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What are SFP+ and SFP28 Transceivers?

SFP+ and SFP28 are two different types of transceiver form factors in the small form-factor pluggable (SFP) family. While SFP+ is an upgraded version of SFP, SFP28 is an enhanced version of SFP+. Consequently, SFP28 ports in network equipment such as switches and routers will accept all SFP28, SFP+, and SFP transceivers. However, what are the main differences between SFP+ and SFP28 and what are their core features?

The Differences: SFP+ vs. SFP28

While SFP+ is mainly linked to 10G, SFP28 is commonly associated with 25G connections. This is due to the fact that SFP28 can reach up to a transmission rate of 28Gbps, which gives it its name: SFP28. In turn, SFP28 has much greater bandwidth capabilities.

Both of these transceiver form factors are available in a variety of speeds and support multiple communication protocols:

SFP+ can get up to 30m using an electrical signal. The more extended reach applications come with the use of an optical signal over either multi-mode fiber, which allows up to 300m, or single-mode fiber, which allows for over 100km of transmission.

SFP28 is capable of a wider range of reach distances relative to SFP+. With higher bandwidth capabilities and reach distances, organizations deploying SFP28 for 25G require a reduced number of switches and cables. With less complexity, network operators can reduce facility costs in terms of space, power, and cooling. For SFP28, you can also consider dual rate options such as 10G/25G SFP28, which is interoperable with legacy 10G SRs in the network.


SFP+ and SFP28 are both affordable, future-proof solutions with accessible upgrade paths for high bandwidth connections. However, SFP28 simplifies infrastructures while being a more future-proof solution with higher bandwidth and reach capabilities.

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