version of SFP+, 25G SFP28 transceiver is able to handle 25Gbps per lane transceiver while ensuring backward compatibility to SFP and SFP+.

Related articles:25G SFP28 LWDM Transceiver Module In 5G


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