What are SFP and SFP+ Transceivers?
SFP stands for small form-factor pluggable. These are compact hot-pluggable devices that can be used for many different networking applications. Given their flexibility in reach and data transmissions over RJ-45, these two form factors are very popular in today’s networking industry.
The Key Difference: SFP vs. SFP+
The biggest difference between SFP and SFP+ is the data rate. While SFP is mainly linked to 1G applications, SFP+ is commonly linked to 10G. These may be the predominant data rates, but both of these transceivers are available in a variety of speeds and support multiple communication protocols:
- Ethernet, SONET, Fibre Channel, etc.
- RJ-45 or LC connectors
- SMF, MMF, or copper media types
With RJ-45, SFP is capable of transmissions up to 100m. On the other hand, SFP+ can get up to 30m using an electrical signal.
The real extended reach applications come with the use of an optical signal over either MMF, which allows up to 550m for SFP and 300m for SFP+, or SMF, which allows for over 100km of transmission, depending on the transceiver type being used.
Whether you’re trying to use an additional SFP or SFP+ port on a network appliance but need to surpass the physical limitations of copper to go hundreds or thousands of meters, SFP and SFP+ transceivers are just the ticket.