Posted in Article, Optical Transceiver

Commonly Used SFP Transceivers

In fiber optic networking, an optical transceiver is a device which can both transmit or receive light and electrical signals. Generally, it has two ports. One is the transmitting port used for converting electrical signal into light signal and the other is the receiving port used for changing light signal into electrical signal. According to different data rates, there are many different kinds of transceivers, such as small form-factor pluggable (SFP), small form-factor pluggable plus (SFP+), quad small form-factor pluggable plus (QSFP+), centum form-factor pluggable (CFP), etc. And this article is going to give a brief introduction to some commonly used SFP transceivers. SFP transceiver, known as small form-factor pluggable transceiver, is a compact and hot-pluggable transceiver used for both telecommunication and data communication applications. It is widely deployed for the Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet.

SFP transceiver

Here are some commonly used SFP transceivers:


BiDi SFP is short for Bi-Directional SFP. The core technology of this transceiver is the BiDi technique which enables bidirectional transmission of two different waves. Since the BiDi module has only one port , it must be deployed in pairs. For example, when one module is used for receiving 1310nm and transmitting 1550nm optical signals, the other should receive 1550nm and transmit 1310nm signals, and vice versa. In this way, BiDi transceivers usually cost twice the price of other transceivers, but it is a better way to use BiDi transceivers to save the expenditure spent on optical fiber. Because BiDi transceivers have the advantage of reducing fiber cabling infrastructure costs by lowering the number of fiber patch panel ports, decreasing the amount of tray space dedicated to fiber management, and using less fiber cable.


CWDM SFP is a kind of single-mode transceiver used for Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel applications. It is made up of three parts: an uncooled laser transmitter, a PIN photodiode integrated with a trans-impedance preamplifier and a MCU control unit. The technology of this transceiver is called coarse wavelength-division multiplexing (CWDM). It is an economical technique to save fiber resources through transmitting multiple wavelengths on one optic fiber. The wavelengths of CWDM SFP are between 1470nm and 1610nm distinguished by different colors. Most commonly used CWDM SFP transceivers include CWDM SFP 1470, CWDM SFP 1490, CWDM SFP 1510, CWDM SFP 1530, CWDM SFP 1550, CWDM SFP 1570, CWDM SFP 1590, CWDM SFP 1610, etc. CWDM SFP can support the high performance of 1.25Gbps data rate and 80km distance of signal transmission.


Dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) SFP is the hot-pluggable transceiver used for Gigabit Ethernet which gathers different wavelengths onto one single fiber. Compared with CWDM SFP, DWDM SFP has a more intensive wave spacing for a high performance of data communication. The working wavelength ranges from 1525 nm to 1565 nm or 1570 nm to 1610 nm. The wave intervals are varied in 0.4 nm, 0.8 nm, 1.6 nm, etc. And the port of this transceiver is using the SFP interface for over 1 gigabit optical data transmission.


Synchronous optical networking (SONET) SFP or synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) SFP is a kind of transceiver based on the SONET/SDH standard. SONET/SDH is the physical standard for fiber optical transmission, first brought out by Bellcore in 1980s and then standardized by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for popularization all over the world. In the SONET/SDH standard, it mainly stipulates the transmission rate, fiber interface, operation and maintenance in optical fiber transmission. The SONET/SDH SFP transceivers can support OC-3 (up to 155.52 Mbps), OC-12 (up to 622.08 Mbps), and OC-48 (up to 2488.32 Mbps) data rates for multimode, short-reach, intermediate-reach, and long-reach applications. With the help of SONET/SDH technique, optical devices around the world are available to connect with each other which greatly improve the efficiency of data communication.


Fibre Channel (FC) SFP is a kind of transceiver using the technology of fiber channel for high speed optical signal transmission with a data rate up to 4.25 Gbps. Fiber channel is a mature technology for serial interface standardized by American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It is applied to the connection between the storage controller and computer drivers. Nowadays, FC has played as a replacement for the Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) in high-performance storage systems, because fiber channel is faster in transmission speed and more flexible in the transmitting mode with or without fiber in accordance with the transmission range.


SFP sockets are found in Ethernet switches, routers, firewalls and network interface cards. In addition, storage interface cards, also called as HBAs or Fibre Channel storage switches, use the SFP modules to support different speeds such as 2Gb, 4Gb, and 8Gb. Because of the low cost, low profile, and ability to provide a connection to different types of optical fiber, SFP provides the related equipment with enhanced flexibility.


SFP transceivers are hot-pluggable small form factors used for 100BASE and 1000BASE Ethernet data transmission. There are different types of SFP modules, including BiDi SFP, CWDM SFP, DWDM SFP, SONET/SDH SFP and FC SFP. Each of them supports different techniques which bring convenience to data communication. FS.COM provides all the SFP transceivers mentioned above, the products will definitely meet your requirements.

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