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10G SFP+ Cable Buying Guide

Jul. 09, 2022

With the advantages of lower cost and easier installation, SFP+ cables are becoming more popular than 10G transceivers for short-haul connections in 10G data transmission. This article provides a buying guide for 10G SFP+ cables in terms of types, benefits, applications, and selection tips.


10G SFP+ Cables: Definition and Types

An SFP+ cable is a high-speed cable with SFP+ connector modules on both ends. It uses connectors to transmit and receive 10Gbps data through a pair of transmitters and receivers over thin twin-core or fiber optic cables. They are suitable for in-rack connections between servers and switches, providing significant cost and power savings in short-haul applications. 10G SFP+ cables are available as 10G SFP+ DAC and 10G SFP+ AOC.


10G SFP+ DAC Cables

The 10G DACs are divided into passive and active DACs, made of Twinax copper and factory-terminated modules that provide a direct electrical connection to active devices. The former can be transmitted without signal conditioning, while the latter has electronics inside the transceiver to boost the signal. 10G SFP+ DAC cables are ideal for shorter top-of-rack or rack-to-rack runs with cost-conscious budgets.

10G SFP+ DAC Cables

 10G SFP+ DAC Cables

10G SFP+ AOC Cables

10G AOC is a fusion of optical and electronic or active electronic components that require external power to complete the signal conversion. It uses fiber optic cables and silicon chips and provides electro-optical connections to enhance the signal and performance of the cable. 10G SFP+ AOC cables are typically used in end-of-row or mid-row data center architectures with interconnecting distances of up to 15m.


Benefits of SFP+ cables

Cost: With no expensive electronics, 10G SFP+ cables are much cheaper than 10G optical modules. And with power consumption below 0.15w, passive DACs will have a much less operating expense.


Convenience: Using 10G SFP+ cables is more flexible and less difficult in actual construction deployments. Simply plug the SFP+ cable directly into your physical device (e.g., network switch) to make the connection without any additional signal processing or conversion.

10G SFP AOC Cable

 10G SFP AOC Cable

Applications for SFP+ Cables

10G SFP+ DACs and AOCs are widely used in data centers to connect servers, storage devices, and switches. In general, these cables are particularly effective in the following two applications.


10G SFP+ DAC cables: server-to-switch connections

10G SFP+ DACs are typically used for ToR (Top of Rack) interconnects between 10G ToR switches and servers or for stacking of 10GbE switches. Since 10G SFP+ DAC typically supports 7m link lengths with low power consumption, low latency, and low cost, this option is ideal for short-distance server-to-switch connections.

10G SFP+ AOC Cable: Switch-to-Switch Connectivity

In the absence of strict link length restrictions, 10G SFP+ AOCs are typically used in multiple locations in the data center, such as ToR, EoR (end-of-row), and MoR (mid-row). Therefore, 10G SFP+ AOC cable assemblies are a high-performance and cost-effective I/O solution for 10G Ethernet and 10G Fibre Channel applications. 10G SFP+ AOC cables have a theoretical maximum transmission distance of up to 100m and are typically used for switch-to-switch connections.

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