Tag Archives: X2

Connectivity Solution for 10GbE

It is undeniable that 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) has become a commonplace for current network backbones, data centers, and server farms to support high-bandwidth, mission-critical applications. And with the continuous advancement and improvement in 10GbE technology, its influence and reach have extended to midmarket networks, for the purpose of ensuring faster data transmission and better network performance. Then, how to achieve an efficient and smooth 10GbE deployment? Let’s start from the most basic element: the connectivity solution for 10 GbE.

Necessities to Deploy 10 Gigabit Ethernet

Unlike in the past, nowadays the evolvement and maturation of Ethernet technology already made 10 GbE an desirable and much affordable choice with higher performance at lower costs. And there exists a distinct need for 10 GbE in network communication. The ever-increasing applications require considerable bandwidth to support the transfer and streaming of large data, video and audio files. Besides, since the network technologies develops rapidly and dramatically, companies must concern about their current infrastructure’s ability to keep pace. Moreover, re-cabling a network can be money consuming, thus organizations should take precautions to ensure their cabling systems can perform well in the long run.

10 GbE generally contains various advantages that would cater for the never-ending requirement of the service providers. Firstly, 10 GbE provides the very best assurance for being able to support forthcoming technologies and delivers utmost investment protection. And 10 GbE is an ideal technology to move large amounts of data quickly. The bandwidth it provides in conjunction with server consolidation is highly advantageous for Web caching, real-time application response, parallel processing and storage. Besides, 10GbE campus backbone establishment is a one-time expense that can provide significant cost savings when compared to monthly communications link bills.

Cabling Choices for 10 Gigabit Ethernet

Since you have decided to implement 10GbE technology, the next step is to consider the data carrying techniques that facilitate such bandwidth. Copper and fiber cabling serve as the prominent method for data transmission, and each of them has their own advantages and drawbacks.

Fiber Cabling Choice

Fiber optic cable is often employed in remote campus connectivity, crowded wiring closets, long-distance communications and environments that need protection from interference, such as manufacturing areas. Since it is very reliable and less susceptible to attenuation, it is optimum for sending data beyond 100 meters. However, fiber is also more costly and its use is typically limited to those applications that demand it. The following diagram summarize the standard fiber cables applicable to 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Multi-mode fiber 62.5/125µm (OM1 grade) fiber Previous industry standard
50/125µm (OM2 grade) fiber Previous industry standard
50/125µm (OM3 grade) fiber Current industry standard (new installations)
Single-mode fiber 9/125µm fiber Current industry standard
Copper Cabling Choice

Copper serves as the standard for transmitting data between devices due to its low cost, east installation and flexibility. However, the working distance of copper is limited in short length, typically 100 meters or less. Besides, bundling copper cabling would result in interference, thus make it difficult to employ as a comprehensive backbone. Therefore, copper cabling is often used in communication among PCs and LANs. The following diagram provides copper cabling options for 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Media Copper cable Range (max) Average latency
CX4 Twin-ax copper 15m (49ft) 0.1 µs IEEE.802.3ak-2004
SFP+ Direct Attach Twin-ax copper SFP+CU 10m (33ft) 0.1 µs MSA.SFF-8431.housing
10GBase-T Twisted pair CAT6 RJ45 30m (98ft)-50m (164ft) >1.5 µs IEEE.802.3an-2006
Twisted pair CAT6a RJ45 100m (98ft) >1 µs
Twisted pair CAT7 GG45 100m (98ft) >1 µs
Transceiver Module for 10 Gigabit Ethernet

In addition to the cabling choice, service providers should also pay attention to the devices that connect their cabling to their network. Transceivers provide the interface between the equipment sending and receiving data and the cabling transporting it. There are various transceivers available to match each gigabit standard.

10 GbE has four defined transceiver types. These transceivers are the result of MultiSource Agreements (MSAs) that enable vendors to produce 802.3ae-compliant pluggable transceivers. The four types are:

  • XENPAK—the first 10GbE pluggable transceivers on the market to support the 802.3ae standard transmission optics. They are large, bulky and used mainly in LAN switches. These transceivers are “hot pluggable” and support the new 802.3ak copper standard with vendors now producing transceivers to connect CX4 cables.
  • X2—the smaller brother of the XENPAK pluggable transceivers, the X2 form factor is about 2/3 the size of the XENPAK. With the same “hot pluggable” specifications and supporting all the 10GbE standards (including copper), the X2 form factor allows for more port density on switches. X2 provides customers with a strong sense of assurance that this technology is the best choice for today and will have strong vendor support.
  • XFP—the newest pluggable transceiver on the market, XFP is the closest in size to the SFP pluggable transceiver now used for gigabit technology. The XFP form factor will allow switch vendors to increase port density in a smaller area for cost savings.
  • SFP+ —SFP+ transceiver is designed on the consideration to increase the capacity of the existing SFP. For many customers, the possibility of achieving 10G speeds and a mechanical form factor that allows 1G or 10G to reside in the same footprint, might prove attractive.
XENPACK Large form factor Previous industry standard
X2 (XPACK) Smaller form factor than XENPACK Previous industry standard
XFP Smaller form factor than X2 Current industry standard
SFP+ Smallest form factor Current industry standard

10 Gigabit Ethernet is becoming the prevalent technology which is used to upgrade networks and support bandwidth-intensive applications. Companies and organizations should have a solid  and comprehensive understanding of 10GbE technology before deploying it. Which would help to develop a sound migration and cabling method and surely benefit from 10 Gigabit Ethernet in the long run.

What Is 10G DWDM C-band Tunable XFP Module?

WDM (wavelength division multiplexing) technology, based on the concept of using multiple wavelengths of light on a single fiber, has been very popular in today’s data transmission. Dense WDM (DWDM) is one type of WDM which uses the C-Band transmission window with denser channel spacing. In a 10G DWDM network application, there are multiple transceiver choices for you. Among them, this article will introduce one option for you, DWDM C-band tunable XFP module.


The tunable DWDM transceiver is a unique product which enables you to set the channel or “color” that the laser emits. This type of transceiver has been around for a number of years but it was not until 2008 that the first tunable optics were available in the pluggable XFP form factor. Tunable transceivers are only available in DWDM form because the CWDM grid is too wide. Typically these tunable optics are for the C-Band 50GHz. Around 88 different channels can be set with intervals of 0.4nm, which is the 50GHz band. Tunable transceivers are typically used as “spare-optics”, in case of emergency, because you can tune them to the right channel and reduce the amount of spare optics you need to hold in stock.

DWDM tunable XFP 10 Gbps multiprotocol optical transceiver is an integrated fiber optic transceiver that provides a high-speed serial link of signaling rates. The module complies with the 10 Gigabit small form factor pluggable (XFP) multi-source agreement (MSA), and the ITU-T G.698.1 S-D100S1-2D standard. It features a hot-pluggable XFI-compliant electrical interface. DWDM tunable XFP transceiver integrates the receive and transmit path on one module. On the transmit side, the 10 Gbps serial data stream is recovered, retimed, and passed to a modulator driver. The modulator driver biases and modulates a C-band-tunable integrated laser, enabling data transmission over single-mode fiber through an industry-standard LC connector. On the receive side, the 10 Gbps optical data stream is recovered from an APD/transimpedance amplifier, retimed, and passed to an output driver. DWDM tunable XFP transceiver is designed to support full range of C-band ITU-T wavelength data rates from 9.95Gbps to 11.3Gbps and distances up to 80km. The image below shows a Cisco ONS-XC-10G-C compatible 10G DWDM tunable XFP transceiver.

Cisco ONS-XC-10G-C Compatible 10G DWDM C-band Tunable XFP 50GHz 80km DOM Transceiver

Features of DWDM C-band Tunable XFP
  • XFI electrical interface compliant
  • Hot-pluggable XFP footprint
  • 80km MZM tunable TOSA
  • RoHS6 compliant
  • Client side and line side loopback functions
  • XFP MSA compliant form factor connector
  • Supports 50GHz ITU-based channel spacing (C-Band)
  • With wavelength locker function, wavelength precision about 0.02nm
Applications of DWDM C-band Tunable XFP

DWDM tunable XFP pluggable module allows enterprise companies and service providers to provide scalable and easy-to-deploy 10 Gigabit LAN, WAN, and Optical Transport Network (OTN) services in their networks. This module is a high performance and cost effective XFP transceiver module designed for 10G SDH/SONET, IEEE DWDM 10GBASE-ZR for 40 or 80 km reach (Ethernet), and DWDM 10G FC (Fibre Channel) for 40 or 80 km reach applications. It’s also good for switching wavelength and details can be found in this article Wavelength Switching Solution: Tunable XFP Transceiver.


Fiberstore offers a variety of optical modules for extensive applications like telecommunication, datacommunication, and CWDM/DWDM network. Fiberstore’s DWDM C-band tunable XFP transceivers can be designed to be compatible with many major brands while delivering the deployment flexibility and inventory control. And Fiberstore provides a variety of industry standard from factors including SFP+, X2, XFP, SFP, like Avago AFBR-709SMZ compatible 10GBASE-SR/SW SFP+ and Allied Telesis AT-SPSX compatible 1000BASE-SX SFP transceivers, which can make the customers satisfied with the broad choices and high performance.