SFP vs. SFP+: What is the Difference and How to Use?

If all you want is an optical transceiver that works with the same transceiver type and connection, then you can use both SFP and SFP+ cables, as they are virtually identical. The larger difference between these two transceivers is how they function. SFP is a high-speed optical connector, which only accepts SFP transmission speeds of up to 10Gbps. However, SFP+ supports higher speed transmission rates of up to 20Gbps and has a longer transmission distance than its counterpart.

The difference between SFP and SFP+

Many people are not clear about the difference between SFP and sfp+, so it sometimes brings unnecessary trouble. 10G modules have experienced development from 300Pin, XENPAK, X2, and XFP, and finally achieved the same size as SFP to transmit 10G signals, which is SFP+. SFP with its miniaturization and low-cost advantages to meet the needs of equipment for high-density optical modules, from 2002 to 2010, the standard has replaced XFP as the mainstream of the 10G market. SFP has replaced XFP as the mainstream of the 10G market since the standard was implemented in 2002 and 2010.

SFP+ Optical Module Benefits:

  1. SFP+ has a more compact form factor than X2 and XFP packages (the same size as SFP).
  2. Can be directly connected with the same type of XFP, X2, and XENPAK.
  3. the cost is lower than XFP, X2, and XENPAK products.

The difference between SFP+ and SFP

  1. SFP and SFP+ have the same external dimensions.
  2. SFP protocol specification: IEEE802.3, SFF-8472.

Difference between SFP+ and XFP:

  1. SFP+ and XFP are both 10G fiber modules and are interoperable with other types of 10G modules.
  2. SFP+ has a smaller external size than XFP.
  3. because of its smaller size, SFP+ moves the signal modulation functions, serial/deserializer, MAC, clock and data recovery (CDR), and electronic dispersion compensation (EDC) functions from the module to the motherboard card.
  4. XFP-compliant protocol: XFP MSA protocol.
  5. SFP+ compliant protocols: IEEE 802.3ae, SFF-8431, SFF-8432.
  6. SFP+ is a more mainstream design.

SFP+ optical module is a new generation of 10GbE optical module, which can meet 8.5G Fibre Channel and 10G Ethernet applications according to ANSI T11 protocol. SFP+ has the significant advantages of high density, low power consumption, lower system construction cost, etc. It is widely used in the field of 10G Ethernet fiber optic data communication and is the mainstream product of the 10G module.

SFP and SFP+ transmitters are essentially the same, but only one is backward-compatible and does not require a new installation. The primary difference between the two is data rate—SFP supports a maximum bidirectional distance of 1.25 meters as opposed to 10Gbps on an SFP+.

SFP and SFP+ are both coding types that are used to transmit data. The main difference between the two is the amount of data rate: Where an SFP transmits at 300 Mbps, an SFP+ can convert up to 1 Gbps. You’re also likely to find an SFP to be considerably smaller than an SFP+.