SFP transceivers are compact, small form-factor pluggable transceivers. They are commonly deployed in data communication applications, as well as in telecommunications. There are several different types of SFP transceivers capable of supporting a multitude of communication standards, such as: CWDM/DWDM, SONET, Fibre Channel, Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet.
CWDM/DWDM SFP Transceivers
WDM, or wavelength-division multiplexing, is a type of technology that allows a transceiver to have different wavelengths assigned to it.
Coarse wavelength-division multiplexing (CWDM) SFP transceivers are capable of transmitting data at eight different wavelengths ranging from 1470nm to 1610nm. CDWM SFP transceivers are color coded, to help identify which wavelength is mapped to the transceiver.
Dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) SFP transceivers are available in 32 different wavelengths, and offer high-capacity bandwidth for serial optical data communications. DWDM SFP transceivers are slightly more expensive than CWDM SFP transceivers, but the more densely spaced channels allow for a greater number of wavelengths to travel over a single fiber.
Both CWDM and DWDM SFP transceivers can be used to transmit data over Gigabit Ethernet, SONET and Fibre Channel.
SONET SFP Transceivers
Synchronous optical networking (SONET) technology enables the transmission of a large volume of data over long distances. SONET can be used to transmit multiple streams of data simultaneously over fiber optic mediums using laser beams and LEDs.
SFP transceivers are built to transmit data over SONET at varying rates (OC-3, OC-12 and OC-48) and with different reaches (short-reach, intermediate-reach, and long-reach). SONET SFP transceivers are able to transmit data over both singlemode and multimode fiber.
Fibre Channel SFP Transceivers
Fibre Channel SFP transceivers are commonly used in storage area networks (SAN) and are available in 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 16 and 20Gbps data transmission rates. Fibre Channel SFP transceivers can be used in both singlemode and multimode fiber applications.
Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet
Fast Ethernet is slowly being replaced with Gigabit Ethernet. Fast Ethernet SFP transceivers were originally designed to transmit data at 10Mbps, and eventually reached transmission speeds of 100Mbps (100Base). 100Base rate Fast Ethernet transceivers are available in the following interface types: FX, SX, BX and LX10.
With the development of Gigabit Ethernet, SFP transceiver transmission rates increased to 1000Mbps (1000Base). 1000Base rate Gigabit Ethernet SFP transceivers are available in the following interface types: T, SX. LX, LX10, BX10, and the non-standard EX and ZX.
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