SFP Transceivers for Gigabit Ethernet Applications

SFP, small form-factor pluggable, a hot-swappable input/output device plugs into a Gigabit Ethernet port or slot. It is a popular industry format jointly developed and supported by many network component vendors. SFP transceivers have a wide variety of transmitter and receiver types, which allows users to select the appropriate transceiver for their link needs. Several different categories of SFP modules will be introduced in this article.

1000BASE-SX SFP for Multimode Fibers

The 1000BASE-SX SFP, compatible with the IEEE 802.3z 1000BASE-SX standard and SFP Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) standards, is a cost effective transceiver module with a wavelength of 850nm which supports data rates of up to 1.25 Gbps. It operates on 50/125μm multimode fiber links up to 550m and on 62.5/125μm multimode fiber links up to 300m. It also can support up to 1km over laser-optimized 50μm multimode fiber cable. Its electrical interface is compliant with SFF-8431. And it supports Digital Diagnostic Monitoring (DDM). The following is a picture of TRENDnet TEG-MGBSX compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver.

TRENDnet TEG-MGBSX Compatible 1000BASE-SX Transceiver

1000BASE-LX/LH SFP for Both Multimode and Singlemode Fibers

The 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP, compatible with the IEEE 802.3z 1000BASE-LX standard, is similar with the other SFP transceivers in basic working principle and size. 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP can be used for both single-mode and multi-mode. It is single-mode by design, but when it gets together with its friend “mode conditioning patch cable”, it can also be used for multi-mode application. It operates on standard singlemode fiber optic link spans of up to 10km and up to 550m on multimode fibers. 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP transceiver is a high performance 1310nm transceiver for singlemode fibers. It supports dual data-rate of 1.25 Gbps/1.0625 Gbps. 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP transceiver is commonly applied for Gigabit Ethernet links, Fiber Channel Switch Infrastructure and other optical transmission systems. The following picture shows a Cisco SFP-GE-L compatible 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP transceiver module.

Cisco SFP-GE-L Compatible 1000BASE-LXLH SFP Transceiver

1000BASE-EX SFP for Long-Reach Singlemode Fibers

The 1000BASE-EX SFP operates on standard single-mode fiber-optic link spans of up to 40 km in length. An inline optical attenuator should be inserted between the fiber optic cable and the receiving port on the SFP at each end of the link for back-to-back connectivity.

1000BASE-ZX SFP for Long-Reach Single-Mode Fibers

1000BASE-ZX SFP supports link length of up to 80km on single mode fiber at 1Gbps. The precise link span length depends on multiple factors such as fiber quality, number of splices, and connectors. This optic works at 1550nm wavelength and uses an LC connector.

1000BASE-T SFP for Copper Networks

1000Base-T is an extension of standard Ethernet technologies to gigabit-level network speeds. 1000BASE-T SFP operates on four pairs of the commonly installed category 5 unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable or enhanced category 5 cabling version of UTP cabling of link lengths up to 100m. The following picture shows an HP JD089B compatible 1000BASE-T SFP transceiver.

HP JD089B Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceiver


SFP transceivers are designed to support SONET, gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and other communications standards. Each optical interface operates and is managed like a fixed port but gives the customer flexibility to hot-swap or interchange to different optical module types. There is a number of 1000 BASE SFP optics from Fiberstore that are available depending on the customer application and distance capability required. Each optical interface operates and is managed like a fixed port but gives the customer flexibility to hotswap or interchange to different optical module types. Fiberstore optics are thoroughly tested and are subject to an extensive qualification process.


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