Expanding Fiber Optic Networks with SFP Transceivers

A SFP transceiver (Small Form-Factor Pluggable Transceiver) is a device used to transmit and receive optical or electrical signals between network devices. SFP transceivers are hot-swappable (aka hot-pluggable), meaning they can easily be replaced and added to networking systems without significantly interrupting system operations. SFP transceivers are frequently used to transmit signals between different types of cabling, such as between direct attached copper (DAC) and fiber optic cables. Because they are capable of converting electrical signals to optical, and vice versa, SFP transceivers allow networks to be expanded without the expense of upgrading the entire system.

SFP Media Converter

Media Converter with
SFP Transceiver Port

SFP transceivers are capable of high bandwidth and high speed data transmission applications including: Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel and SONET (Synchronous Optical Networking). They are used to connect network cables to a wide variety of devices like media converters, network routers and switches. SFP transceivers come in a variety of models, such as: multimode (SX), short-range, 10km singlemode (LX), medium range, 40km singlemode (EX), long range, 80km singlemode (ZX) and more. Models may vary in transmission rate, transmission distance and cable compatibility.

There are a variety of SFP transceivers on the market which support multiple speeds and cable types. MSA compliant (Multi-Source Agreement) transceivers that are built to be 100% OEM compatible, like the SFP transceivers offered at FluxLight, can enhance the flexibility of existing network equipment.

SFP transceiver

SFP Transceiver

The ‘small’ in Small Form-Factor Pluggable refers to the fact that SFP transceivers are smaller versions of Gigabit Interface Converters (GBICs). GBICs were used in the 1990s and were eventually phased out after SFPs were introduced in the early 2000s. For this reason, SFP transceivers are sometimes referred to as mini-GBICs. Some modern SFP transceivers come equipped with DDM (Digital Diagnostic Monitoring), also commonly known as DOM (Digital Optical Monitoring), which allows for real-time monitoring of the transceiver’s operating parameters.

SFP transceivers are a compact and cost effective way to expand the speed and transmission distances of fiber optic networks. If you need help determining the exact type of transceiver required to expand your network, the professionals at FluxLight are happy to help! Simply give us a call at 888-874-7574 to tell us more about your fiber optic network needs.