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How to Classify 10G SFP+ Transceiver Modules?

Jan. 12, 2023

With the popularization of 10GbE deployments, a wide range of 10G SFP+ transceivers are designed for the delivery of 10Gbps data in various networking scenarios. This guide will lead you to classify the available 10G SFP+ module types in the market.


Note: Based on cable types, 10G SFP+ transceiver can be categorized into 10GBASE-T copper SFP+ module, 10GBASE multimode SFP+ fiber module, 10GBASE single-mode SFP+ fiber module.


10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Module

10G copper transceivers, compliant with MSA standard, are designed for the delivery of 10 Gbps data rates over unshielded twisted-pair cabling. Accompanied with Cat6a/Cat7 Ethernet cables, the maximum transmission distance is up to 100 meters. In fact, 10Gig copper SFP+ modules also have a very limited range. You can only get 30m, 50m, or 80m maximum distance at 10Gig using copper RJ-45 SFP+ modules. SFP's don't have the power budget to push a 10Gig signal to a full 100m like regular copper 10Gig switches or NIC's. SFP ports were designed to run fiber modules, not much more power copper.

10G 1490NM/1550NM 80KM BIDI SFP+

 10G 1490NM/1550NM 80KM BIDI SFP+

10GBASE-T is backward-compatible with existing 100M/1GbE networks and can be deployed based on existing 100M/1GbE switch infrastructures over Cat5 or Cat6, providing an easy path from 100M/1GbE to 10GbE networks. For wiring closets, 10GBase-T will be the obvious choice once the demand for bandwidth becomes more acute and once the price and power for 10GBase-T technology come down.

10GBASE SFP+ Multimode Fiber Module

There are two main types of 10G SFP+ multimode transceivers—10GBASE SR & 10GBASE LRM used for short-range fiber transmission.


10GBASE-SR Multimode SFP+

10GBASE-SR fiber optic transceiver is one of the most commonly used modules for 10GbE. SR stands for short-range, the transmission distance of 10GBASE-SR modules can reach up to 300 meters matched with OM3 multimode fiber (MMF). Implemented with a VCSEL, 10GBASE-SR transceivers also known as the lowest-cost, lowest-power modules. The variant type is named 10GBASE-SRL (10GBASE-SR lite).



As the replacement to 10GBASE-LX4 modules, 10GBASE-LRM fiber optic transceivers can support the max link lengths of 220 meters over MMF, i.e, OM3. Note, Cisco (or Cisco compatible from some vendors) 10GBASE-LRM modules can also support the max link lengths of 300 meters over single-mode fiber (SMF).

10G 1550NM 40KM ER SFP+

 10G 1550NM 40KM ER SFP+     

10GBASE SFP+ Singlemode Fiber Module

There are three main types of 10G SFP+ single-mode transceivers—10GBASE-LR, 10GBASE-ER, and 10GBASE-ZR used for long-range transmission.


10GBase-LR Singlemode SFP+

10GBASE-LR fiber optic transceiver, LR stands for "long reach," operates at a nominal wavelength of 1310nm and can reach up to 10 km over single-mode fiber. The 10GBASE-LR module is implemented with a distributed feedback laser (DFB), compared with the SR module adopting VCSEL.


10GBase-ER Singlemode SFP+

As an enhanced version of LR modules, the 10GBase-ER transceiver that operates at a nominal wavelength of 1550 nm is also designed for long-haul transmission over single-mode fibers, which supports the link length of up to 40 kilometers. Unlike the previous modules, the 10GBASE-ER module is implemented with an externally modulated laser (EML).


10GBase-ZR Singlemode SFP+

Similar to ER modules, the 10GBASE-ZR transceiver also operates at the nominal wavelength of 1550 nm and operates with SMFs, but with a longer transmission distance of 80 km.

The minimum cabling distance for -SR, -LRM, -LR, -ER modules is 2m, according to the IEEE 802.3ae.


Note: For some special applications, you will find these 10G SFP+ module types: CWDM SFP+ Module, DWDM SFP+ Module, BIDI SFP+ Module, Fibre Channel SFP+ Module, and Industry SFP+ Module.


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