24AWG vs 26AWG vs 28AWG Ethernet Cable: What Is the Difference?

An Ethernet cable serves the basic purpose to connect devices to wired networks. However, not all Ethernet cables are created equal. When shopping for Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat6a Ethernet cable, you may notice an AWG specification printed on the cable jacket, like 24AWG, 26AWG, or 28AWG. What does the term AWG denote? 24AWG vs 26AWG vs 28AWG Ethernet cable: what is the difference?

What Does AWG Mean?

The AWG stands for American Wire Gauge, a standardized system for describing the diametre of the individual conductors of wires that make up a cable. The higher the wire gauge number, the smaller the diametre and the thinner the wire. Thicker wire carries more current because it has less electrical resistance over a given length, which makes it better for longer distances. For this reason, where extended distance is critical, a company installing a network might prefer Ethernet wires with the lower-gauge, thicker wire of AWG24 rather than AWG26 or AWG28.

24AWG vs 26AWG vs 28AWG Ethernet Cable: What Is the Difference?

To understand the differences among 24AWG vs 26AWG vs 28AWG Ethernet cable with different AWG sizes, let’s take a look at how the wire gauge affects the wire conductor size, the transmission speed & distance as well as the resistance & attenuation.

Wire Diametre of Conductors

AWG is used as a standard method denoting wire diametre, measuring the diametre of the conductor (the bare wire) with the insulation removed. The smaller the gauge, the larger the diametre of the wire as listed in the chart below. The larger diametre of 24AWG network cable makes for a stronger conductor which is a benefit when being pulled on during installation or when routed through machines and other equipment.

AWG Wire Diametre
24 Gauge 0.0201 inches
26 Gauge 0.0159 inches
28 Gauge 0.0126 inches
Transmission Speed & Distance

The wire gauge of the Ethernet cable has no relationship with the transmission speed of the cables. So there are 24AWG, 26AWG and even 28AWG Cat5e Ethernet cable and Cat6 Ethernet cable on the market. Copper network cables with a smaller gauge (larger diametre) are typically available in longer lengths because they offer less resistance, allowing signals to travel farther. Therefore, the 24AWG Ethernet cable is the way to go especially for those longer runs, while the 26AWG and 28AWG Ethernet cable are more preferred for relatively shorter distances.

Resistance & Attenuation

The larger the diametre of a wire, the less electrical resistance there is for the signals it carries. A 24AWG network cable will offer less resistance than a 26AWG or 28AWG network cable. Since the 24AWG conductor is larger than 26AWG cable, it has lower attenuation over length properties. Thus when selecting between 24AWG vs 26AWG Ethernet cable, 24AWG would be preferable to 26AWG, because 24AWG Ethernet cable is more durable with lower attenuation than 26AWG Ethernet cable. All shielded (STP, FTP, SSTP) cables on the market are 26AWG and all unshielded cables are 24AWG or 28AWG.

However, you may also noticed that the thinner versions of Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a slim patch cables constructed of 28AWG wire have sprung up on the market. These slim Ethernet cables can be more than 25% smaller in diametre than their full-size counterparts. The 28AWG slim Ethernet cables with thinner wires improve airflow in high-density racks and can be more easily installed in crowded space compared to 24AWG or 26AWG Ethernet cables.

24AWG vs 26AWG vs 28AWG Ethernet Cable: Which Is Best?

24AWG vs 26AWG vs 28AWG Ethernet cable, which one is the best option for your network? The smaller the gauge, the larger the diametre of the wire. The larger the diametre of a wire, the less electrical resistance there is for the signals it carries. For long runs with more potential damage, the 24AWG Ethernet cable is the best, because it comes with stronger conductors with lower attenuation. If you’re considering to save more space, the 28AWG slim Ethernet cable would be more suitable to enable higher density layouts and simplify cable management.

Flat Ethernet Cable vs Round Ethernet Cable: Which One to Choose?

When setting up a wired network, the Ethernet cable is the first thing that is mentioned to wire up the computer room or lounge room. Most people are quite familiar with the common types of Ethernet cables, such as Cat5e Ethernet cable, Cat6 Ethernet cable, Cat7 Ethernet cable and Cat8 Ethernet cable. But they don’t know the Ethernet cable can also be classified into the flat Ethernet cable and the round Ethernet cable according to the cable shape. What are they and which one should we choose between the flat Ethernet cable vs round Ethernet cable?

What Is the Flat Ethernet Cable?

The flat Ethernet cable is a flat form of copper wire with the twisted pairs arranged side by side rather than squared up. Most flat Ethernet cables are unshielded because it is very difficult to place an overall shield on a flat Ethernet cable, as the shielding material tends to become round which cannot hold a flat format. This makes external EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) protection of the flat Ethernet cable not readily available, because this natural shielding tendency provides better protection against external EMI for round cables.

Flat Ethernet Cable

Figure 1: Flat Ethernet Cable

What Is the Round Ethernet Cable?

The round Ethernet cable is a round form of insulated wire that contains some layers of filler substances to keep the original circular shape which helps in minimizing the heating in the Ethernet cables due to the friction. Such filler material also protects the cord against some outer elements. In the data centres and telecom rooms, the round electrical wires are more commonly utilized than the flat ones.

flat ethernet cable vs round

Figure 2: Round Ethernet Cable

Flat Ethernet Cable vs Round Ethernet Cable: How Do They Differ?

Though the telecommunication industry uses both flat and round Ethernet cables, each of them has some advantages over the other one. Let’s take a look at the comparison of flat Ethernet cable vs round Ethernet cable.

Cable Design & Cost

The round Ethernet cables with some layers of filler substances are more durable and are designed to maximize space within the smallest cross-sectional area required which allows round Ethernet cables to fit in most panel or machine openings. In contrast, the flat Ethernet cables do not include any protective filler which in turn reduce the weight and cost of the cable itself. Besides, the flat Ethernet cables provide more consistency in electrical equality of conductors which does not happen in round Ethernet cables.

Installation & Maintenance

The flat Ethernet cable is designed for permanent installation and is not recommended for standardized patch leads. This is also the reason why most of the standard Category cables including the Cat6 Ethernet cable, Cat7 Ethernet cable and Cat8 Ethernet cable on the market are round Ethernet cables. The flat Ethernet cables require more maintenance than the round wires. Also, they cannot provide as high uptime as the round Ethernet cables deliver.

Insulation & Attenuation

Flat Ethernet cables use the same insulation the electrical properties should have. That is to say, most flat Ethernet cables skimp on the insulation & conductor size. Since the flat Ethernet cables are more susceptible to interference, they are not good for overly long runs, but any run that falls in the 100 meter range shouldn’t have any issues at 1Gb. In most cases, attenuation tends to be worse when using a flat Ethernet cable because of the increased electromagnetic interference.

Flat Ethernet Cable vs Round Ethernet Cable: Which One to Choose?

Through the above analysis, we can find that both the flat Ethernet cable and the round Ethernet cable have their own merits and demerits. Flat Ethernet cables are more light weighted and cheaper than round Ethernet cables. However, the flat Ethernet cables are less sustainable and require more maintenance than the round wires. When selecting between the flat Ethernet cable vs round Ethernet cable, all these factors need to be weighed all sided and make a balance over your actual requirement.

Ethernet Cable Types Explained: All You Need To Know

An Ethernet cable or network cable is the medium for wired networks to connect the networking systems and servers together. It plays an integral role in cabling for both residential and commercial purposes. When it comes to using Ethernet cables for setting up network connections, choosing a perfect cable is always a daunting task since there are various Ethernet cables types available for different purposes. According to the bundling types of the twisted pairs, the wiring forms, and the cable speeds or bandwidths, Ethernet cable types on the market can be classified into shielded or unshielded, straight-through or crossover, Cat5/Cat5e/Cat6/Cat7/Cat8 Etherent cables respectively. How to identify the most suitable one for your needs among the diversified Ethernet cable types? This post will give you the answer.

Bundling Types in the Jacket: Shielded vs Unshielded Ethernet Cable

Shielded (STP) Ethernet cables are wrapped in a conductive shield for additional electrical isolation, then bundled in the jacket. The shielding material is used to reduce external interference and the emission at any point in the path of the cable. Unshielded (UTP) Ethernet cables without the shielding material provide much less protection against such interference and the performance is often degraded when interference or disturbance is present. STP cables are more expensive due to the shielding, which is an additional material that goes into every meter of the cable. Compared with the unshielded Ethernet cable, the shielded Ethernet cable is heavier and stiffer, making it more difficult to handle.

Wiring Forms: Crossover Cable vs Straight-through Ethernet Cable

Straight-through cable refers to an Ethernet cable with the pin assignments on each end of the cable. In other words Pin 1 connector A goes to Pin 1 on connector B, Pin 2 to Pin 2 and so on. Straight-through wired cables are most commonly used to connect a host to client.

Straight-Through-cable

In contrast, the crossover cables are very much like straight-through cables with the exception that TX and RX lines are crossed (they are at opposite positions on either end of the cable. Using the 568-B standard as an example below you will see that Pin 1 on connector A goes to Pin 3 on connector B. Pin 2 on connector A goes to Pin 6 on connector B and so on. Crossover cables are most commonly used to connect two hosts directly.

Crossover cable

Speeds & Bandwidths: Cat5/Cat5e/Cat6/Cat6a/Cat7/Cat8 Ethernet Cable

Defined by the Electronic Industries Association, the standard Ethernet cable types can be divided into Cat5/Cat5e/Cat6/Cat6a/Cat7/Cat8 categories to support current and future network speed and bandwidth requirements.

Cat5 Ethernet Cable

Cat5 Ethernet cable introduced the 10/100 Mbps speed to the Ethernet, which means that the cables can support either 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps speeds. A 100 Mbps speed is also known as Fast Ethernet, and Cat5 cables were the first Fast Ethernet-capable cables to be introduced. Cat5 Ethernet cable can also be used for telephone signals and video, in addition to Ethernet data.

Cat5e Ethernet Cable

Cat5e Ethernet cable is an enhanced version of Cat5 cable to handle a maximum bandwidth of 100 MHz. Cat5e Ethernet cable is optimized to reduce crosstalk, or the unwanted transmission of signals between data channels. Although both Cat5 and Cat5e Ethernet cable types contain four twisted pairs of wires, Cat5 only utilizes two of these pairs for Fast Ethernet, while Cat5e uses all four, enabling Gigabit Ethernet speeds. Cat5e cables are backward-compatible with Cat5 cables, and have completely replaced Cat5 cables in new installations.

Cat6 Ethernet Cable

Cat6 Ethernet cable is certified to handle Gigabit Ethernet with a bandwidth of up to 250 MHz. It has better insulation and thinner wires, providing a higher signal-to-noise ratio. Cat6 Ethernet cables are better suited for environments in which there may be higher electromagnetic interference. Cat6 Ethernet cables can be available in both UTP and STP forms, and they are backward-compatible with both Cat5 and and Cat5e cables.

Cat6a Ethernet Cable

Cat6a Ethernet cable improves upon the basic Cat6 Ethernet cable by allowing 10 Gbps (10,000 Mbps) data transmission rates and effectively doubling the maximum bandwidth to 500 MHz. Category 6a cables are usually available in STP form, therefore they must have specialized connectors to ground the cables.

Cat7 Ethernet Cable

Cat7 Ethernet cable is a fully shielded cable that supports speeds of up to 10,000 Mbps and bandwidths of up to 600 MHz. Cat7 cables consist of a screened, shielded twisted pair (SSTP) of wires, and the layers of insulation and shielding contained within them are even more extensive than that of Cat6 cables.

Cat8 Ethernet Cable

The newly upgraded Cat8 Ethernet cable supports up to 2000MHz and speeds up to 40Gbps over 20 meters. It is fully backward compatible with all the previous categories. With inner aluminum foil wrapped around pairs and outer CCAM braid shielding, the Cat8 Ethernet cable can prevent from electromagnetic and radio frequency interference very well.

Conclusion

When setting up a wired connection in your home or office, you need to obtain the proper Ethernet cable types which can work with your equipment. If you are looking to connect two different devices such as computer to switch or router to hub, the straight-through cable may be the best solution. If you connect two computers together, you will need a crossover cable. The decision over UTP and STP Ethernet cable types depends on how much extent of electrical isolation is needed. When choosing among Cat5/Cat5e/Cat6/Cat7/Cat8 Ethernet cable types, it is undoubted that the more upgraded version can deliver better performance and functionality. It mainly depends on your speed and bandwidth requirement that would suit your equipment best.

Gateway vs Router: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to the difference between gateway vs router, many people who are unfamiliar with gateway and router may be confused. So it’s necessary to clarify the differences between them. To help you get a general idea about the differences between gateway and router, this article will focus on what is a gateway, what is a router, gateway vs router: what’s the difference, and when to choose which.

What Is a Gateway?

As is suggested by its name, a gateway is a network entity and also called the protocol converter. It can connect a computer of one network to another and define the boundaries of a network. If two networks of different protocols want to connect with each other, both networks need to have gateways which provide exist and entry points for computers from the two networks to communicate. In another word, a gateway can join dissimilar systems.

Gateway vs router: How a gateway works as a protocol converter

Figure1: How a gateway works as a protocol converter

What Is a Router?

As a network layer device, a router connects multiple networks together and controls the data traffic between them. People who are new to router often muddle it with network switch, which is a high-speed device that receives incoming data packets and redirects them to their destination on a LAN. Based on internal routing tables, a network router reads each incoming packet’s IP address and its destination IP address, then decides the shortest possible path to forward it. What is a routing table? A routing table contains a list of IP addresses that a router can connect to transfer data. Besides, routers usually connect WANs and LANs together and have a dynamically updating routing table. Gigabit Ethernet switches and hubs can be connected to a router with multiple PC ports to expand a LAN. Not only that, a router divides broadcast domains of hosts connected through it.

Gateway vs router: How a router works in wired and wireless connections

Figure2: How a router works in wired and wireless connections

Gateway vs Router: What’s the Difference?

What are the differences between gateway and router? The following chart will differentiate them from 7 different aspects.

Network Equipment
Router
Gateway
Primary Function
To ensure that data packets are switched to the right addresses.
To connect two networks of different protocols as a translator.
Feature Support
DHCP server, NAT, static routing, wireless networking, IPv6 address, Mac address
Protocol conversion like VoIP to PSTN, network access control etc.
Dynamic Routing
Supported
Not supported
Hosted on
Dedicated appliance (router hardware)
Dedicated/virtual appliance or physical server
Related terms
Internet router, WIFI router
Proxy server, gateway router, voice gateway
OSI layer
Works on Layer 3 and 4
Works up to Layer 5
Working principle
Installing routing information for various networks and routing traffic based on destination address
differentiating what is inside network and what is outside network

Gateway vs Router: When to Choose Which?

To choose between gateway vs router, you need to consider the requirement of your network.

Connection In One Network With Router

For example, there are 30 computers connected inside Network A. All these computers communicate with each other. In this situation, no gateway is needed. Because a router with a routing table that defines the hops within those 30 computers is enough.

Connection Between Different Networks With Gateway

In another hand, we suppose that there are two networks, that are Network A and Network B. Computer X from Network A wants to send data to Computer Y from Network B, then there need to have both a Gateway A and a Gateway B so that the two networks will be able to communicate.

Summary

Gateway vs router is detailedly explained in the above passage from the aspects of primary function, supporting feature, support of dynamic routing, working principle, etc. Briefly speaking, a gateway is a single point of access to computers outside your network like a door, while a router determines the shortest possible path your data can travel from Computer A to Computer B, like a hallway or a staircase. All in all, it is important to consider both your current and potential future needs when assessing what option to use between gateway vs router.

What is GBIC Module?

Nowadays, confusion appears when facing so many options on the fibre optic market, so being familiar with fibre optic equipment is helpful to select the one that exactly meets your need. When it comes to transceiver modules, various kinds of modules, like GBIC, SFP, QSFP, CFP and so on, may confuse you. What is GBIC? To help you get a general idea of GBIC module, this article will focus on what is GBIC module, types of GBIC and how to choose from GBIC and SFP.

What is GBIC?

Short for gigabit interface converter, GBIC module is a transceiver which converts electric currents to optical signals and the other way around. It is hot pluggable and connects with fibre patch cable. With SC duplex interface, GBIC module works at the wavelength of 850nm to 1550nm and can transmit signals through the distance of 550m to 80km. It is a cost-effective choice for data centres and office buildings. As the improvement of fibre optic technology, mini GBIC came into being. It is regarded as the advanced GBIC, for it has half the size of GBIC, but supports the same data rate as GBIC. Mini GBIC is called small form factor pluggable (SFP) transceiver, which is a popular optical transceiver module on the market nowadays.

What is GBIC

Types of GBIC

There are many types of GBIC transceiver modules, which differs in transfer protocol, wavelength, cable type, TX power, transmission distance, optical components and receive sensitivity. The following chart will show you the details of them.

Type
1000BASE-SX GBIC
1000BASE-LX GBIC
1000BASE-EX GBIC
1000BASE-EX GBIC
1000BASE-ZX GBIC
Form Type
GBIC
GBIC
GBIC
GBIC
GBIC
Wavelength
850nm
1310nm
1310nm
1550nm
1550nm
Interface
SC duplex
SC duplex
SC duplex
SC duplex
SC duplex
Cable Type
MM
SMF
SMF
SMF
SMF
TX Power
-9.5~3dBm
-9~3dBm
-2~3dBm
-5~0dBm
-5~0dBm
Commercial Temperature Range
0 to 70°C (32 to 158°F)
0 to 70°C (32 to 158°F)
0 to 70°C (32 to 158°F)
0 to 70°C (32 to 158°F)
0 to 70°C (32 to 158°F)
Max Data Rate
1000Mbps
1000Mbps
1000Mbps
1000Mbps
1000Mbps
Max Cable Distance
550m
10km
40km
40km
80km
Optical Components
VCSEL 850nm
DFB 1310nm
DFB 1310nm
DFB 1550nm
DFB 1550nm
DOM Support
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
Receiver Sensitivity
< -17dBm
< -21dBm
< -24dBm
< -24dBm
< -24dBm

GBIC vs SFP: Which to Choose?

As is shown in the above passage, GBIC and SFP are both used in 1Gbit data transmission. So which to choose? You know that SFP modules have a distinctly smaller size compared with GBIC transceiver modules. Obviously, SFP has the advantage of saving place, so there could be more interfaces to be used on a switch. When to choose which? It depends on the situation and your need. If you already have a line card, then you should choose GBIC or SFP modules according to your empty interfaces type. Besides, if you are planning to buy a new line card for your switch and want to make a decision of using GBIC or SFP modules, then how many interfaces you need to use is the important factor to consider. Generally speaking, SFP line card has a higher port density than GBIC line card for SFP has a smaller form factor than GBIC modules. So if you need 2 fibre interfaces on your switch, 2 port GBIC line card is a good choice. If you need to use over 24 interfaces on your switch, then 48 port SFP line card is more possible to meet your need.

Conclusion

What is GBIC? What are the types of GBIC? And how to choose from GBIC and SFP? This article has given you the answers. With the above information, it’s much more possible for you to choose a GBIC or SFP transceiver wisely. If you need a little more help and advice with any of GBIC or SFP optics, then please do not hesitate to let us know. FS.COM provides various kinds of fibre optic transceivers, including GBIC, 1G SFP, 10G SFP+, 40G QSFP, 100G QSFP28 and so on. For purchasing high-quality transceivers with low cost or for more products’ information, please contact us at sales@fs.com.

Cisco GLC-SX-MMD Compatibility Explained

Gigabit Ethernet, a significant breakthrough of telecommunication, stands for various technologies of transmitting signals in the speed up to 1000Mbp/s. GLC-SX-MMD module is the hot-pluggable input/output transceiver with small form-factor used in the transmission with the speed of 1000Mbp/s. GLC-SX-MMD transceiver modules can be used on many Cisco switches, such as Cisco Catalyst 2960-P switch, Catalyst 3560-CX and Catalyst 9400. So it’s necessary to know Cisco GLC-SX-MMD transceiver module, Cisco GLC-SX-MMD compatibility and clarify how to choose Cisco GLC-SX-MMD compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver.

What is Cisco GLC-SX-MMD Compatibility?

Cisco GLC-SX-MMD, one of the most commonly used standard Cisco SFP, is a hot-swappable input/output device which plugs into a Gigabit Ethernet port. It is popular for intra-building links in co-location facilities and large office buildings. The following chart shows the detail of GLC-SX-MMD module.

Wavelength
850nm
Max Data Rate
1000Mbps
Interface
LC duplex
Max Cable Distance
550m over OM2 MMF
Cable Type
MMF
Protocols
MSA Compliant, IEEE 802.3z
TX Power
-9.5 ~ – 3dBm
Commercial Temperature Range
0 to 70°C (32 to 158°F)

GLC-SX-MMD Compatible 1000BASE-SX: Why Do We Need It?

1000BASE-SX SFP is a standard of fibre optic Gigabit Ethernet which operates over multi-mode fibre using a 770 to 860 nanometre, near infrared (NIR) light wavelength. Cisco GLC-SX-MMD is one kind of 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver module. Besides, Cisco GLC-SX-MMD is compatible with 1000BASE-SX SFP that operates on multimode fibres for the length of 550m.There are many third party vendors supply Cisco GLC-SX-MMD compatible transceiver modules with the same good quality as Cisco SFP modules. The core difference between original brand transceiver module and third-party ones is on the manufacture instead of the module itself. Third-party transceiver modules cost about 90% less than Cisco even though they comply the same MSA. The principle reason for the huge price margin is markups. Third-party 1GbE SX SFP transceivers have as good quality as Cisco SFP transceivers but with low cost and are compatible with Cisco SFP,  that is why so many people choose the third-party ones.

How to Choose GLC-SX-MMD Compatible 1000BASE-SX Module?

There are numerous third party vendors who produce Cisco GLC-SX-MMD compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver modules. However, there is another confusing problem, how to choose a third party vendor on the market to buy 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver modules? With so many choices, it’s important to consider the following factors: lifetime warranty, customer support and guaranteed compatibility.

Life Time Warranty

When your SFP modules come to a problem, the warranty of your SFP determines whether you need to buy a new SFP or not. Different vendors offer different warranty for customers. All the SFP transceiver modules in FS.COM are fully warranted against defects in material and workmanship with a lifetime guarantee. So FS.COM is a wise choice for customers.

Customer Support

For many customers, it’s confusing and challenging to make sure what they exactly need for their network. If a third party vendor can offer customised solution and give professional suggestions to customers, that will be very helpful. FS.COM is recommended for providing professional 24/7 customer service and free technical support.

Guaranteed Compatibility

GLC-SX-MMD Compatibility is the core factor of compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver modules. So you need to make sure with the third party vendor that the compatibility of their SFP transceiver modules are tested. FS.COM provides various kinds of optical transceivers compatible with major brands on the market, such as Cisco single mode SFP. Every SFP transceiver module is tested strictly on original brand switches in FS factory before shipping, so the brand compatibility is guaranteed.

1000BASE-SX SFP GLC-SX-MMD Compatibility

Conclusion

Cisco GLC-SX-MMD compatibility and 1000BASE-SX SFP are introduced in the above passage. Besides, this article gives you some suggestions about how to choose a third party vendor to buy 1000BASE-SX SFP with Cisco SFP compatibility. It’s necessary to tell you that FS.COM is a recommended transceiver module supplier, when your budget is not enough to buy original brand modules. For purchasing more high quality transceiver modules with low cost or for more products’ information, please contact us at sales@fs.com.

What Is QSFP Connector, QSFP+ Connector and QSFP28 Connector?

Nowadays, fibre optic technology shows its unsurpassable advantage in telecommunication. Hence, optical transceiver modules are widely used in data centre and other situations. When it comes to various types of data rate and interface of optical transceivers, there are lots of abbreviations to clarify. This article focuses on the introduction of QSFP connector, QSFP+ connector and QSFP28 connector. They share the same small form factor, but differ in supporting data rate and breakout connection.

QSFP Connector

QSFP is the abbreviation of Quad (4 channel) Small Form Factor Pluggable. Supporting Fibre Channel, Infiniband, Ethernet, Sonet/SDH and other proprietary interconnects, QSFP connector is a hot-pluggable, compact transceiver available for use in singlemode and multimode applications. QSFP transceiver can also support 4 independent channels which can transmit individually at the data rate up to 1.25Gbp/s and the aggregate speed of the 4 channels up to 4.3Gbp/s. For using 4x1G lanes, QSFP connector was only found in some FC/IB contexts.

QSFP+ Connector

Short for Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Plus, QSFP+ connector is regarded as the enhanced generation of QSFP connector. Why do we call QSFP+ the plus one? Because it can support Infiniband, Fibre Channel and Ethernet at 10Gbp/s per channel, thus the combined data rate of the 4 channels can reach 40Gbp/s, which is a distinct improvement in data transmission speed. Besides, like QSFP connector, 40G QSFP+ interface can support transmission and network link over both singlemode and multimode infrastructures. To enable 40G QSFP+ connector to be splitted into 4 independent data streams for different network equipment, AOC breakout cable, DAC breakout cable and other types of breakout cables are used. Besides, the main types of QSFP+ connector include QSFP+ SR4, QSFP+ PLRL4, QSFP+ LR4 and OTU3, QSFP+ CSR4, QSFP+ UNIV, QSFP+ LR4L, QSFP+ SR Bi-Directional, QSFP+ PLR4, QSFP+ER4 and OTU3.

qsfp connector

QSFP28 Connector

With the same quad based interface as QSFP and QSFP+ connector, QSFP28 fibre optic transceiver can transmit optical signals at 100Gbp/s. Each channel of QSFP28 connector can transmit individually at the data rate up to 28Gbp/s. Outstripping CFP, CFP2 and CFP4 connectors, QSFP28 connector has become the preferred solution of 100G network upgrade for its high flexibility and smaller form type. The flexibility of QSFP28 allows it to be used in several kinds of combination, including 100Gbp/s, 2x50Gbp/s and 4x25Gbp/s. Like QSFP+ connector, depending on the application, there are different options of breakout cable to consider, such as AOC breakout cable, DAC breakout cable and other types of breakout cables. Besides, there is an important note, that a QSFP28 connector can’t be broken down into 10Gbp/s channels. However, QSFP28 is backward compatible, so when it is used in a QSFP+ port , it would allow a breakdown into 4x10Gbp/s SFP+ channels. Lastly, there are several types of QSFP28 connector: QSFP28 SR4, QSFP28 PSM4, QSFP28 CWDM4 and QSFP28 LR4.

qsfp28

Conclusion

QSFP, QSFP+ and QSFP28 connectors are introduced in this article from the aspects of form factor, supporting data rate, breakout connection and types. With the above information, it would be easier for you to choose QSFP, QSFP+ and QSFP28 connectors. QSFP connectors are often used in 4x1G lane. While QSFP+ connectors are mostly used in 40G lane, and QSFP28 connectors are mainly used in 100G lane. Besides, QSFP+ and QSFP28 can be splitted into several streams by using breakout cables. ALL in all, your choice need to depend on your network situation and requirement. If you need a little more help and advice with any of QSFP optics or fibre connectivity cables, then please do not hesitate to let us know. For purchasing high quality QSFP, QSFP+, QSFP28 connectors and QSFP cables with low cost or for more products’ information, please contact us at sales@fs.com.

What Does CFP Stand For?

The thriving of 100G network makes the popularization of 100G optical transceiver modules, such as CFP modules, which provide a cost-effective solution for 100G network. What does CFP stand for? How many types of CFP? This article will offer you the CFP wiki.

What Does CFP Stand For?

CFP (C form-factor pluggable) transceiver module’s form factor is specified by the industry standard Multi-Source Agreement (MSA). MSA was designed for optical communication applications and formally launched at OFC/NFOEC 2009 in March. The C stands for the Latin letter C used to express the number 100 (centum), for the standard was firstly developed for 100 Gigabit Ethernet systems. CFP modules are designed to meet the challenge of extreme temperature, humidity and operating conditions. They are suited to 40G and 100G Ethernet data centre applications from the bottom to the top of rack or between racks. CFP was invented after SFP, but is much larger in size to support 100G Ethernet. CFP transceiver modules support both single mode and multimode fibre and a variety of data rates, protocols, and link lengths.

CFP Module Types

what does CFP stand for? CFP, CFP2, CFP4, CFP8
CFP Module for 40/100G

CFP module is regarded as a new ultra high speed pluggable I/O interface. It can support 4x10Gbps, 10x10Gbps and 4x25Gbps variants. There are mainly three types of 40G CFP modules, 40GBASE-SR4 CFP for 150m on OM4 MMF, 40GBASE-LR4 CFP for 10km on SMF and 40GBASE-FR CFP for 2km on SMF. CFP modules provide Ethernet users another option for 40 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity except 40G QSFP+. 100G CFP modules include 100GBASE-SR10 CFP for 100m on MMF, 100GBASE-LR10 CFP and 100GBASE-LR4 CFP for 10km on SMF,  100GBASE-ER10 CFP and 100GBASE-ER4 CFP for 40km on SMF.

CFP2 Module for 40/100G

CFP MSA defines the CFP2 form factor of an optical transceiver which can support 10Gbit/s, 40Gbit/s, 100Gbit/s and 400Gbit/s interfaces for Ethernet and other applications. CFP2, with half the size of CFP module, can accommodate a wide range of power dissipations and applications. The module electrical interface of CFP2 has been generically specified to allow for supplier-specific customisation around various 4x25Gbit/s interfaces, but it can support 8x25Gbit/s, 10x10Gbit/s, and 8x50Gbit/s.

CFP4 Module for 40/100G

CFP MSA specifies the CFP4 form factor of an optical transceiver which can support 40Gbit/s and 100Gbit/s interfaces for Ethernet and other applications. CFP4 module electrical interface has been generically specified to allow for supplier-specific customisation around various 4x25Gbit/s and 4x10Gbit/s interfaces. Designed to support SMF and MMF, it is half the size of CFP2 transceiver module.

CFP8 Module for 400G

CFP MSA defines the CFP8 form factor of an optical transceiver to support 400 Gbit/s interfaces for Ethernet, Telecommunication and other applications. CFP8 has the size a little bit smaller than CFP2. Its module electrical interface allows for supplier-specific customisation around various 16x25Gbit/s and 8x50Gbit/s interfaces. Nowadays, 400G is considered to be the next major Ethernet speed for data centres after 100G, thus CFP8 transceiver module has a promising future on the market.

Conclusion

With the above-mentioned info, I believe you get a general idea about what does CFP stand for and the 4 types of CFP modules, including CFP, CFP2, CFP4 and CFP8 and their features. If you need to choose and buy CFP transceiver modules, FS is recommended. FS provides quality CFP modules with different data rates, which are compatible with major brands on the market. FS also provides other transceiver modules. For purchasing more high quality CFP modules with low cost or for more products’ information, please contact us at sales@fs.com.

Types of Twinax Connector

Although optical transceiver and fibre patch lead keep their leading position in connecting switches and servers of data centre, DAC twinax cable still takes a place in intra-rack connection because of its unique advantages of convenience and low price. What is twinax connector? It is a “transceiver-shaped” plug equipped at each end of the DAC twinax cable. This article will mainly introduce DAC twinax cable, the types of twinax connector and try to help you choose DAC twinax cable.

Brief Introduction of DAC Twinax Cable

What is DAC twinax cable? It’s a kind of direct attach cable (DAC) used to connect switches to servers or routers. DAC twinax cable consists of fixed length of copper cable and twinax connectors on each end. Twinax cable is widely used in local area network, data centre, and high-performance computing connectivity and etc. It’s a cost-effective, low power consumption and low latency solution which is ideal for high-density network. Besides, DAC twinax cable is flexible for the connection within racks. Two kinds of DAC twinax cable, passive DAC and active DAC differ in their components. Active twinax cable contains electrical components while passive twinax cable doesn’t has electrical parts. Not only that, with different connectors, DAC twinax cable can support different data rate.

QSFP28 twinax connector

Twinax Connector Types of DAC Cable

Why do we need different types of twinax connector? Because DAC twinax cables with different connectors can support different data rate applications. Various types of twinax connector of DAC have covered the main data transmission needs in data centres. For example, twinax SFP+ is designed to work with equipment that have 10G SFP+ interface. There are DAC twinax cables with the same connectors at each end such as 10G twinax SFP+ to SFP+, and DAC breakout cables for 10G to 40G or 25G to 100G connection designed to meet the requirement of migration.

Twinax Connector Types
Description
Cable Length
10G SFP+ to SFP+
10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable
0.5m~7m
25G SFP28 to SFP28
25G SFP28 Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable
1m~5m
40G QSFP+ to QSFP+
40G QSFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Cable
0.5m~7m
40G QSFP+ to 4xSFP+
40G QSFP+ to 4x10G SFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Breakout Cable
0.5m~7m
56G QSFP+ to QSFP+
56G QSFP+ Passive Direct Attach Copper Cable
0.5m~5m
100G QSFP28 to QSFP28 DAC
100G QSFP28 Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable
1m~5m
100G QSFP28 to 4xSFP28 DAC
100G QSFP28 to 4x25G SFP28 Passive Direct Attach Copper Breakout Cable
1m~5m

Make an Informed Choice

twinax connector

When you choose DAC twinax cable, max data rate and cable length are important factors to consider. As you can see in the previous part, there are many types of twinax cables designed to meet the interconnection requirements of different speed networks. So, It’s important to choose the right twinax cable according to your network requirements. FS provides quality twinax cables with different data rates, which are compatible with major brands on the market, including Cisco twinax cables. Every DAC is tested strictly in FS factory before shipping, so the brand compatibility is guaranteed. Besides, FS provides customised service of producing DAC and AOC cable with different brand connector at each end. For purchasing more high quality DAC with low cost or for more products’ information, please contact us at sales@fs.com.

What is Optical Transceiver Module?

The speed and stability of the network is making a great leap forward thanks to the high bandwidth and low attenuation brought by fibre optics. Optical transceiver module is the major building block in fibre optic network, which conveys the information across communication channels for your optical systems. This article offers some rudiments about optical transceiver module and suggestions of choosing fibre patch lead for your transceiver module.

Working Principle of Optical Transceiver Module

An optical transceiver module is a device that uses fibre optical technology to send and receive data. The transceiver module has electronic components to encode or decode data into light pulses and then send them to the other end as electrical signals. To send data as light, it makes use of a light source, which is controlled by the electronic parts, and to receive light pulses, it makes use of a photodiode semiconductor.

Types of Optical Transceiver Module

Optical transceiver module is evolving rapidly to meet the escalating demand for speed and capacity. The tendency is that fibre optic transceiver module is evolving to have smaller size and higher data rate. The common types of optical transceiver module include GBIC, SFP, 10G SFP+, 40G QSFP+, CXP, CFP, CFP2, CFP4, CPAK and QSFP28.

The emergence of GBIC (Gigabit Interface Converter) is a milestone of transceiver module development, and it’s of epoch-making significance. As time went on, the size of transceiver was becoming smaller, so SFP (Small Form-Factor Pluggable) transceiver module came into being. It is half the size of GBIC, and it increases the port density of the same line card by two times. But this is not enough to meet the growing need of higher speed network connectivity. So 10G SFP+ (Small Form-factor Pluggable Plus) and 40G QSFP+ (Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable Plus) becomes new market favorites, for they have distinctly higher data rate and the same mini size as SFP. Besides, 100G optical transceiver module is also popular at present, with the types of CXP, CFP, CFP2, CFP4, CPAK and QSFP28. Various types of optical transceiver module can meet all kinds of customer’s requirements.

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Optical Transceiver Module Parameters

Optical transceiver module has three main parameters which shows it’s capacity of connectivity. They are wavelength, data rate and cable distance.

Wavelength

Wavelength is the band of light used in the transmission of optical signals. The main wavelength of optical transceiver module is typically around 850, 1300 and 1550 nm, for the attenuation of the fibre is much less at those wavelengths. Besides, multi-mode fibre is designed to operate at 850 nm and 1300 nm, while single-mode fibre is optimised for 1310 nm and 1550 nm.

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Data Rate

Data rate refers to how many bits of data the optic fibre carries per second. The widely applied data rates are 155Mbps, 1.25Gbps, 2.5Gbps and 10Gbps. The data rate of optical transceiver can provide backwards compatibility. So 155M optical transceiver module is also called FE transceiver, and 1.25G optical transceiver module is called GE transceiver.

Transmission Distance

Transmission distance is the distance an optical signal can be transmitted directly without amplification. The optical transceiver with the transmission distance shorter than 2km is classified to multi-mode optical transceiver module, while the optical transceiver with the transmission distance over 2km is classified to single-mode optical transceiver.

Except the above three parameters, optical transceiver module has other parameters, which are output power, receiving sensitivity, bias current, extinction ratio, saturated optical power and working temperature.

How to Choose Fibre Patch Lead for Transceiver Module

Optic transceiver modules are correspondingly connected with different fibre patch lead according to the type of their interface. When you choose a fiber patch cable, you need to consider the following factors: fiber type, transmission distance, data rate and transceiver interface.

We suppose that you need to choose a right patch cable used between fibre optic transceiver SFP-10G-SR and X2-10GB-SR. You know that SFP-10G-SR is 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceiver module for MMF, 850-nm wavelength, LC duplex connector. And X2-10GB-SR is 10GBASE-SR X2 transceiver module for MMF, 850-nm wavelength, SC duplex connector. It’s easy to find that X2-10GB-SR needs SC connector, and SFP-10G-SR requires LC connector. So we should choose patch cable with SC-LC connector with MMF, 850-nm wavelength. In the same way, you can choose the proper fibre patch lead for your transceiver modules.

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Conclusion

I believe that you get more familiar with optical transceiver module after knowing its’ types, parameters and how to choose fibre patch lead for it. You also need to know that, the chief advantage of optical technology is its high data transfer rate, which can in practice be several thousand times as fast as a cable modem Internet connection. And fibre optic transceiver plays an important role in fibre optical transmission. For purchasing more high quality optical transceiver modules with low cost or for more products’ information, please contact us at sales@fs.com.