Tag Archives: 10GBASE-T

10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Transceiver: A New Option For 10GbE Network

10GBASE-T SFP+ transceiver is specifically designed for high speed communication links that require 10 Gigabit Ethernet over copper cable (Cat 6a/7 cable). 10GBASE-T SFP+ copper transceiver is the first SFP+ transceiver that offers 10 Gb/s communication over this type of media. Compared with other 10GbE optical modules, the 10GBASE-T SFP+ copper  transceiver has stable performance, you can take full advantage of the existing copper cabling. The following post will briefly introduce some related information about 10GBASE-T copper SFP+ transceiver.

Basic Introduction to 10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Transceiver

10GBASE-T SFP+ copper transceiver has high performance, good reliability and is a cost-effective I/O solution for 10G Ethernet and 10G Fibre Channel applications. SFP+ 10GBASE-T copper transceiver is mainly used in Cat 6a or Cat 7 copper cabling system for 10G transmission with a maximum distance up to 100m. In addition, compared with SFP+ DAC, 10GBASE-T copper SFP+ transceiver can save at least 0.5W power consumption, and its port can both support STP (shielded twisted pair) and UTP (unshielded twisted pair). Therefore 10GBASE-T SFP+ transceiver is becoming more and more popular in network switches and servers because of its lower power consumption and pay-as-you-grow flexibility.

10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Transceiver Vs. SFP+ Optical Transceiver Vs. SFP+ DAC

SFP+ DAC, SFP+ optical transceiver and 10GBASE-T SFP+ copper transceiver are three common components used in 10G connections. The following chart reveals the differences between them.

10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Transceiver Vs. SFP+ Optical Transceiver Vs. SFP+ DAC

Form the figure, we can see that each option has its advantages, but 10GBASE-T’s compatibility with existing structured cabling devices and existing low-speed devices makes it uniquely suited for widespread deployment. These features, combined with superior cost and achievable features, make the simplest path of 10GBase migrate from Gigabit Ethernet to 10G Ethernet. What’s more, the 10GBASE-T SFP+ transceiver module has been optimized to save at least 0.5W per port compared to an embedded 10GBASE-T RJ45 port for link distances up to 30m. Thus, the power savings and corresponding operating cost reduction can be substantial.

Features & Advantages of 10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Transceiver

  • Cost effective at up to 30m distance on UTP cables
  • Extension of the life of any switch hardware, without having to change existing infrastructure
  • Architecture Flexibility: Supports Top of Rack, Middle of Row or End of Row architectures
  • Auto-negotiable backward-compatibility with previous-generation BASE-T networks for a seamless migration to 10GbE
  • Field twisted pair cabling with familiar RJ-45 connector
  • Support for multi-gigabit data rates up to 10 Gbps

10g sfp+ copper rj45 port

Conclusion

As 10GBASE-T network equipment becomes increasingly available, data center decision makers will want to take advantage of the cost savings, convenience, and flexibility provided by deploying 10 Gb/s technology over balanced twisted-pair copper cabling. Nowadays SFP+ 10GBASE-T transceiver, owing to the compatible issue with switches, is not offered by many vendors. However, from a network equipment designer’s perspective, 10G SFP+ copper modules will become popular in the near future. FS.COM has released 10GBASE-T SFP+ copper modules that are tested compatible with major brands like Cisco, Juniper, Dell, Brocade, Arista.

Copper Cabling Choices For 10GbE

As switching standards is growing maturer and copper cabling standards catch up, the use of copper cabling for 10GbE is becoming more and more popular. Currently, there are four different copper cabling technologies for 10 Gigabit Ethernet, each with its pros and cons. Although fiber (SFP+ optics) delivers the lowest latency and feature flexibility, many IT departments still prefer to use copper cabling for switch-to-switch or switch-to-server connections.

10GBase-CX4

10GBASE-CX4 was the first 10G copper standard published by 802.3. CX4 modules use 4-lane PCS and copper cabling and have a maximum distance of 15 meters. Despite its larger size of connector, CX4 module was initially designed as a replacement for legacy Infiniband switching hardware and a lower-cost switch interface. 10GBASE-CX4 offers the advantages of low power, low cost, and low latency, but has a bigger form factor and more bulky cables than the newer SFP+ standard and a much shorter reach than fiber or 10GBASE-T.

10G SFP+ Direct Attach Cabling

10G SFP+ DAC is also known as 10GSFP+Cu, 10GBase-CR, or 10GBase-CX1, SFP+, or 10GbE Cu SFP cable. SFP+ Direct Attached Cables feature rugged twinaxial cables that connect directly into a low-profile small form-factor pluggable plus (SFP+) diecast connector housing. SFP+ Direct Attach has a fixed-length cable, typically 3, 5 or 7m in length, and like 10GBASE-CX4, feature low power, low cost and low latency with the added advantages of using less bulky cables and of having the small form factor of SFP+.

10g sfp+ dac

10GBASE-T

According to wikipedia, 10GBASE-T is a standard released in 2006 to provide 10 Gbit/s connections over unshielded or shielded twisted pair cables, over distances up to 100 meters. 10GBASE-T SFP+ copper transceiver module uses standard RJ-45 connectors that are already widely used with Ethernet. 10GBASE-T cable infrastructure can also be used for 1000BASE-T allowing a transition from 1000BASE-T using auto negotiation to select which speed to use. 10GBASE-T is available from several manufacturers like Mikrotik, HPE and FS.COM with power consumption of 3-4 W per port with current generation PHY’s (2012) and promise even better power management in the future.

Backplane

Backplane Ethernet, also known as 802.3ap, is used in backplane applications such as blade servers and modular routers/switches with upgradable line cards. 802.3ap implementations are required to operate in an environment comprising up to 1 meter (39 in) of copper printed circuit board with two connectors. There are two port types for 10 Gbit/s Backplane specs, (10GBASE-KX4 and 10GBASE-KR). New backplane designs use 10GBASE-KR rather than 10GBASE-KX4.

Conclusion

The growth in the number of 10Gb Ethernet networks and the improved efficiency in the physical layer components, have allowed 10Gb Ethernet deployments to have a much broader footprint. 10GbE optics like 10GBASE-T copper SFP+ transceiver module begin to take up a foothold in 10G network deployment. More importantly, 10GBase-T provides a cost-effective method for migrating from your current network to 10G Ethernet by utilizing your existing RJ-45 copper short connections. For 10GbE network components, you get them either on Amazon, Mikrotik, HP or FS.COM.

Fiberstore’s 10 Gigabit Ethernet Transceivers and Cables Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between SFP+ and SFP?

The pinouts of SFP and SFP+ connectors are identical. However, SFP has a maximum data rate of 5Gb/s whereas SFP+ is designed for 10Gb/s. The SFP receptacles and plugs are not as well impedance matched as SFP+ receptacles and plugs. Also SFP+ cable is designed for 10Gb/s whereas SFP cable may not be able to satisfactorily transmit that rate.

What is the distance supported by the SFP+ SR transceiver?

The supported distance is up to 300 meters depending on the quality of the multimode fiber (MMF) you use. Quality of MMF is listed as OM1 (up to 33 meters), OM2 (up to 82 meters), OM3 (up to 300 meters), and OM4 (up to 400 meters). Check with the supplier for the cable distance supported. Take GP-10GSFP-1S as an example, it is Dell Force10 10GBASE-SR SFP+ covering a distance of 300m over OM3 multimode cable.

Can I use SFP+ cables in SFP ports?

Yes, SFP+ cables are compatible to SFP ports and will work fine. SFP cables are not compatible to SFP+ ports. SFP+ receptacles have a mechanical feature to prevent engaging SFP plugs.

Do Fiberstore’s SFP+ direct-attach Twinx passive cables work with Cisco or other third-party switches?

Fiberstore’s direct-attach SFP+ Twinx passive cables are fully compatible with the original brand like Cisco. For example, SFP-H10GB-CU3M is Cisco SFP+ to SFP+ passive copper cable from Fiberstore which is fully compatible with Cisco switch. The following image shows that our professional trained staff tests the compatibility and interoperability of each optics to make sure our customers to receiver the optics with superior quality.

Fiberstore test program

What are the distances supported by cables to use with the 10GBase-T ports? Does Fiberstore offer these cables?

Data centers have a large installed base of Cat 5/6/7 twisted pair cables for the last decades—initially for 1000BASE-T and now for use with 1/10GBase-T infrastructure. Fiberstore does offer these cables since they are industry standard and widely available from us in various lengths and colors. Distances supported at 10 Gbps speed:

  • CAT 6A and CAT 7 cables supporting 100 meters
  • CAT 5e and CAT 6 cables supporting 55 meters

Do the SFP+ optical transceivers support 1 GbE operation?

Yes, they support 1GbE and 10 GbE dual rates and can be configured for 1 GbE.

Will the SFP+ optical transceivers auto-negotiate between 1 GbE and 10 GbE?

Auto-negotiation is not supported between the 10 GE and 1 GE speed. The transceiver must be manually configured to operate at 1 GE speed.

How do I use the SFP+ ports for 1000BASE-T?

You need to purchase Fiberstore’s SFP+ to 1000BASE-T Media Converter. (SFP+/Copper RJ45), part number FMC-1SFP/1RJ45-GB.

Is TwinX same as Twinax?

Yes.

Does the Twinx copper cable plug directly into the NIC and the switch?

Yes, the copper cable has an SFP+ or QSFP connector on both ends of the cable that directly plugs into the corresponding ports of the switch and NIC.

Should I use optical transceivers with the SFP+ and QSFP direct-attach Twinx copper cables?

No. These are direct-attach Twinx cables and come with connectors that plug directly into the SFP+ port or the QSFP port of the switch/NIC on either end. Transceiver cannot be used.

What is the advantage of SFP+ Twinx copper cable?

It is a low-cost option for shorter distances up to 5 meters.

Is 10GBase-T same as 10GBASE-T?

Yes. 1GBase-T is shorthand for 1000BASE-T and 10GBase-T is same as 10GBASE-T; they are the twisted pair implementations of 1 GbE and 10 GbE respectively.

What are the SFP+ copper cables provided by Fiberstore?

10G SFP+ copper cable

The above chart lists detailed information about some of the 10G SFP+ cables from Fiberstore. We also offer SFP+ copper cables that are fully compatible with major brand like Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, etc. The supported distance of this cable varies from 0.5m to 7m. Users can connect our SFP+ copper cable with top-of-rack (ToR) switch to realize 10G connectivity. For more information, please contact us directly.

The Evolution Path of BASE-T

With the requirements laid on data center increasing rapidly, the ability to flexibly adapt to future demands is tremendously crucial for data center managers. Often this can be achieved by deploying higher bandwidth solutions in a part of the data center, provided that these systems are backwards compatible with existing infrastructure or it may be a cost-consuming method. BASE-T technology featured by its low cost, availability and flexibility is largely favored by data center designers. This article illustrates the migration of BASE-T technology so that people can future proof their data center tomorrow.

Why BASE-T Is so Popular?
To be short, three main advantages will be concluded in the following part.
1. Least cost access layer alternative when compared to other interconnect technologies

  • Optical (e.g. SR, LR)
  • Direct-Attached

2.Structured topology

  • Common physical interface (RJ45)
  • Flexibility and longevity
  • Optimized for small to medium-sized data centers (< 20K square feet)

3. Supports auto-negotiation and Power-Over-Ethernet

  • Simple plug and play installation
  • Ubiquitous RJ45 interface simplifies 10GBASE-T to 40GBASE-T upgrade path

1000BASE-T—Gigabit Ethernet Over 4-pair Cat 5 Cabling
1000BASE-T (ratified in 1999) is a Gigabit Ethernet standard over copper wiring at the speed of 1000 Mbps. Each 1000BASE-T network segment can support a maximum length of 100 meters, and uses Category 5 cable or better (including Cat 5e and Cat 6). 1000BASE-T also uses a symbol rate of 125 Mbaud and all four pairs for the link and a more sophisticated five-level coding scheme. The 1000BASE-T SFP operates on standard Category 5 unshielded twisted-pair copper cabling of link lengths up to 100 m.

Realizing 10BASE-T
Upgraded from 1000BASE-T, 10GBASE-T (certificated in 2006) offers the most flexibility, the lowest cost media, and is backward-compatible with existing 1 GbE networks. 10GBASE-T connected with Cat 6 and Cat 6A (or above) cabling supports a length up to 100 meters that gives IT managers a far greater level of flexibility in connecting devices in the data center. 10GBASE-T and Category 6A cabling costs less than using either optical fiber or SFP+ direct attach copper (DAC) options that have been widely deployed to date center for 10 Gb/s. For example, EX-SFP-10GE-DAC-1M can only support a link length of 1m that largely limits its application. Figure 1 presents a comparison between 1000GBASE-T and 10GBASE-T.

comparison between two BASE-T technology

Road to 40GBASE-T in Data Center Networks
If there is a 10GBASE-T for switch-to-server and switch-to-switch connectivity, there will be a 40GBASE-T over twisted pair cabling for the 40G data center deployment according to the IEEE. Twisted pair cabling with the RJ-45 connector has always been the first choice for IT professionals, based on its low cost and ease of use. Unlike fiber or twinax solutions, twisted pair cabling can automatically switch to different data rates, such as from 100MbE to 10GbE. Therefore migration to 40GBASE-T does not require a upgrade of all the equipment of the data center, which will reduce of the overall expenditure of the data center.

The advantages of 40GBASE-T are clear, but the path from initial ratification to commercial availability is not always smooth. There still a few months off for 40GBASE-T standardization, here comes some good news, as well as some considerations.

40GBASE-T is specified with transmission performance up to 2 GHz (four times the bandwidth of Category 6A) with a lot more stringent alien crosstalk requirements. Since initial 40GBASE-T applications would be limited to data centers, the traditional twisted pair Ethernet 100m link length is not essential. Additionally, Industry players helping in the development of an industry standard for 40GBASE-T have to ensure that it could be supported and rolled out cost-effectively. The new standard will minimize the time it will take to develop new electronics for switches and servers that can support 40GBASE-T connectivity, by building on the work already completed to support 10GbE connections. The standard will also support the ubiquitous RJ-45 connector. Sooner or later, 40GBASE-T will be upon us. Nowadays 40GBASE-LR4, 40GBASE-SR and 40G QSFP+ cables are there to help with the deployment of 40G connectivity. Take JG330A as an example, it is QSFP+ to 4SFP+ Passive Copper Cable available for short reach application. Figure 2 shows a data center twisted-pair migration roadmap.

Data Center Twisted-Pair Migration Roadmap

Summary
BASE-T technology (1000BASE-T, 10GBASE-T or 40GBASE-T) always retains the traditional advantages—low cost, easy to deploy and auto-negotiation for plug and play and backwards compatibility. 1000BASE-T and 10GBASE-T have already brought benefits to people. But no one can foresee that 40GBASE-T will be used in the future but future-proof planning of the cabling is important, given the long life of the cabling systems. Fiberstore provides a full range of BASE-T products including 1000BASE-T SFP, 1000BASE-T media converter, 1000BASE-T GBIC transceiver, etc. And 40GBASE-T devices will be coming soon. If you have any request of our products, please send your inquiry to us.