Apr 21

100G QSFP28 and CFP Transceiver Cabling Solutions

By the end of 2016, 100G Ethernet has been widely deployed and becomes a significant portion in data center. Many network-equipment developers are motivated to introduce 100G devices like CFP and QSFP28 modules that consumes as little real estate and power as possible, while achieving necessary price points and delivering superior performance. This post is heading to talk about these two 100G modules and their cabling solutions.

CFP: Out With the Old

Specified by MSA among competing manufacturers, CFP is the first generation 100G transceiver which is designed after the SFP interface, but is significantly larger to support 100Gbps. As we all know, the original CFP has very large size, and in order to meet the need for higher performance and higher density in data center, there is the development of CFP2 and CFP4 specification, which specify a form-factor of 1/2 and 1/4 respectively in size of the original specification. Commonly used CFP/CFP2/CFP4 transceivers are available in 100GBase-SR10 and 100GBase-LR4.

100GBase-SR10 and 100GBase-LR4 CFP

QSFP28: In With the New

QSFP28 is the latest 100G form factor, which is a high-density, high-speed product solution designed for applications in the telecommunications, data center and networking markets. It utilizes four channels of respective signals with data rates up to 25Gbps to meet 100Gbps Ethernet requirement. 100GBase-SR4 and 100GBase-LR4 are two main types of QSFP28 module. The detailed specifications of these two QSFP28s are shown in the following table.

100GBase-SR4 and 100GBase-LR4 QSFP28

100GBase-SR10 Cabling Solution

100GBase-SR10 CFP uses a 24 strand MPO cable for connectivity (10 Tx and 10 Rx with each lane providing 10Gbps, leaving 4 channels unused). It can support maximum link length up to 100m and 150m respectively on OM3 and OM4 fiber cable. 100GBase-SR10 can also be used in 10×10 Gigabit Ethernet modes along with ribbon to duplex fiber breakout cables for connectivity to ten 10GBase-SR optical interface.

100GBase-SR10 CFP Cabling Solution

100GBase-SR4 Cabling Solution

Like 100GBase-SR10, 100GBase-SR4 QSFP28 also uses laser optimized OM3 and OM4 multimode fiber for indication. But 100GBase-SR4 QSFP28 utilizes 12f MPO trunk cable for connectivity (4 Tx and 4 Rx, leaving the middle four unused), which makes it possible to reuse 40GBase-SR4 fiber assemblies when upgrade from 40G to 100G.

100GBase-SR4 QSFP28 Cabling Solution

100GBase-LR4 Cabling Solution

Both 100GBase-LR4 CFP and QSFP28 are both interfaced with LC connector. They uses WDM technologies to achieve 100G transmission over single-mode duplex LC fiber patch cable supporting the link length up to 10km.

100GBase-LR4 Cabling Solution


As the need for high bandwidth is increasing, 100G Ethernet will widespread in data center quickly. Equipped with this basic information about 100G modules and their cabling solutions, we will have little worry upgrading to 100G Ethernet.

Feb 22

Suggested 100G QSFP28 Transceiver Solutions for Data Centers

In recent years, QSFP28 transceiver module has upgraded the 100G market which can support the data transmission mode of 4×25G. Currently many data centers have already adopted QSFP28 transceivers for 100G migration. Of course, there are many other types of transceivers can transfer the 100G network, but QSFP28 modules are still considered to be the optimal choice. This post is going to present some useful 100G QSFP28 transceiver solutions for data centers. Maybe one of them is exactly what you need.

Basics of QSFP28 Optical Transceiver

QSFP28 transceiver is designed for high-density and high-speed for applications in telecommunications. The transceiver offers four channels of different signals with data rates ranging from 25 Gbps up to potentially 40 Gbps, and meets 100 Gbps Ethernet (4×25 Gbps) and 100 Gbps 4X InfiniBand Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) requirements. QSFP28 optical transceiver has various advantages. It has a smaller size than other 100G modules, thus it is ideal for high-density ports on the switch. Power consumption of QSFP28 transceiver is usually the lowest of less than 3.5W. In addition, QSFP28 increases the transmission capacity of every lane from 10G to 25G, which can save much cost for each bit.

QSFP28 Transceiver Solutions

QSFP28 transceivers can be categorized into several types based on different IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ) or MSA (Multi-source Agreement) standards.

100GBASE-SR4 is the IEEE standard for 100G QSFP28 that supports short distance over multimode. It can reach 100G transmission up to 70m over OM3 and 100m over OM4. With the MTP/MPO interface, 100GASE-SR4 QSFP28 transceiver supports four lanes of 25G dual way transmission over eight fibers.


100GBASE-LR4 is also the IEEE standard for QSFP28 module but supports long distance transmission for the maximum of 10km over single-mode fiber. 100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28 is special for adopting the WDM technologies for four 25G lanes transmission over four different wavelengths. In addition, its duplex LC interface supports the 100G dual-way transmission.


100GBASE-PSM4 is the standard defined by MSA for the point-to-point 100G link over eight single-mode fibers reaching the length of up to 500m. 100GBASE-PSM4 QSFP28 transceiver uses four identical and independent lanes for each signal direction with each lane carrying a 25G optical transmission. With the MTP/MPO interface, optical fiber ribbon cables with MTP/MPO connectors can be plugged into the QSFP28 module.


100GBASE-CWDM4 standard was released by CWDM MSA to support 100G network for up to 2km. It uses the CWDM technology to reduce the transmission on 8 fibers (4 optical transmitters and four optical receivers) into 2 fibers. This transceiver is similar to 100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28 but has a shorter transmission range and lower cost.



In a word, QSFP28 modules are suggested transceiver solutions for upgrading the data center 100G network. The 100GBASE-SR4, 100GBASE-LR4, 100GBASE-PSM4, and 100GBASE-CWDM4 QSFP28 transceivers mentioned above are the most popular ones to ensure the high-speed data transmission at either short or long distance. FS.COM offers both generic and compatible QSFP28 modules according to your demands. Other than QSFP28 transceivers, there are also many other types of 100G transceivers, such as CFP, CFP2, CFP4, CXP transceivers. For more information, please kindly visit FS.COM or contact us directly via sales@fs.com.