Category Archives: SFP/SFP+

What Is SFP Fiber Module?

Nowadays, almost all enterprise-class switches include two or more SFP (small form-factor pluggable) ports, allowing them to become part of a ring or star-based network topology spread among different buildings, floors or areas, and connected via fiber optic cabling. In many cases, SFP module is also known as GBIC (mini-Gigabit interface converter) modules, as they have replaced the older GBIC transceivers. SFPs can be used and interchanged on a wide variety of products, and they can be either SFP fiber module or SFP copper module.

What Is SFP Fiber Module?

SFP fiber modules are connected by fiber optical cables, which are available with a variety of transmitter and receiver types, allowing users to select the appropriate transceiver for each link to provide the required optical reach over multimode fiber or single-mode fiber.

sfp fiber module

Optical SFP modules are commonly available in several different categories with different features:

  • For multi-mode fiber, with black or beige extraction lever; for single-mode fiber, with blue extraction lever
  • SX – 850 nm, for a maximum of 550 m at 1.25 Gb/s (Gigabit Ethernet) or 150m at 4.25 Gb/s (Fibre Channel)
  • LX – 1310 nm, for distances up to 10 km
  • BX – 1490 nm/1310 nm, Single Fiber Bi-Directional Gigabit SFP Transceivers, paired as BS-U and BS-D for Uplink and Downlink respectively, also for distances up to 10 km
  • 1550 nm 40 km (XD), 80 km (ZX), 120 km (EX or EZX)

SFP Fiber Module Datasheet

With a wide application in optical network, many manufactures like Cisco and FS.COM provide a variety SFP modules. These models can be used on a wide variety of network equipment and intermixed in combinations of 1000BASE-T, 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX/LH, 1000BASE-EX, 1000BASE-ZX, or 1000BASE-BX10-D/U on a port-by-port basis. Part of the main products of Cisco SFP Fiber Modules are listed as below.

Product Wavelength (nm) Fiber Type Operating Distance (m) Transmit Power Range (dBm) Receive Power Range (dBm)
1000BASE-SX 850 MMF 220, 275, 500, 1000 -3 to -9.5 0 to -17
1000BASE-LX/LH 1310 MMF, SMF 550, 10000 -3 to -9.5 -3 to -20
1000BASE-EX 1310 SMF 40000 +3 to -1 +1 to -22
1000BASE-ZX 1550 SMF Around 70 km +5 to 0 -3 to -23
1000BASE-BX-U 1310 SMF 10000 3 to -9 -3 to -19.5
1000BASE-BX-D 1490 SMF 10000 3 to -9 -3 to -19.5
GLC-BX40-D-I 1550 SMF 40000 -5 to +3 -25 to +3
GLC-BX80-D-I 1490 SMF 80000 -2 to +3 -27 to +3
GLC-GE-DR-LX 1310 SMF 10000 -9.5 to -3 -25 to +3

SFP Fiber Module vs SFP Copper Module

SFP port can be plugged in with both SFP fiber module and SFP copper module. The biggest difference between SFP fiber module and SFP copper module lies in the cabling method. As it has been mentioned before, a SFP fiber module runs on a optical fiber (SMF/MMF). While a copper SFP works on a twisted copper cable (CAT5/CAT5a/cat6). Except for the cabling specification, their transmission distances and connectors are also different.

SFP Module Type Cabling Method Connector Transmission Distance Maximum transmission rate
SFP Fiber Module optical fiber RJ45 100m 1000 Mbps / 1 Gbps
SFP Copper Module twisted copper cable Duplex LC Over 100m 1000 Mbps / 1 Gbps


SFP module can connect various network devices such as switch, router, or fiber media converter to a fiber optic or copper networking cable. It is a popular industry format jointly developed and supported by many network component vendors. For SFP fiber module, it can transmit signal over a longer distance than SFP copper module. And the price for SFP fiber module is also cheaper than SFP copper module, so it gains more edges and popularity in the market of SFP modules.

Why Choose Third Party SFP Modules?

One concern you may frequently hear about is the issue of using third-party SFP optical transceivers. You know that many brand companies tend to be very strict about their warranty requirements, and they make no effort to hide their preference that you buy all components directly from them. You will ask: can I choose a 3rd party SFP module? Is it reliable? The answer to the question is that it’s possible. This post will provide you with an explanation on why you can choose 3rd party SFP modules.

Opinions on 3rd Party SFP Modules

People have different opinions on “Whether I should use 3rd party SFP modules”. It seems a difficult question for them as the attractive price but unknown performance of the 3rd party SFPs. Some people are worried about whether the 3rd party SFP module can be compatible with their devices. And there is a reason for that. Other people may think that a 3rd party SFP module can perform well and do exactly what an OEM SFP module can do, so why not choose it? And using 3rd party SFP modules seems to more and more popular now, for many 3rd party SFP module vendors are providing high quality and reliable 3rd party SFP modules with low prices. The image below shows a NETGEAR AGM732F compatible 1000BASE-LX SFP module.

NETGEAR AGM732F Compatible 1000BASE-LX SFP

Are Third-Party Compatible SFP Modules Safe?

Most “third party” transceivers are made and assembled in exactly the same plants assembling officially-branded transceivers. There’s a very small number of devices in this world with the specialty equipment needed to produce fiber optic hardware. As such, they supply pretty much everyone. There is almost no big difference between an official Cisco transceiver and a third-party plug, aside from the branding and about two hundred to a few thousand bucks. We have barely seen an actual case of a Cisco switch being damaged by a third-party transceiver. In fact, the failure rates on a good quality third-party SFP transceiver is very low. It is a very basic technology. If you want to make sure that a 3rd party SFP module can work safely with your devices, it is very necessary to use quality assurance SFP modules. Then you would not worry about compatibility of the usage. All the products are tested and 100% compatible with the major brands.

Benefits of 3rd Party SFP Modules

In general, the cost of an original brand SFP module is more expensive than a 3rd party one. Take Cisco 1000BASE-SX SFP (GLC-SX-MM) for example, you can easily find a 3rd party SFP module that can take a discount at up to 80% off than an OEM one. As the cost of SFP modules keep adding up over time, many labs and companies are seeking for SFP alternatives to help cut down the costs on these expensive modules. Besides, third-party SFPs can be as reliable as official OEM products. If you buy a Cisco-compatible SFP transceiver from a reputable vendor who’s backing it by warranty, you have nothing to fear. You’re getting a transceiver that’s every bit as good as the official version, for a vastly reduced cost.


Various vendor-coded SFP, SFP+, GBIC, or XFP transceiver modules that are compatible to widespread networking equipment from well-known manufacturers. Fiberstore provides a variety of transceiver modules that are compatible to devices of important vendors in the market. For example, HP JD089B Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP, NETGEAR AGM732F compatible 1000BASE-LX SFP and Allied Telesis AT-SPSX compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP, from production to shipmet, all these products are tested and guaranteed 100% compatible and with high qulity.