Now is 2022. You want to upgrade your fiber optic switches and buy suitable SFP optics for your network, but you don’t know where to start or how to choose the suitable SFP optics. Are the new SFP Optics terms and parameters giving you a hard time? We’re looking out for you. In this buying guide, we’ve broken down the most common types and requirements and given you some tips to save time and money.
When choosing an SFP transceiver, the transmission rate is the essential thing to think about. How fast does your network need to be?
SFPs can handle a wide range of data rates, from low speeds of 155 Mbps and 622 Mbp to the most popular rate of 1 Gbps, which is enough for most business network transmission needs. SFP+ transceivers, on the other hand, can give you speeds of up to 10 Gbps for more stable data transfer and faster 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
When choosing SFP optics, you should also consider the type of fiber in the existing cabling network or the fiber used for the new deployment. The different kinds of fiber cable directly affect the network’s speed and distance. Multimode and single mode fiber are the two types of standard fiber optic cables.
Because the core has different optical properties, multimode fibers can carry many light rays (modes) at the same time. In practice, the light that travels the shortest path (down the middle) moves slowly. Due to dispersion, it has a short range, often used as a wire for sites less than one kilometer long. It comes with a core size of either 62.5 microns or 50 microns.
A single-mode fiber cable has a smaller core that is only 9 microns wide. It also has a single optical route that can send data up to 180 kilometers away. It needs more expensive equipment, runs on wavelengths between 1310 and 1550 nm, and is usually used for long-distance LAN, cable TV, and phone applications.
The wavelength is the third thing to think about. The match should be thought about along with the wavelength and type of fiber of the SFP transceiver at the other end.
The wavelength is what makes light what it is. It is part of the spectrum, and each frequency, or color, of light, has a length of light called a wavelength. The frequency and size of a wave are related. In general, the wavelength is used to describe radiation with shorter wavelengths, while the frequency is used to describe radiation with longer wavelengths.
Fiber optic transmission uses three primary wavelengths: 850, 1310, and 1550 nm. These wavelengths are used in optical fibers because they lose the least power in the fiber. There is a direct link between the length of a wave and how fast it gets weaker. The longer the wave, the weaker it gets. For SFPs, 850nm is suitable for short-range transmission and seems to cost less; 1310nm is ideal for medium- and long-range propagation but costs more; and 1550nm is usually used for long-range communication and expenses the most.
People also need to think about how far they are from each other. There are two kinds of SFPs: short-range (SR) and long-range (LR). How far must your network be able to send information?
Here’s what happens: Data can be sent up to 120 km with a single-mode SFP transceiver and sometimes up to 180 km. Single-mode SFPs that are standard can send data up to 20 km. Longer than that, extended single-mode SFPs can transmit data up to 80 km away.
Multimode SFPs are a great choice if you want to save money and go a short distance. Multimode SFPs that come standard can send up to 500 meters. Extended multimode SFPs can send data up to 2 kilometers.
The SFP multi-source protocol has published specifications for small form-factor pluggable. This lets you mix and match parts from different vendors. But some big companies in the industry sell networking equipment locked to their devices so that only the vendor’s SFPs and not regular MSA SFPs can be used. It is meant to get people to buy their own devices and keep them as customers. But they tend to be much more expensive than compatible SFPs with almost identical specs.
Choose an SFP tested to be compatible, or ask your vendor to check compatibility.
DDM refers to Digital Diagnostic Monitoring. It is a technology for SFP transceivers that lets the end user keep an eye on the transceiver’s real-time parameters. Some parameters that are kept an eye on are the optical output power, the optical input power, the temperature, the laser bias current, and the transceiver supply voltage.
Digital Diagnostic Monitoring is what DDM stands for. It is a technology for SFP transceivers that lets the end user keep an eye on the transceiver’s real-time parameters. DDM keeps an eye on things like temperature, laser bias current, and transceiver supply voltage, among other things. Digital Optical Monitoring, or DOM, is what it means. Some companies call this function “DOM,” but it’s the same thing.
Please pick an SFP optics that supports DDM/DOM. It lets you figure out how long a module will last and quickly find where the problem is. Most new SFP optics support both DDM and DOM.
Terms Often Used in SFP Optics
A CWDM SFP is an optical transceiver that uses CWDM technology. Like regular SFPs, CWDM SFPs are input/output devices that can be switched on the fly. They plug into an SFP port on a switch or router and connect that port to a fiber optic network. Campuses, data centers, and metro access networks can use Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel (FC) because it is easy and cheap. The CWDM SFP makes it possible to send up to 18 channels on a single-mode fiber strand, saving many resources for fiber cabling. CWDM SFPs can only be used with CWDM passive multiplexers, optical add/drop multiplexers, or demultiplexers (OADMs).
Another WDM optical transceiver that uses DWDM technology is the DWDM SFP. Compared to CWDM SFPs, DWDM SFPs can send up to 61 channels on a single-mode fiber strand. This saves a lot of resources for fiber cabling. DWDM SFPs can only be used with DWDM passive multiplexers, optical add/drop multiplexers, or demultiplexers (OADMs).
PON SFP optics are used in the Optical Line Terminal (OLT) of the Central Office and the Optical Network Terminal/Unit (ONT/ONU) of the subscriber. PON can be broken down into two types of optics: GPON SFP and EPON SFP. Most of the time, it is used for FTTX.
The BiDi SFP optics is a small optical transceiver that sends and receives data over a single fiber. It can be swapped out quickly and without tools. In contrast to standard optical transceivers, BiDi optical transceivers use WDM duplexers to mix and separate data sent over a single fiber.
Fiber Channel SFP
Fibre Channel, sometimes called FC, is a high-speed network technology usually used to connect computer data storage to servers. It can generally handle speeds of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32 Gbps. In the Storage Area Network (SAN) data center environment, Fibre Channel (FC) is the most common technology standard. Fibre Channel SFP is an SFP optical transceiver made for storage applications using fiber channels. It is also called fiber channel SFP, and it comes in 3 different types: 2G FC SFP, 4G FC SFP, and 8G FC SFP.
SONET/SDH SFP refers to SFP optics that can be used for SONET/SDH and ATM applications, such as OC-3/STM-1 (155 Mbps), OC-12/STM-4 (622 Mbps), and OC-48/STM-16 SFP (2488 Gbps). The SONET/SDH SFP can be used for multimode, short-reach, intermediate-reach, long-reach (40 km), and long-reach (80 km) applications.
SDI Video SFP
SDI Video SFP refers to SFP optics that work with 12G-SDI, 6G-SDI, 3G-SDI, HD-SDI, or SD-SDI. It is a special SFP for high-capacity HD and ultra-high-definition (UHD) digital broadcast video transmission. Unlike most SFPs, this video SFP transceiver can support the SDI video pathological signal and maintain the video transmission quality. The market for video SFP is small, so only a few companies sell SDI video SFP optics.
If you’re looking for a company that sells SDI video SFP transceivers, check out OPTCORE or Embrionix. They have a wide range of video transceivers, such as HD-SDI, 3G-SDI, 6G-SDI, and 12G-SDI SFP.
When you buy a new SFP transceiver, keep these tips for buying SFP optics in mind, and remember that there is no perfect SFP. Each optic has features that provide different parameters depending on your switch and the network’s needs. Remember to choose the SFP that works best for you, not the one that costs the most.
If you need new SFP optics, you should check out what OPTCORE has. Through OPTCORE’s online stores, you can buy a wide range of fiber optics, which makes it easy to build a very reliable fiber network.