BlueOptics© Optical Transceiver Form Factors at a Glance
In today’s networking world and technology the demand for higher speeds and lower cost is increasing. The leading networking equipment vendors are working on producing the future components of networking. They are mainly concentrating on the Fiber Optic Solutions that are driving the leading Service Providers and Datacenters in the world. Because of increasing data traffic from day to day the need for stable, fast and scalable network architectures has become essential.
One of the main parts of a high performance and stable Optical Network Architecture are the optical transceivers. They are essential to the Optical Network Architecture because they are the components that are transmitting and converting the optical light down the cable. They are made to transmit light on one end of the cable and receive light on the other end of the cable. Most commonly these transceivers operate in transmitting light on one optical fiber and receiving light on another optical fiber for duplex operation. However this operation is happening in the same compact module. The transceiver converts the electrical input and converts it into optical light and then sends it down the optical cable with the help of laser transmitters or LEDs. On the other side the receiver converts the optical light into electrical input.
The components that are in charge of driving the light through the optical cable are also called sources for Fiber Optic Transceivers. The most commonly used sources are LEDs and VCSELs or vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers. Even though they have the same purpose of converting electrical signals into optical light and vice-versa, they are very different in their functioning. They are in fact small semiconductor chips and they are emitting light from the surface of the chip.
LEDs have limited bandwidth and distance and they have less power than the VCSELs mainly because of their larger core. Because of their larger core they emit a very broad spectral light which then suffers from chromatic dispersion in the fiber itself. Because of this they are limited for the use only in Multi-mode Fibers.
VCSELs on the other hand have a smaller core that emits a tighter light that doesn’t suffer from chromatic dispersion which makes them optimal for the use with Single-mode Fibers, but they can also be used for Multi-mode transmissions.
The manufacturing process of these two types is fairly similar. However manufacturing VCSELs is more expensive because of the difficulty to create the laser cavity inside of the component itself. While manufacturing the VCSELs the chip must be separated from the semiconductor wafer and each end has to be coated before the laser can be tested.
Transceivers are divided in a couple of form factors that come in fairly similar standardized package, but they are fundamentally different in their functioning and characteristics.
All GBIC-SHOP BlueOptics© Transceivers are manufactured by the highest industry standards. Their internal components are manufactured by the industry leading manufacturers for optical equipment like Avago/Broadcom, Lumentum, Maxim Integrated, CyOptics or Mitsubishi Electric for optical lasers respectively integrated circuits. GBIC-SHOP BlueOptics© Transceivers can be programmed to be compatible to network equipment of over 165 vendors including the leading brands like Cisco, HPE, Extreme Networks, Dell, Juniper and Intel. They have a 5 year warranty and a lifetime support for any issues that may come along the way. All GBIC-SHOP BlueOptics© Transceivers are designed for transmission speeds of up to 100GB/s and cover a distance up to 2KM for Multi- mode Fibers and 160KM for Single-mode Fibers, depending on the form factor. All GBIC-SHOP BlueOptics© Transceivers are capable of giving out the maximum performance even in the harshest parts of the world. They can function properly in temperatures lower than 40°C and higher than 85°C.
BlueOptics© Transceivers are divided in several categories:
Let’s have a more detailed look at their characteristics:
SFP or Small Factor Pluggable Optical Transceiver is a small and compact optical transceiver engineered for providing reliable optical connections for network speeds from 100Mb/s up to 4GB/s. These transceivers offer easier troubleshooting and maintenance through the optional Digital Diagnostics Monitoring (DDM) / Digital Optical Monitoring (DOM) interface. This interface offers real-time monitoring options for monitoring the Laser Bias Current, the Supply Voltage and the Laser Power and Temperature. CBO BlueOptics© SFP transceivers are designed for a long-life operation with approximately 3.000.000 MTBF hours. CBO BlueOptics© SFP transceivers exist with Duplex and Simplex fiber connectors and RJ45 Copper connector.
SFP+ is an enhanced version of the SFP optical transceiver capable for network speeds of up to 10GB/s. SFP+ modules are also available for Fibre Channel applications supporting data rates of up to 16GB/s. SFP+ modules can be found in two different working modes, limiting and linear modes. The limiting mode is most commonly used because of its signal amplifier which re-shapes the degraded received optical light. SFP+ also offers the possibility of connecting two SFP+ ports with the help of Direct Attach Cables. CBO BlueOptics© SFP+ transceivers exist with LC Duplex and LC Simplex fiber connectors and RJ45 Copper connector.
The cSFP is another version of the popular SFP Bidi transceiver that offers two independent bidirectional channels per port in one SFP. It is a very good solution for the full use of each available fiber, doubling the port density compared to SFP Bidis.
SFP28 is another version of the SFP+ module designed for network speeds of up to 25GB/s. They are available for Multi-mode and Single-mode applications and have a LC duplex connector. They also provide the Digital Diagnostics Monitoring (DDM) / Digital Optical Monitoring (DOM) interface for easier troubleshooting. This type of transceiver is commonly implemented with 4 data lanes of 25GB/s for reaching 100GB/s.
QSFP or the Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable is a transceiver that provides speeds from 40GB/s up to 56GB/s. These transceivers are mainly used in Data Center environments and provide high performance computing networks. They main variants use the 40GBASE-SR4 and LR4 technology defined in the IEEE 802.3bm standard and transmit 4x850nm (SR4 for MMF) respectively the wavelengths 1271nm, 1291nm, 1311nm, 1331nm (LR4 for SMF). There are also other variants with BIDI technology, parallel single-mode, ER4 and LX4/LM4 technology available and come with MPO/MTP connector or LC Duplex connectors.
QSFP28 Transceivers are mainly used to provide 100GB/s Ethernet solutions by transmitting 4x25GB/s with the main versions using 100GBASE-SR4, LR4, CWDM4 or PSM4 technology, common to the methods used in QSFPs but with higher bandwidth.
The CBO BlueOptics© CFP transceiver is designed for long range, 100GB/s Ethernet solution over a Duplex Single-mode fiber cable. However it can also support one or more 40GB/s links. This CFP module and its specifications have been developed in the time when the 10GB Ethernet solutions were more frequent than the faster ones. Today this transceiver has been swapped by the CFP2 and CFP4 specifications.
CFP2 Transceivers are also designed for long range Single-mode fibers connectivity. They also have a Duplex connector. CFP2s are smaller in size than the CFP transceivers but both are constructed in metal containers.
CFP4 Transceivers are the most modern C-Form-Factor (CFP) transceivers. They are the smallest of all the CFP transceivers which makes them easier to handle and install. They also come with a Duplex connector and can reach distances of up to 10 kilometers. CFP, CFP2 and CFP4 transceivers are not interchangeable.
X2 transceivers are a standardized type of optical transceivers used mainly in the 10GB Ethernet solutions. They can be used both in Ethernet and Fiber Channel applications and are used in older Datacenter environments rather than Service Provider environments. They come with SC Duplex or Simplex connectors.
XENPAK transceivers come with SC Duplex connectors. They are bigger than the X2 transceivers in size. They also provide speeds from 1GB/s up to 10GB/s with Multi-mode and Single-mode Fibers.
The XFP Transceiver has been developed in the year 2002. It is a slightly larger in size than the Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus Transceivers. They are hot swappable and they come with Duplex or Simplex LC connectors. They are protocol independent. Most commonly they operate at 850 nm, 1310 nm or 1550 nm wavelengths.
GBIC stands for Gigabit Interface Converter and is most commonly used for speed from 100MB/s up to 4GB/s. It can operate with Copper, Single-mode or Multi- mode Fibers. It comes with SC Duplex, Simplex or Copper connectors.
All GBIC-SHOP BlueOptics© Transceivers are developed by the latest standards and they are fully MSA compliant.
The MSA standard is a Multi-Source Agreement under which the various manufacturers of networking equipment determine the standardizations of their transceivers.
All GBIC-SHOP BlueOptics© Transceivers also meet the latest industrial standards CE and RoHS. This guarantees a steady and constant quality of each manufactured GBIC-SHOP BlueOptics© component. All GBIC-SHOP BlueOptics© Transceivers are capable of Digital Diagnostics Monitoring (DDM) / Digital Optical Monitoring (DOM) for an easier troubleshooting and maintenance.
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