How Many Types of SFP Transceivers Do You Know?

What Is an SFP Module?

An SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) module is a compact and hot-pluggable optical transceiver used for both telecommunication and data communication applications. It interfaces between communication devices like switches and routers to a fiber optic or copper networking cable. SFP modules are designed to support several communication standards including Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and SONET. They are available in various transmission ranges, covering short distances through multimode fiber to long distances via single mode fiber. SFPs are highly flexible, allowing network operators to choose the appropriate transceiver according to the required optical reach and type of optical fiber. This adaptability makes them a popular choice in diverse networking environments, enhancing connectivity and enabling seamless data transmission.

SFP transceiver cable type

Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) transceivers are divided into two main categories based on the type of optical cables they utilize: Multimode and Single Mode. Multimode SFPs work with optical cables identified as OM1, OM2, OM3, or OM4, while Single Mode SFPs operate with OS2 cables. The primary difference between these two is not only the cable type but also the working wavelength and fiber type. Here’s a simple summary:

TypeCableWavelengthFiber Type
Multimode SFPOM1/OM2/OM3/OM4850nm62.5/125µm or 50/125µm
Single Mode SFPOS21310 and 1550nm9/125µm core SMF
CWDM SFPOS21270~1610nm 9/125µm core SMF
DWDM SFPOS21528~1561nm9/125µm core SMF

SFP transceiver transmission range

The transmission range of SFP transceivers is dictated by their design and the wavelengths they utilize.

sfp module types

Copper SFP:The Copper SFP RJ45 transceiver is a unique variant of the Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) module that connects with copper cables instead of optical fibers. Utilizing an RJ45 connector, it allows for transmission over traditional Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cables. Typically used for Gigabit Ethernet applications, Copper SFP RJ45 transceivers are favored for shorter reach network connections, offering a cost-effective and easily deployable solution. Their compatibility with copper infrastructure makes them an attractive option for integrating various networking devices, including switches and routers.

SFP-1GBASE-T: Up to 100m

Multimode SFPs: Perfect for shorter distances, providing a cost-effective solution. Most commonly use an 850nm wavelength, allowing a reach of up to 550 meters. If a more extended multimode range is needed, a 1310nm wavelength can be used to achieve up to 2km.

850nm SX SFP: Up to 550m. Usually applied In rack 1Gbps connection.

Single Mode SFPs: These are suitable for long-distance communication, with a reach from 10km to a staggering 200km. 

Various types include:

Standard 1310nm LX SFP: Up to 10km. Applied between 2 buildings in an area.

Extended 1310nm EX SFP: Up to 40km. Applied between a town.

Standard 1550nm ZX SFP: Up to 80km. Applied between 2 cities.

Extended 1550nm ZX SFP: Up to 160km. Applied in long haul transmission. 

BiDi SFPs with wavelengths like 1310nm/1550nm, 1310nm/1490nm, and 1510nm/1590nm: 10 km to 160 km. Save half of fiber cable.

Utilizing DWDM/CWDM technology with EDFA  can extend the reach up to 200 km.

SFP module application

  • BiDi SFP: Offering data transmission and reception through a single optical fiber, these streamline cabling systems and cut costs.
  • CWDM/DWDM SFPs: Used for long-haul telecom systems, these allow simultaneous transmission of multiple signals on a single fiber.
  • PON SFPs: Installed at both ends of a fiber connection, in Central Offices and subscriber premises, these enable broadband communication.
  • Fibre Channel SFP: With speeds ranging from 1 to 128 Gbps, these primarily connect data storage to servers in data center environments.
  • SONET/SDH SFP: These are tailored to standards covering data rates from OC-3/STM-1 (155 Mbps) to OC-48/STM-16 (2488 Gbps), with options for different reach applications.

Where can I buy all types of sfp transceivers?

Various SFP transceivers like 1000base-t, 1g-sx, 1g-lx, 1g-ex, 1g-zx, 1g-ezx, 1g-cwdm, and 1g-dwdm are priced differently, reflecting their unique specifications. A comprehensive price list can be viewed at Here is a summarized chart:

TypePrice (check website)


SFP transceivers are vital in the modern world of communication, offering a variety of types, applications, and price ranges. From short-reach multimode connections to long-haul single mode networks, these devices provide flexibility and performance that cater to different needs. Whether it is HD video transmission, data center connectivity, or long-distance telecommunication, the diverse SFP modules ensure the optimal solution. Understanding their specifications, range, and costs enables professionals and businesses to make informed decisions, harnessing the power of these innovative tools to connect the world.


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