What is SFP+ Module?

SFP+ module

For many years, the SFP+ module has maintained its popularity globally. It’s a reliable choice in various network applications like SONET, 10G Ethernet, Fibre Channel, PON, and more. This guide covers SFP+ basics, working, types, and applications to provide a clear understanding.

What is an SFP+ Module?

In simpler terms, SFP+ is a more advanced version of the SFP form factor, offering faster speeds like 8G/10G/16G. An SFP+ module is a refined small form factor pluggable transceiver that fits into the SFP+ port of switches or other network devices. A complete SFP+ setup includes the SFP+ module, SFP+ port, and SFP+ connector in the hosting device.

Compared to the regular SFP module, the SFP+ module supports much higher speeds—8GFC, 10Gbps, and 16GFC. Additionally, it includes a necessary built-in DDM/DOM (digital optical monitor) as specified by the SFF-8472 standard.

A typical SFP+ module is composed of a cage, PCBA, chip, and optical components like TOSA+ROSA (and sometimes BOSA for BiDi transceivers).

Advantages of SFP+ Module

  • High Speed: SFP+ excels in delivering significantly higher speeds than standard SFP modules, catering to the escalating demands of data traffic growth.
  • Hot Pluggable: Its hot-pluggable feature allows seamless expansion or modification of existing networks without the need for a complete overhaul of the cable infrastructure.
  • Compact Size: Sharing the same compact size and appearance as standard SFP modules, SFP+ maintains high port density, effectively utilizing space.
  • Cost Efficiency: Being a highly successful industry standard, the wide adoption of SFP+ drives economies of scale, resulting in competitive pricing from multiple suppliers.
  • Interoperability: SFP+ offers comprehensive interoperability, allowing optical compatibility with traditional XFP, X2, and XENPAK modules. This efficient upgrade path modernizes networks without replacing the old cabling infrastructure.

SFP+ Module Types

With so many SFP modules available, understanding their diverse classifications has become crucial. This often leads to the question of how to select the appropriate transceiver. To address this, we’ll delve into categorization based on diverse standards, aiming to provide clarity and assistance in making informed choices.

By SFP+ Speed

SFP+ modules come in various speeds, each tailored for distinct applications.
By SFP+ Speed

By SFP+ Media Type

SFP+ modules can be classified based on the type of media they support.By SFP Media Type

By Application

SFP+ modules can be grouped based on their application.By Application

By SFP+ Transceiver Protocols

SFP+ modules can be categorized based on their supported protocols.By SFP+ Transceiver Protocols

By Connector Type

SFP+ modules can be categorized by their connector type.

By Connector Type

By Operating Temperature

SFP+ modules can be classified based on their operating temperature range.
By Operating Temperature

By Compatible Platform

Due to the presence of numerous networking device brands, some leading vendors restrict the use of generic SFP+ modules. This has led to the emergence of compatible transceivers, which offer valuable alternatives. Notable among these compatible platforms are Cisco, Arista, Juniper, Brocade, and others.

In practice, there are multiple methods for categorizing SFP+ transceivers. The most common and widely used techniques involve sorting them based on data speed and their intended applications. Notably, a single SFP+ transceiver can fit into multiple categories simultaneously. For instance, consider the compatible Cisco SFP-10G-SR-S, which could be grouped under various charts like 10G, multimode, regular, 10GBASE-SR, LC, and commercial transceivers.

How to Choose the Correct SFP+ Module?

Here is a quick guide for your reference.

Choosing the Right SFP+ Module: Steps to Follow

  • Check Port Compatibility: Identify the supported speed of your switch or network device’s port and select the corresponding SFP+ module.
  • Cabling Type: Determine your existing network cabling type. If it’s multimode fiber, opt for a multimode SFP+; if it’s single mode fiber, choose a single mode transceiver.
  • Link Distance and Budget: Consider your desired link distance and link budget. Select an SFP+ that supports a longer distance than you anticipate to account for potential issues like poor cables or dirty fiber end-faces.
  • Operating Temperature: Assess your operating environment. For indoor settings, a commercial-grade SFP+ should suffice. In outdoor or harsh conditions, opt for an industrial-grade transceiver.
  • Vendor Compatibility: Ensure compatibility with your equipment vendor before purchasing. Using an incompatible transceiver can lead to wasted time and resources. Always choose a known compatible transceiver to avoid complications.

Choosing Between SFP+ Copper and Fiber Modules

When selecting between SFP+ copper and fiber modules, consider the following.

  • Module Types: SFP+ modules come in various types based on classification standards, catering to both copper and fiber optics.
  • Fiber Optics: Fiber optic SFP+ modules are categorized into single-mode and multimode types. Multimode fiber optics use 850nm wavelength for up to 300 meters transmission over OM3 multimode fiber. Single-mode fiber optics use 1310nm wavelength for distances of up to 20km on OS2 single-mode fiber.
  • Copper-based Modules: Copper SFP+ modules (10GBASE-T) are suitable for 10 gigabit Ethernet networking up to 100 meters using unshielded twisted-pair cabling. They are also compatible with existing 100M/1GbE networks.

Consider your network’s requirements, transmission distance, and infrastructure type to decide between SFP+ copper or fiber modules.

Choosing Between SFP and Advanced SFP+

When deciding between SFP and advanced SFP+ modules, consider the following.

  • Current Network Requirements: 1Gb SFP modules are widely used and offer different transmission speeds, such as 1000base-T/TX, 1000base-SX, 1000base-LX/LX10, and more.
  • Transition to Higher Bandwidth: As networks expand and demand for higher bandwidth grows, 10G SFP+ modules are gaining popularity. They are replacing 1G SFPs and offer faster speeds while maintaining the same form factor.
  • 10G Ethernet: The SFP+ family, including modules like SFP+ SR, SFP+ LR, and SFP+ ZR, is used for 10 Gigabit Ethernet networking.

Evaluate your current and future network needs to decide whether to stick with traditional SFP or transition to the advanced capabilities of SFP+ for higher speeds and performance.

FAQ about SFP+ Module

Q: SFP vs SFP+, What is the key difference?
A: The key difference lies in data transmission speed. SFP supports rates like 155M, 1.25G, and 2.5G, while SFP+ supports 10G and 8G/16GFC.

Q: Can I connect an SFP+ with an XFP module?
A: Yes, but ensure they share the same speed and wavelength; otherwise, the link won’t establish.

Q: Can I Plug SFP Module into SFP+ Slots Directly?
A: An SFP+ port can often use SFP optics, but at a capped speed of 1G instead of 10G. However, an SFP+ module can’t be used in an SFP port due to SFP+ not supporting speeds below 1G.

Q: What is an MSA Compatible SFP+?
A: MSA stands for multi-source agreement, ensuring standardized fit-form. MSA-compatible SFP+ modules are interchangeable across various networks, even through third-party tools. This compatibility makes them suitable for different setups.


If you’re looking for a trustworthy SFP+ module supplier, consider Bonelinks. With over a decade of experience, we offer a wide range of SFP+ models mentioned earlier, ensuring high performance and affordability. Our SFP+ modules can establish reliable link solutions. If you’re unsure about which SFP+ modules suit your needs, our 24/7 available engineers provide free consulting services. For more on SFP+ modules and information, reach out bonelinks.com.

Echo Huang

Echo Huang is an expert wordsmith and marketing professional at Bonelinks with more than 8 years of experience in high technology businesses – fiber optics, IoT, and telecommunication. She is very glad to share industry knowledge and communicate with others.

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