A Brief Introduction to 100G Optical Transceivers

To meet the increasing demands for higher speeds and greater scalability, many service providers and enterprise data centers are undergoing an infrastructure transformation to get higher levels of performance and reliability. In the overall system design, fiber optic transceiver is an integral part to help achieve high performance. 40G and 100G fiber optic transceivers, such as Cisco CFP-40G-LR4 CFP transceiver, and Dell CFP-100G-LR4 CFP transceiver, have become preferable choices for data centers as 1G and 10G cannot meet the needs of bandwidth-hungry applications. Adopting 100G transceivers accelerates data flow throughout your data center or enterprise, provides CAPEX (capital expenditures) and OPEX (operating expenditures) and saves time. Options of 100G transceiver modules will be talked about in this article.

100G CFP/CFP2/CFP4 Transceiver

When the IEEE finished the first 100G standard for Ethernet networks, the transceiver industry launched an alphabet soup of form factors. The CFP transceiver emerged first. “C” stands for 100, and FP for “form-factor pluggable”. CFP transceiver is specified by multi-source agreement (MSA) between competing manufacturers. CFP transceiver was designed after SFP interface, but it is significantly larger to support 100 Gbit/s data rates. While the electrical connection of a CFP transceiver uses 10 x 10 Gbit/s lanes in each direction (RX, TX), the optical connection can support both 10 x 10 Gbit/s and 4 x 25 Gbit/s variants of 100 Gbit/s interconnects.

With improvements in technology, CFP2 and CFP4 specifications have appeared to allow higher performance and higher density. Having similar electrical connection with a CFP transceiver, CFP2 transceiver and CFP4 transceiver specify a form-factor of 1/2 and 1/4 respectively in size of a CFP transceiver. These three modules are not interchangeable, but would be inter-operable at the optical interface with appropriate connectors.

100G QSFP28 Transceiver

100G QSFP28 transceiver is the exact same footprint as the 40G QSFP+ transceiver. The “Q” is for “quad”. Just as a 40G QSFP+ transceiver is implemented using four 10 Gbit/s lanes, 100G QSFP28 transceiver is implemented with four 25 Gbit/s lanes. With an upgraded electrical interface to support signaling rates up to 28 Gbit/s, 100G QSFP28 transceiver makes it as easy to deploy 100G networks as 10G networks. Compared to other transceiver alternatives, 100G QSFP28 transceiver increases density and decreases power and price per bit. It has become the universal data center form factor.

QSFP28 transceiver has several advantages. QSFP28 transceiver increases front-panel density by 250% over QSFP+ transceiver. The form factor and the maximum number of ports are the same, but the lane speeds are increased from 10 Gbit/s to 25 Gbit/s. The increase in panel density is even more dramatic when compared to some other 100 Gbit/s form factor: 450% versus the CFP2. QSFP28 transceivers can be based on either VCSELs (for shorter distances on multimode fiber) or silicon photonics (for longer distances on single-mode fiber). The advent of silicon photonics enables QSFP28 transceivers to support any data center to reach up to 2 km or more. Silicon photonics provides a high degree of integration. The picture below shows a 100G QSFP28 SR4 transceiver.

100G Transceiver Solutions from Fiberstore

As a professional manufacturer and supplier in optical communication industry, Fiberstore provides a complete range of 100G optical transceivers for your applications. We have sufficient supply of CFP and CFP2 transceiver modules, which can be shipped immediately after ordering. For 100G QSFP28 transceivers, we have 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 transceivers and 100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28 transceivers. The prices of all our 100G fiber optic transceivers are much more affordable than the similar products in the market and they can be compatible with many major brands. For more details, please visit www.fs.com or contact over sales@fs.com.

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