Which Qsfp28 Transceiver Should You Choose And Why?


For any network engineer who wants to create a high-performance 100G network, the qsfp28 transceiver has become indispensable. The versatility of a 100g qsfp28 makes it a no-brainer because it complies with the 100Gbps ethernet standard as well as InfiniBand EDR specification. The qsfp 100g transceiver also works with devices from various manufacturers like Huawei, Cisco, and HPE. Let’s now break down the reasons why the 100g qsfp28 is now the go-to for people looking for low-powered, small-footprint transceivers.

Qsfp28 Transceiver Types And Supported Standards

There have been many challenges that have faced developers of high-speed 100G transceivers. This has led to many great devices gaining popularity and shortly afterward fading away because of the inability to meet certain industry requirements. However, the qsfp28 transceiver has become a constant feature of high-speed 100G networks. This is partly due to its numerous use cases, small form factor, and acceptable power requirements.

The 100g qsfp28 transceiver family is huge and one of the features that distinguish various iterations is transmission mode. There are broadly four categories including single-mode, multi-mode transceivers, active optical cable (AOC) and direct attach cable (DAC). Amongst the affordable connectivity options is multi-mode, Active Optical Cable, and DAC transceivers. However, this comes at a cost of transmission distance because they are only good up to 100 meters. Single-mode cables are costlier but can move data much further as can be seen in deployments using qsfp 100g er4 s.

There are as well many versions of the 100g qsfp28 transceiver module as we shall now find out.

The common types of qsfp28(including sr4,lr4,er4,zr4)
The common types of qsfp28

Short- to medium-haul qsfp28 transceiver types

Qsfp 100g sr4: Back To Basics

This is not a single brand but rather a networking standard developed by IEEE. The 100Ggbase sr4 transceiver makes use of 8 fibers in multi-mode configuration for transmitting data bi-directionally over the 850nm spectrum. The 100g qsfp28 sr4 can transmit data up to 70 meters over the OM3 interface and up to 100 meters OM4 when the selected interface is MTP. The ideal connectivity solution for these modules is 12-fiber OM3/4 cables using MTP.

Qsfp 100g lr4: Going The Distance

The distance challenge has always existed when it comes to networking capabilities. To improve over the previous transceiver model, the IEEE published the 100G qsfp28 lr4 standard. This iteration is primarily concerned with increasing the range of transmission beyond 100 meters and it is rated for up to a 10-kilometer transmission distance. It achieves this with the fiber optic link in single-mode. To achieve this the 100gbase lr4 uses four wavelengths in the 1310nm range to transmit data. It also uses WDM as well as a duplex LC interface to increase transmission efficiency.

Intermediate-range qsfp28 transceiver modules

Apart from the above-mentioned modules, there are several other transceivers ideal for short-distance deployments. One noteworthy module is the 100G qsfp28 DAC which is the most cost-effective option for deployments not exceeding 5 meters. This module has two main direct attach cables including qsfp28 to sfp28 DAC and qsfp28 to qsfp28 DAC.

For slightly longer transmission, the 100g qsfp28 psm4 can move data up to 500 meters with single-mode fiber using the MTP interface. The benefit of this module is that it is a lot more affordable compared to the 100G base lr4 module. For transferring data up to 2 kilometers, the 100g qsfp28 cwdm4 is ideal.

Long-haul Qsfp28 Transceiver Options

Many companies require to transmit data over very long distances. Two mainstream transceivers can fulfill these requirements. The first one is the qsfp28 er4 which uses single-mode fiber to transmit data up to 30 kilometers. When coupled with FEC it can send data over 40 km with normal LC connectors.

The second alternative is the very long-distance qsfp28 zr4 which uses single-mode fiber as well. This module is equipped with a duplex LC connector and transmits over the 1310 nm wavelength. Its transmission distance can reach to 80km.

ApplicationData CenterData CenterDCIDCI、Metro

Factors to consider when choosing qsfp28 transceiver

For a while now, the gold standard for 100-gigabit ethernet connectivity is the qsfp28 transceiver. However, several modules comply with this standard. So, which product should a network engineer use for their particular deployment? To answer that, several factors come into play as we shall now delve into.

Cabling Distance

When the transmission distance is short (below 5 meters), a network can be easily served with a passive direct attach cable. These include qsfp28 to 4xsfp28 as well as qsfp28-qsfp28 direct attach cables. Due to the short transmission distance, these DAC’s comfortably do the job of 100g optical modules without sacrificing performance. As an added benefit, the DAC option comes in cheaper than the optical 100g qsfp28 transceiver. The passive qsfp28 DAC cables are excellent for distances between 1 and 5 meters.

QSFP28 to SFP28 passive DAC | QSFPTEK
QSFP28 to SFP28 passive DAC | QSFPTEK

Multi-mode Cables Between Switches

For 100-gigabit ethernet networks using multi-mode fiber to connect switches, there are two possibilities. The first option is suitable for cables running between 3 and 20 meters and it is the qsfp28 active optical cable. The second possibility is the 100g qsfp28 sr4 optical module attached to a 12-pin patch cord with either OM3/4 interface. In this type of setup, data can be transmitted up to 100 meters.

Single-mode Cables Between Switches

Transmission distance is the single biggest differentiator between various 100g qsfp28 modules. The intermediate distance of between 100m and 2km is most relevant for large data centers. At this distance, cost-effectiveness is key and that is where the qsfp28 CRL4/CWDM4, as well as qsfp28 psm4 modules, come into play. Under 500 meters, the best option is the PSM4 when coupled with 8 single-mode cables in parallel. To reach two kilometers, the CRL4 coupled with single-mode optic cable strikes the perfect balance between performance and cost while maintaining high reliability.


Long-distance Single Mode Optic Fiber

To create even longer 100G connections, a more capable qsfp28 transceiver is required. According to IEEE standards, the ideal transceiver for the job is the 100gbase-lr4 module that has an LC interface. This setup is suitable for networks spanning up to 10 kilometers.

Despite the numerous types of transceiver modules for short- to long-haul Ethernet networks, optical fiber cables are indispensable. High-speed cables are ideal to save cost for shorter distances but optical cables reign supreme for longer distances. QSFPTEK can offer all the above types of 100g transceivers. If you have any questions about transceivers, you can always get in touch with QSFPTEK.Inc staff via sales@qsfptek.com.