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CFP Wiki:CFP /CFP2/CFP4 Transceiver Module Overview

Serving as the mainstream high-speed transport technology, 40/100G is the choice of data centers to solve the bandwidth bottlenecks facing high traffic service. Thus CFP transceiver is introduced at the point to meet those requirements. This article offers a simple CFP wiki, addressing rudiments of CFP /CFP2/CFP4 transceiver module. Letís see how data centers could benefit from adopting CFP transceiver.

CFP Wiki: The Choice of Data Center

The CFP MSA (Multi-Source Agreement) defines hot-pluggable optical transceiver form factors to enable 40/100G and the looming 400G applications. It includes pluggable CFP, CFP2 and CFP4 transceivers to support the high bandwidth requirements of data communication networks. Compared with CFP form factor, the latter CFP2 and CFP4 module are of smaller size, and will double and quadruple front panel port density, respectively. CFP 2 and CFP4 modules support existing and future duplex single-mode fiber (SMF) and multimode fiber (MMF) interfaces. The figure below shows drawings of the CFP, CFP2, and CFP4 form factors. Letís go further to have a detailed understanding of each.

CFP Transceiver Module

CFP (C=100 in Roman numerals; Centum) refers to 100G form-factor pluggable, which is a new ultra high speed pluggable I/O interface supporting 40 and 100G Ethernet applications. CFP transceiver is defined by MSA (Multi-Source Agreement) for high-speed digital signal transmission, like carrier networks, data centers and wireless equipment. The original CFP specification was proposed at a time when 10 G signals were far more achievable than 25 G signals. As such to achieve 100 Gbit/s line rate, the most affordable solution was based on 10 lanes of 10 Gbit/s.

CFP2 Transceiver Module

Advances in technology have brought about CFP2 MSA. CFP2 module specifies a form-factor of 1/2 in size of the CFP module. The CFP2 module electrical interface varies by application, but the nominal signaling lane rate is 25Gbit/s per lane. Its interface can also optionally support a nominal signaling lane rate of 10Gbit/s. CFP2 module may be used to support single-mode fiber (SMF) and multimode fiber (MMF). Designed for optical networking, the size of CFP2 module has been chosen to accommodate a wide range of power dissipations and applications. The module electrical interface has been generically specified to allow for supplier-specific customization around various 4 x 25Gbit/s interfaces, but can support 8x25Gbit/s, 10x10Gbit/s, and 8x50Gbit/s.

CFP4 Transceiver Module

Then here comes the latest CFP4 hot-pluggable transceiver module. CFP MSA defined the CFP4 form factor as an optical transceiver to support 40/100G interface for Ethernet, Telecommunication and other applications. Identical to CFP2 module, the electrical interface of CFP4 will vary by application, the nominal signaling lane rate is also 25Gbit/s. The CFP4 electrical interface can also optionally support a nominal signaling lane rate of 10Gbit/s. With 1/4 the size of CFP module, CFP4 can be used to support SMF and MMF optics. CFP4 electrical interface is specified to allow for customization specified by supplier with various 4 x 25Gbit/s and 4 x 10Gbit/s interfaces.


CFP, CFP2 and CFP4 are 100G hot-pluggable form factors designed for optical communication applications compliant with 40/100G IEEE 802.3 standard, which is a great fit for 40 and 100G Ethernet data center applications. CFP2 and CFP4, with smaller size and 2.8 times faster speed than current CFP module, enables higher network density and more design flexibility. This article only provides CFP wiki and some basic information of CFP, CFP2 and CFP4.