QSFP28 and SFP28 Transceiver Modules – How to Use?

As the demand for higher network speeds and increased data capacity grows, so does the need for transceiver modules that can keep up. Two such modules that have gained significant popularity in recent years are QSFP28 and SFP28. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different types of these modules, their applications, and how they can be used to boost network performance.

What is a 100G QSFP28 Module?

The QSFP28 (Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable 28) is a high-density, high-speed optical transceiver module designed for 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) connections. It is an evolution of the QSFP+ standard, offering four times the data rate per channel. With its compact size and low power consumption, QSFP28 is an ideal solution for data center applications, high-performance computing, and 5G front-haul networks.

100G QSFP28 Transceiver

100G QSFP optic module Types

There are several types of 100G-BASE QSFP modules available in the market, each with its own set of specifications and use cases. In this section, we’ll compare the parameters of QSFP28-100G-SR4, QSFP28-100G-LR4, and QSFP28-100G-ER4.

QSFP28-100G-SR4 is designed for short-range connections and is based on the 100GBASE-SR4 standard. It operates over multi-mode fiber (MMF) with a maximum reach of 100 meters using OM4 fiber.

QSFP28-100G-LR4, on the other hand, is designed for long-range connections and is based on the 100GBASE-LR4 standard. It operates over single-mode fiber (SMF) with a maximum reach of 10 kilometers.

QSFP28-100G-ER4 is intended for extended-range connections and is based on the 100GBASE-ER4 standard. It also operates over single-mode fiber (SMF) but has a maximum reach of 40 kilometers.

QSFP28 ModuleStandardFiber TypeMaximum Reach
QSFP28-100G-SR4100GBASE-SR4MMF100m (OM4)
100G Module types

What is an SFP28 Module?

The SFP28 (Small Form-factor Pluggable 28) module is an upgraded version of the SFP+ standard, offering higher data rates of up to 25 Gigabit Ethernet (25GbE). SFP28 maintains the same form factor as its predecessor, allowing for seamless integration into existing SFP+ infrastructures while providing significant improvements in speed and efficiency. This makes SFP28 an attractive choice for data center applications, core to distribution layer connections, and 5G front-haul networks.

25G SFP and 100G QSFP Application: Data Center and 5G Front-Haul

Both QSFP28 and SFP28 modules play critical roles in modern data centers and 5G front-haul networks. QSFP28 modules enable 100G connections, allowing data centers to handle increased traffic and improve overall performance. In addition, QSFP28 can be configured as 100G to 4x25G, providing flexibility in connecting high-speed devices.

SFP28 modules, with their 25G data rate, are perfect for core layer to distribution layer connections, facilitating faster data transfer between network devices. Furthermore, they can be used in QSFP28 to SFP28 breakout applications, enabling seamless integration of 25G and 100G devices.

In 5G front-haul networks, both 100GBASE QSFP and SFP28 modules support the high bandwidth and low latency requirements necessary for 5G applications. The combination of these modules helps operators build flexible, scalable, and efficient networks to meet the ever-growing demand for data.


In conclusion, QSFP28 and SFP28 transceiver modules have become essential components in modern networking infrastructures, especially for data centers and 5G front-haul networks. Their high-speed capabilities, combined with their compatibility with existing systems, make them invaluable tools for addressing the increasing demand for data capacity and faster network speeds. By understanding the different types of QSFP28 and SFP28 modules and their applications, network operators and data center managers can optimize their infrastructures and prepare for the future of connectivity.


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