Evolution of 100G Transceivers: Empowering High-Speed Data Centers


In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, the demand for high-speed and reliable data transmission has soared, leading to the development of advanced networking technologies. One such breakthrough is the emergence of 100G transceivers, offering lightning-fast data transfer capabilities for a variety of applications. This article explores the different types of 100G transceivers and their significance in transforming data centers and core network infrastructure.

100G Transceiver Types

The evolution of 100G transceivers has witnessed the introduction of various form factors to accommodate diverse networking needs. The 100G CFP (C form-factor pluggable) paved the way for early high-speed transmission, followed by the more compact CFP2 and CFP4 modules. Additionally, the 100G CXP (Compact eXtensible Pluggable) and QSFP28 (Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable 28) have gained prominence due to their enhanced density and improved power efficiency.

The evolution of 100G transceivers has witnessed the introduction of various form factors to accommodate diverse networking needs. Let’s explore two prominent form factors in detail: the 100G CFP and QSFP28.

100G CFP (C form-factor pluggable)

The 100G CFP transceiver played a pivotal role in enabling early high-speed transmission. It was designed to support 100Gbps data rates and offered a versatile solution for high-bandwidth applications. The CFP module features a larger form factor compared to its successors, allowing for robust optical and electrical interfaces. Its larger size also facilitated efficient heat dissipation, ensuring reliable performance in demanding environments.

The 100G CFP form factor underwent further advancements to enhance its compactness and power efficiency, leading to the introduction of the CFP2 and CFP4 modules.

100G CFP2

The 100G CFP2 module, as its name suggests, is the second-generation form factor of the CFP transceiver. It retains the 100Gbps data rate capability while reducing the physical size compared to the original CFP module. The CFP2 form factor provides a more compact and power-efficient solution, making it well-suited for high-density applications where space and power consumption are critical factors.

100G CFP4

The 100G CFP4 module represents the next step in the evolution of the CFP transceiver family. By further reducing the size, the CFP4 form factor offers even higher density and improved power efficiency compared to its predecessors. This compact form factor allows for more transceivers to be accommodated in a single line card or switch, enabling network operators to maximize port density and optimize their infrastructure.

QSFP28 (Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable 28)

The QSFP28 transceiver has gained significant prominence in the 100G transceiver landscape, thanks to its enhanced density and improved power efficiency. The “quad” in QSFP28 signifies its capability to support four lanes of high-speed data transmission. Each lane operates at 25Gbps, summing up to the overall 100Gbps data rate.

The QSFP28 module is significantly smaller than the CFP series, making it an ideal choice for applications where space optimization is crucial, such as high-density switches and routers. Its compact form factor also contributes to improved power efficiency, reducing energy consumption and operational costs in data center deployments.

The QSFP28 transceiver supports a wide range of protocols and applications, including 100GBASE-SR4 and various single-mode options, making it a versatile solution for diverse networking requirements.

qsfp28 transceiver

100G QSFP28 and 100G Multimode Transmission

Among the 100G transceiver options, the 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 module is widely used for short-range multimode transmission. With its four parallel optical lanes, it delivers high-speed connectivity within data centers and serves as a crucial component in campus network core layers. The 100GBASE-SR4 enables efficient 100G uplinks and supports the ever-increasing bandwidth demands of modern enterprises.

The QSFP28-100G-SR4 transceiver is designed with a compact form factor, conforming to the QSFP28 standard. It incorporates four parallel optical lanes, each operating at 25Gbps, resulting in a total aggregated data rate of 100Gbps. The transceiver module employs Multi-Mode Fiber (MMF) as the transmission medium, which enables efficient data transfer over relatively shorter distances.

The optical interface of the 100G SR4 QSFP transceiver utilizes an MPO (Multi-Fiber Push-On) connector, facilitating the connection of the transceiver with the corresponding fiber optic cabling.

Applications of 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 Transceiver

The 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 transceiver is specifically designed for short-range multimode transmission within data centers and serves as a critical component in the core layers of campus networks. It offers several advantages in these scenarios:

Data Center Connectivity: 

In high-density data center environments, where rapid data processing and communication are essential, the 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 transceiver enables seamless and high-speed connectivity between switches, routers, and servers. Its ability to support 100G uplinks allows for efficient data transfer within the data center fabric, enhancing overall network performance and reducing latency.

Campus Network Core Layers:

The 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 transceiver plays a vital role in the core layers of campus networks, enabling fast and reliable communication between different buildings or departments within an organization. By providing high-speed connectivity, it ensures efficient data transfer for bandwidth-intensive applications, such as video streaming, cloud services, and large-scale data processing.

The 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 transceiver is well-suited for applications where the transmission distance is limited, typically ranging from a few hundred meters to a few kilometers, depending on the quality and type of multimode fiber used.

100G QSFP Single-Mode Transmission

For long-distance communication, single-mode transmission is essential. The QSFP28 transceiver series offers several options for single-mode applications. The QSFP28-100G-LR4(10km), QSFP28-100G-CWDM4(2km), QSFP28-100G-ER4(40km), and QSFP28-100G-ZR4(80km) modules are designed to deliver high-speed connectivity over extended distances, catering to the connectivity requirements of metropolitan networks, inter-data center connections, and long-haul deployments.

Conclusion: Unleashing the Power of QSFPtek 100G Transceivers

As the demand for high-speed Ethernet continues to grow, QSFPTEK stands at the forefront of 100G transceiver development, offering cutting-edge solutions that empower data centers and network infrastructure. Their 100G transceivers are built to deliver exceptional performance, reliability, and compatibility across a wide range of applications. By leveraging QSFPtek’s state-of-the-art technology, businesses can harness the full potential of 100G Ethernet, unlocking new possibilities in data-intensive environments.


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