Category Archives: SFP/SFP+

SFP+ Cable: How Much Do You Know?

Recently, the popularization of SFP+ cable has become the trend of data center interconnection. However, what is SFP+ cable? To this end, different SFP cable manufacturers have different presentations and descriptions. Here, let’s discuss the exact meaning and classification of SFP+ SFP+ cables.

What Is SFP+ Cable

SFP+ cable refers to the high-speed cable that are equipped with transceiver (without components, can only transmit signals) at both ends. It was widely used in storage area networks, data centers and high-performance computer connectivity. SFP+ cable supports 10G Ethernet, 8G Fiber Channel, 10G FCoE, 10G InfiniBand and various unified architecture link applications.

SFP+ Cable Types

Today, several types of SFP+ cables are accessible, such as SFP+ direct attach cables, and SFP+ active optical cables. In additional, there are two types of SFP+ direct attach copper cable: SFP+ active direct attach copper cable and SFP+ passive direct attach copper cable.

SFP+ Direct Attach Copper Cable

Also known as twinax cable, SFP+ direct attach copper cable is used in rack connections between switches and servers, containing a high-speed copper cable and two SFP+ copper modules. With the low cost and low power budget, the SFP+ direct attach copper cable has the advantage of high-end port density, configurability, and utilization. The cables are thermally removable and insertable, meaning that you can remove and replace them without turning off the switch or breaking the switch function.

SFP+ cable: SFP + Direct Attach Copper Cable

Figure 1: SFP+ Direct Attach Copper Cable

SFP+ Active Copper Cable: To enhance the signal and driven from the port without additional power requirements, SFP+ active direct attach copper cable assembly contains a low power circuit in the connector. As a low-cost alternative to optical transceivers, the active version is often used in row or intermediate row data center architectures for interconnection distances up to 15 meters.

SFP+ Passive Copper Cable: As a high performance connectivity solution, SFP+ passive direct attach copper cable assembly supports 10GB Ethernet and Fibre Channel applications. Besides, it has higher reliability and fewer components with lower cost.

There is no real visual way to distinguish the difference between active and passive twinax cables. The active or passive twinax cable assembly can be directly connected to the SFP+ shell. Active twinax cables have active electronic components in the SPF+ housing to improve signal quality; passive twinax cables are only a straight line “wire” without active components. Typically, a twinax cable less than 5 meters in length is passive and a cable longer than 5 meters is active, but this is a general rule, depending on the supplier. Most manufacturers will have some kind of marking on the cable connector head, which will mark the cable as active or passive.

SFP+ Active Optical Cable

With a full-duplex construction, SFP+ active optical cable can transmit data at 10Gb/s. In additional, it can support a single transmission between 1 and 100 meters. Supporting single-channel and high-speed data link applications, SFP+ active optical cable is fully compatible with Fibre Channel, and Ethernet. As a cost-effective interconnect solution, SFP+ active optical cable has the edge of high speed, longer cable length, and enhanced signal integrity.

SFP+ cable: SFP+ Active Optical Cable

Figure 2: SFP+ Active Optical Cable


It is no doubt that SFP+ cables have many advantages after a brief introduction to the three SFP+ cables. First, SFP+ cables are interchangeable and hot-pluggable, which means that when the device is working too early, you don’t have to completely shut down the system to replace the device. Second, it is compatible with other protocols such as Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and PON standards, maintaining the speed and integrity of the signal as it travels over long distances. Third, the SFP+ cable is not too expensive, making it more and more popular. FS.COM can provide you with the reasonably priced and high quality cables. By the way, we also has very excellent SFP modules. If you have any need or question about SFP+ cables, please contact us.

Fiber vs Copper SFP Module: A War or Not?

Having been compared for many years, fiber and copper seem to be competitors. Someone says it has been a lasting war between fiber and copper. Although, copper has been used for a longer time, now, fiber has already made a foothold in the industry of communication. Besides, with the continuous development of copper technology, the difference between copper and fiber is becoming smaller and smaller. Similarly, the war between fiber and copper also exists in the filed of SFP module. However, is this really a war? What is the difference between fiber and copper SFP? Now, let’s take a look at their pros and cons.

Fiber vs Copper SFP Module: Under the Condition of Long Distance, Fiber SFP Is More Flexible.

The SFP fiber module provides different wavelengths and optical power budgets, allowing distances from 550 meters to 120 kilometers. Some statics also shows that traditional SFP can reach 4.25Gb / s at 150 meters, or reach 1.25Gb / s when 160km runs, and can reach a variety of ranges / speeds between the two according to the type of fiber. Usually, when the running distance is more than 328 feet / 100 meters, the optical fiber SFP module must be considered instead of the copper SFP RJ45 module, because 1000Mbps can only reach 100 meters through the copper cable wiring. In this sense, fiber SFP provides a substantial advantage over copper SFP.

fiber SFP module

Figure 1: Fiber SFP Module

Fiber vs Copper SFP Module: Under Limited Conditions, Copper SFP Is the Inevitable Result.

For short distance links on Gigabit switches, there is no difference if SFP ports or RJ45 ports are used to interconnect switches. Copper SFP is popular for short-range uplink because using copper SFPs and jumpers is easier and cheaper. The SFP port is mainly used to allow longer distance fiber connections. In particular, in some cases, copper SFP will make sense if the switch on one side does not have copper ports but SFP slots and the switch on the other side only has copper that can’t be fitted with fiber ports. In addition, using copper SFP to connect conventional copper Gigabit ports is a wise choice to make full use of the corresponding number of SFPs on existing connection switches.

copper SFP

Figure 2: Copper SFP Module

Fiber vs Copper SFP Module: Fiber SFP Is More Secure.

Safety is a factor that we must not neglect when considering. As far as safety is concerned, the use of optical fiber SFP module is superior to that of RJ45 SFP module. This is because the optical fiber does not conduct electricity, which makes it able to resist thunder.

Fiber vs Copper SFP Module: Cost Depends on Your Needs.

Within the same short distance, fiber SFP transceivers may be cheaper than copper SFP modules. In Gigabit Ethernet applications, when copper SFP is combined with copper cables for a short time, copper cables are more cost-effective because they are cheaper than optical cables. However, as third party suppliers flourish, they have developed a fully compatible and trustworthy fiber SFP module to support lower cost optical fiber operation. The price gap between the 100 meter copper transceiver and the fiber transceiver has been narrowed. This provides customers with more choices to meet their specific needs.


Through the comparison between fiber vs copper SFP module, we can see that each media has its own advantages and disadvantages. Fiber SFP is not necessarily better than copper SFP, and the contrary has also been set up. Therefore, how could it be a war between the two? In fact, mixed copper and fiber solutions are the best practice for data centers. The development of Internet industry is unpredictable, so we need to look consider all aspects, see the advantages and disadvantages of each technology, and analyze the concretely. Besides, if there is any need, please contact us. FS.COM can provide you with SFP modules, SFP+ modules, GBIC modules etc. We can offer not only fiber SFPs but also copper SFPs.