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10G SFP+

Optical Module Terms

Transmission distance
Maximum distance over which optical signals can transmit. Optical signals sent from different types of sources can transmit over different distances due to negative effects of optical fibers, such as dispersion and attenuation.
Interface rate
Maximum rate of electrical signals that an optical device can transmit without bit errors. Various interface rates are defined in Ethernet standards, such as 125 Mbit/s, 1.25 Gbit/s, 10.3125 Gbit/s, 25.78125Gbit/s, and 41.25 Gbit/s.
Encapsulation type

Appearance type of an optical module. Encapsulation types of optical modules include SFP, eSFP, SFP+, XFP, QSFP+, SFP28, and QSFP28.

  • SFP: small form-factor pluggable.
  • eSFP: enhanced small form-factor pluggable. An eSFP module is an SFP module that supports monitoring of voltage, temperature, bias current, transmit optical power, and receive optical power. Because all the SFP optical modules support these monitoring functions, eSFP is also called SFP.
  • SFP+: small form-factor pluggable plus, SFP with a higher rate. SFP+ modules are more sensitive to electromagnetic interference (EMI) because they have a higher rate. To reduce EMI, SFP+ modules have more springs than SFP modules.
  • XFP: 10GE optical module. X is the Roman numeral 10.
  • QSFP+: Quad SFP+, four-channel SFP+.
  • SFP28: with the same interface size as an SFP+ module. An SFP28 interface can use a 25 GE SFP28 optical module or 10GE SFP+ optical module.
  • QSFP28: with the same interface size as a QSFP+ module. A QSFP28 interface can use a 100GE QSFP28 optical module or a 40GE QSFP+ optical module.

Wavelength division multiplexing modules differ from other optical modules in center wavelengths. A common optical module has a center wavelength of 850 nm, 1310 nm, or 1550 nm, whereas a wavelength division multiplexing module transmits lights with different center wavelengths. Wavelength division multiplexing modules are classified into two types: coarse wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM) and dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM). Within the same band, DWDM modules are available in more types and use wavelength resources more efficiently than CWDM modules. DWDM and CWDM modules allow lights with different center wavelengths to be transmitted on one fiber without interfering each other. Therefore, a passive multiplexer can be used to combine the lights into one channel, which is then split into multiple channels by a demultiplexer on the remote end. This reduces the optical fibers required. DWDM and CWDM modules are used for long-distance transmission.

The transmit power of a long-distance optical module is often larger than its overload power. Therefore, when using such optical modules, select optical fibers of an appropriate length to ensure that the actual receive power is smaller than the overload power. If the optical fibers connected to a long-distance optical module are too short, use an optical attenuator to reduce the receive power on the remote optical module. Otherwise, the remote optical module may be burnt.

Center wavelength
Wavelength measured at the midpoint of the half-amplitude line in the transmit spectrum.
Fiber mode
Mode of fibers defining based on core diameters and features of optical fibers. Optical fibers are classified into single-mode fibers and multi-mode fibers. Generally, multi-mode fibers have large core diameters and severe dispersion, so they transmit optical signals over short distances when working with multi-mode optical modules. Single-mode fibers have small dispersion and can transmit optical signals over long distances when working with single-mode optical modules.
Modal bandwidth
Bandwidth measured at a point with transmit power several dB lower than that of the point with the peak center wavelength. Modal bandwidth reflects spectrum characteristics of an optical module.
Fiber diameter
Diameter of the core of a fiber. According to international standards for optical fibers, the diameter of a multi-mode fiber is 62.5 um or 50 um, and the diameter of a single-mode fiber is 9 um.
Fiber class
Optical signals with different wavelengths have their best working windows in different optical fibers. To help efficiently adjust wavelengths or dispersion features of optical fibers and change their refractive indexes, the following classes are defined: multi-mode fiber (G.651), common single-mode fiber (G.652), shifted dispersion fiber (G.653), and non-zero shifted dispersion fiber (G.655). Multi-mode fiber (G.651) and common single-mode fiber (G.652) are commonly used fiber classes.
Connector type
Type of the interface on an optical module to accommodate a fiber. Commonly used connector types are LC (applicable to all the SFP, SFP+, SFP28, and XFP modules) and MPO (applicable to some of QSFP+ and QSFP28 modules).
Transmit optical power
Output optical power of an optical module when it is working properly.
Maximum receiver sensitivity
Minimum average input optical power that the receiver of an optical module can receive within a range of bit error rate (BER = 10-12).
Overload optical power
Maximum average input optical power that the receiver of an optical module can receive within a range of bit error rate (BER = 10-12).
Extinction ratio
Minimum ratio of the average optical power with signals transmitted against the average optical power without signals transmitted in complete modulation mode. The extinction ratio indicates the capability of an optical module to identify signal 0 and signal 1.