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What is a SFP Transceiver?

SFP means small form-factor pluggable. SFP transceivers are hot-swappable modules that can be utilized for various network use cases. Due to their flexibility in reach and data, SFP and SFP+ transceivers are two of the most popular form factors in the industry.

SFP vs. SFP+

The defining differentiator between SFP and SFP+ is the data rate. Most of the time, SFP relates to 1G applications, while, on the other hand, SFP+ is linked to 10G. However, SFP and SFP+ transceivers are both available in a number of different speeds and support multiple communication protocols:

  • SMF, MMF, or copper media types
  • RJ-45 or LC connectors
  • Ethernet, SONET, Fibre Channel, etc.

Via RJ-45, SFP can perform transmissions up to 100m, while SFP+ is capable of 30m.

The true extended reach applications happen over an optical signal with either MMF, which allows up to 550m for SFP and 300m for SFP+, or SMF, which can allow for over 100km of transmission.

Conclusion

Whether you’re trying to use an additional SFP or SFP+ port on a network appliance but need to surpass the physical limitations of copper to go hundreds or thousands of meters, SFP and SFP+ transceivers are just the ticket.