How to Choose Fiber Optic Cable for 10G SFP+ Optical Transceiver?

How to choose fiber optic cables for 10G SFP+ transceivers? It seems like a dumb question for most of the fiber optic technicians. However, there are still some people, especially the green-hand network installers, may not know the compatibility between fiber optic cables and optical transceiver modules. Today, I want to make a clear illustration of how to choose the right transmission media (OS2/OM3/OM4/Cat6/Cat6a) for 10G SFP+ optical transceiver modules.

Overview of SFP+ Optical Transceiver Module

Before coming to the main part of this article, let’s first have a brief overview of the SFP+ optical transceiver modules and 10G fiber & copper cables.

  • 10GBASE SFP+ optical transceivers

SFP+ optical transceivers, according to the IEEE standards, can be divided into several types, for example, 10GBASE-LRM SFP+, 10GBASE-LR, 10GBASE-ER SFP+, 10GBASE-ZR SFP+, 10GBASE-SR SFP+, 10GBASE-T SFP+. Each SFP+ optical transceiver type has its own specification and usage that are not be listed here. For more, please review the previous articles.

  • BiDi SFP+ Modules

Besides the above 10GBASE SFP+ modules, 10GBASE-CWDM SFP+, 10GBASE-DWDM SFP+ and SFP+ BiDi optical transceiver modules are also the most commonly used 10G SFP+ optics. SFP+ BiDi optical transceiver usually uses two different wavelength to achieve 10G transmission over one fiber. The most frequently used wavelength of BiDi optical module is 1310nm/1550nm, 1310nm/1490nm, 1510nm/1590nm.

bidi-10G-SFP+--transceiver-simplex-cable

  • CWDM/DWDM SFP+ Modules

The Coarse Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (CWDM) and Dense Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (DWDM) SFP+ optics are the convenient and cost-effective solution for the adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet in campus, data-center, and metropolitan-area access networks. This 10G fiber optic transceiver type can support up to eight channels of 10GbE over single-mode fibers for distance over 80km.

10G Fiber & Copper Patch Cables

Fiber optic cables can be categorized into two types: single-mode and multimode fiber optic cables. They have different core size and fiber optic transmission equipment, which makes them suitable in different applications. Single-mode fiber patch cables, or OS1/OS2 (OS1 is now not popular on the market) are normally used for long-distance transmission with laser diode based equipment.

OS2 OM4 Cat6a for 10G SFP+ module

Multimode fiber cables, or OM1/OM2/OM3/OM4, have a relatively large light carrying core, usually utilized for short-distance transmission with LED based equipment. OM1, with a core size of 62.5um, supports 1GB network within 300m. OM2 (50um) can support up to 10GB, with a distance of 600m. OM3 and OM4 are the laser-optimized multimode fibers, which can be used in 10GB network with a link length of 300m, 550m respectively. These types of optical cables can be also used on 40G/100G network utilizing a MTP/MPO connector.

Cat6/Cat6a cables are the Copper Ethernet Network cables used for 10G network. Compared with Cat5e (1 Gigabits of data) and Cat5 cables (10/100 Mbps), Cat6 is the Ethernet cable that can handle up to 10Gbps with the distance limited to 164ft. Cat6a is the advanced version of Cat6 cables that further reduce crosstalk, which makes it can support the full 328 feet of Ethernet cable.

Choosing Fiber Optic Cables for 10G SFP+ Optical Transceivers

As noted before, single-mode patch cables can be used for 10G 10GBASE-LRM SFP+, 10GBASE-LR SFP+, 10GBASE-ER SFP+, 10GBASE-ZR SFP+, 10GBASE-CWDM SFP+, 10GBASE-DWDM SFP+ and SFP+ BiDi modules.

Cable Type Connector Max Distance
10GBASE-LRM SFP+ 9/125 SMF LC Duplex 200m
10GBASE-LR SFP+ 9/125 SMF LC Duplex 10km
10GBASE-ER SFP+ 9/125 SMF LC Duplex 40km
10GBASE-ZR SFP+ 9/125 SMF LC Duplex 80km
CWDM SFP+ 9/125 SMF LC Duplex 80km
DWDM SFP+ 9/125 SMF LC Duplex 80km
SFP+ BiDi 9/125 SMF LC/SC Simplex 80km

Multimode fibers, especially the OM3 and OM4 cables, are supported for 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceiver modules. The following chart displays the part No. of customized OM3 and OM4 cables.

Customized Part ID
Connector
Fiber Mode
Polish Types
Jacket
Stock Length
17235 LC Duplex 50/125 OM4 UPC PVC 1m-30m (3ft-98ft)
17235 LC Duplex 50/125 OM4 UPC LSZH 1m-15m (3ft-49ft)
17235 LC Duplex 50/125 OM4 UPC OFNP 1m-15m (3ft-49ft)
12018 LC Duplex 50/125 OM3 UPC PVC 1m-30m (3ft-98ft)
12018 LC Duplex 50/125 OM3 UPC LZSH 1m-30m (3ft-98ft)
12018 LC Duplex 50/125 OM3 UPC OFNP 1m-15m (3ft-49ft)

Cat6 and Cat6a Patch cables can be only used on the 10GBASE-T SFP+ transceivers.

10GBASE-T RJ45 SFP+ Copper module

Keep in mind, the newly available SFP+ copper transceiver modules can only support up to 30m.

Conclusion

This article lists all the existing the 10G fiber & copper patch cables and SFP+ transceiver module types, as well as the guidance about how to select the right patch cables for 10G SFP+ optical transceivers. FS.COM offers a full range of SFP+ optical transceiver modules and patch cables. Please contact us if you need any help.

Original article: 10GBASE-T SFP+ COPPER RJ45 TRANSCEIVER MODULE – INNOVATIVE BUT CONTROVERSIAL

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