Tag Archives: SFP

Will Single-mode Fiber Work Over Multimode SFP Transceiver?

Network installers usually come across a situation that device you have in your network does not always fit and work perfectly with the fiber. They plan to make a cable plant based on the multimode cabling, but owing to the link limitation or other reasons, they have to connect multimode equipment with single-mode devices. Is it feasible? Or put it more specifically, can I use the multimode SFP over single-mode fibers or vice versa? This article will give you a detailed illustration about the feasibility of the solutions, and introduce two relevant devices (mode conditioning cable and multimode to single-mode fiber media converter).

Single-mode Fiber Over Multimode SFP—You Can If You Are Lucky

This is the question that has been asked so many time, but no one can give the exact answer—yes or no. Hence, let’s illustrate it in details.

Most people think single-mode and multimode fibers are not interchangable because of the wave length of the laser and core size of the fiber. Single-mode fiber (MMF) uses a laser as a light source (the light beam is very concentrated), while multimode fiber (MMF) uses an LED to generate the signal. This would require two significantly different devices to generate the signal.

The core sizes are drastically different between SMF and MMF. SMF is 9 micron and multimode is 62.5 or 50 micron. If users try to mix the single-mode and multimode cabling in the same network, they might have trouble dealing with the two different types of signal.

However, it is possible to interconnect two devices using SMF interfaces at one end and MMF receiver at the other end. Keep in mind that it depends on the devices, so you can if you are lucky. When plugging LC single-mode duplex fibers on the multimode fiber transceiver (1000GBASE-SX) in the network, you will find the link came up (the light on the switch turns green). Therefore, the multimode fiber transceiver connected by the single-mode fibers works for short-reach application. The following image is the real screenshot of the single-mode fibers inserting into the 1000BASE-SX SFP.

real screenshot of inserting single-mode fiber over multimode fiber transceivers

While it should be stressed that the link is not reliable and it only works for particular brand devices with a very short link length. Many sophisticated vendors like Huawei, Alcatel or Cisco do not support it. Nevertheless, owing to the differential mode delay (DMD) effect, signal loss of this connection is not acceptable, either.

To sum up, this might be feasible but not advisable. If you need to make a connection between single-mode and multimode interfaces, you’d better use the intermediate switch that is able to convert the signals between single-mode and multimode fibers. The following part will introduce two solutions that might be helpful for the multimode and single-mode conversion.

Solution 1: MCP Cable—Single-mode In and Multimode Out

As to the multimode fiber with single-mode SFPs, most people mention the mode conditioning patch (MCP) cables. The MCP cable is launched to support 1000BASE-LX optics over multimode cable plant. The mode conditioning cables allow customers to successfully run Gigabit Ethernet over our multimode cable using single-mode fiber transceivers, Cisco 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP is the special type of transceiver that can both support single-mode and multimode fibers. The image below displays the difference between standard SC multimode patch cable and SC mode conditioning patch cable.

comparison between standard SC multimode fiber patch cable and SC MCP cable

Then, in this situation, you can run successfully from a single-mode fiber transceiver over multimode fiber with the use of MCP cables, but the distance will not exceed the link specification for multimode transceivers. Otherwise, there will be much signal loss in the cable run.

In general, if you want to run multimode fiber optic cable over 1000BASE-LX SFPs, you can use the mode conditioning cable. However, mode conditioning patch cords are required for link distances greater than 984 feet (300 meters). For distance less than 300 m, please omit the mode conditioning patch cords (although there is no problem using it on short links).

Solution 2: Fiber to Fiber Media Converter—Conversion Between Multimode and Single-mode Fibers

As noted before, mode conditioning cables, to some extent, can realize the connection between single-mode to multimode, but you can not say that you can convert single-mode to multimode or vice versa. Mode conversion between multimode and single-mode fibers often requires fiber to fiber media converters or the single-mode to multimode fiber converter.


In the above diagram, two Ethernet switches equipped with multimode fiber ports are connected utilizing a pair of fiber-to-fiber converters which convert the multimode fiber to single-mode and enable network connectivity across the distance between Gigabit switches.


It doesn’t really make much sense to use the single-mode fiber transceivers with multimode fibers in your network or vice versa, although the link will come up. Like I said above, you can if you are lucky connect. MCP cables and fiber to fiber converter are the two available options for single-mode and multimode connection. If you bought the wrong fiber optic cables, just replace it into the right one. Fiber optic cables and optical transceivers modules nowadays are very cheap. You won’t need to risk of mixing them in the same network.

Original Source : Single-mode Fiber Work Over Multimode SFP Transceiver

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?


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 Basics of 1000BASE-SX and 1000BASE-LX SFP

Gigabit Ethernet has been regarded as a huge breakthrough of telecom industry by offering speeds of up to 100Mbps. Gigabit Ethernet is a standard for transmitting Ethernet frames at a rate of a gigabit per second. There are five physical layer standards for Gigabit Ethernet using optical fiber (1000BASE-X), twisted pair cable (1000BASE-T), or shielded balanced copper cable (1000BASE-CX). 1000BASE-LX and 1000BASE-SX SFP are two common types of optical transceiver modules in the market. Today’s topic will be a brief introduction to 1000BASE-LX and 1000BASE-SX SFP transceivers.

1000BASE in these terms refers to a Gigabit Ethernet connection that uses the unfiltered cable for transmission. “X” means 4B/5B block coding for Fast Ethernet or 8B/10B block coding for Gigabit Ethernet. “L” means long-range single- or multi-mode optical cable (100 m to 10 km). “S” means short-range multi-mode optical cable (less than 100 m).

1000BASE-SX is a fiber optic Gigabit Ethernet standard for operation over multi-mode fiber using a 770 to 860 nanometer, near infrared (NIR) light wavelength. The standard specifies a distance capability between 220 meters and 550 meters. In practice, with good quality fiber, optics, and terminations, 1000BASE-SX will usually work over significantly longer distances. This standard is highly popular for intra-building links in large office buildings, co-location facilities and carrier neutral internet exchanges. 1000BASE-SX SFP works at 850nm wavelength and used only for the purposed of the multimode optical fiber with an LC connector. 1000BASE-SX SFP traditional 50 microns of multimode optical fiber link is 550 meters high and 62.5 micron fiber distributed data interface (FDDI) multimode optical fiber is up to 220 meters. Take EX-SFP-1GE-SX as an example, its maximum distance is 550m with DOM support. The 1000Base-SX standard supports the multimode fiber distances shown in table 1.

1000Base-SX standard

Specified in IEEE 802.3 Clause 38, 1000BASE-LX is a type of standard for implementing Gigabit Ethernet networks. The “LX” in 1000BASE-LX stands for long wavelength, indicating that this version of Gigabit Ethernet is intended for use with long-wavelength transmissions (1270–1355 nm) over long cable runs of fiber optic cabling. 1000BASE-LX can run over both single mode fiber and multimode fiber with a distance of up to 5 km and 550 m, respectively. For link distances greater than 300 m, the use of a special launch conditioning patch cord may be required. 1000BASE-LX is intended mainly for connecting high-speed hubs, Ethernet switches, and routers together in different wiring closets or buildings using long cabling runs, and developed to support longer-length multimode building fiber backbones and single-mode campus backbones. E1MG-LX-OM is Brocade 1000BASE-LX SFP that operates over a wavelength of 1310nm for 10 km.


Difference Between LX, LH and LX/LH
Many vendors use both LH and LX/LH for certain SFP modules, this SFP type is similar with the other SFPs in basic working principle and size. However, LH and LX/LH aren’t a Gigabit Ethernet standard and are compatible with 1000BASE-LX standard. 1000BASE-LH SFP operates a distance up to 70km over single-mode fiber. For example, Cisco MGBLH1 1000BASE-LH SFP covers a link length of 40km that make itself perfect for long-reach application. 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP can operate on standard single-mode fiber-optic link spans of up to 10 km and up to 550 m on any multimode fibers. In addition, when used over legacy multimode fiber type, the transmitter should be coupled through a mode conditioning patch cable.

1000BASE SFP transceiver is the most commonly used component for Gigabit Ethernet application. With so many types available in the market, careful notice should be given to the range of differences, both in distance and price of multimode and single-mode fiber optics. Fiberstore offers a large amount of in-stock 1000BASE SFP transceivers which are compatible for Cisco, Juniper, Dell, Finisar, Brocade, or Netgear in various options. If you have any requirement of our products, please send your request to us.

Introduction to 10G SFP+ Twinax Cabling

Driven by the never-ending requirement for faster data-rate transmission, Ethernet technology has continually evolved from 1GbE to 10GbE and eventually to 100GbE. This demand for faster application speed has also spurred technological evolution on data carrying techniques. Consequently, fiber and copper transmission standards has been progressed, providing greater bandwidth for transporting data over Ethernet architectures with reduced cost and complexity. In today’s article, some detailed information will be provided on 10G SFP+ twinax cabling.

Why Implementing 10G SFP+ Twinax Cabling?
Many research companies forecast that 2016 will be the year of 100G. So why implementing 10G twinax cabling here? There are several reasons which will help you sort this out. Regardless of cost, most LAN infrastructures employ a mixture of copper and fiber premises wiring. 10GbE bandwidth are generally sufficient to support the transfer and streaming of large data, video and audio files. Thus there are no demands for greater network performance or application bandwidth. What’s more, costs associated with re-cabling a network can be exorbitant and organizations should take precautions to ensure their cabling systems can last well into the future. 10GbE twinax cabling provides the best assurance for being able to support forthcoming technologies and delivers utmost investment protection.

What Is 10G SFP+ Twinaxial Direct Attach Cable?
SFP+ Direct Attach Cable (DAC) is a copper 10G Ethernet cable which comes in either an active or passive twinax cable. The difference between them is that an active twinax cable has active electronic components in the SFP+ housing to improve the signal quality while a passive twinax cable is just a straight “wire” and contains few components. As such, they support different transmission distance. SFP+ DAC cables use SFP+ MSA and copper “twinaxial” cable with SFP+ connectors on both sides providing 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity between devices with SFP+ interfaces, which is expected to be the optimum solution for 10G Ethernet reaches up to 10 m.

Passive SFP+ Cable Assemblies
The passive SFP+ twinax cable is designed to support connections for 10 Gigabit Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet switches with 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplink. Passive SFP+ cables, as noted before, have no electrical components and typical cover a distance of 1m, 3m, and 5m. For example, compatible Cisco SFP+ cables from Fiberstore like SFP-H10GB-CU3M, SFP-H10GB-CU1M, and MA-CBL-TA-1M, are programmed specifically to work with Cisco equipment. When these cables are plugged into Cisco equipment, they will not trigger the warning message that a non-Cisco transceiver has been detected. Figure 1 shows compatible Cisco SFP-H10GB-CU3M SFP+ to SFP+ passive copper cable with SFP+ connectors.

SFP+ Passive Copper Cable with SFP+ connectors

Active SFP+ Cable Assemblies
Active SFP+ twinax cables, compared with passive SFP+ cables can support longer transmission distance of 7m and 10m or up to 15m (distance may vary from vendors to vendors). For designs that only support SR and LR applications, active direct attach copper cable assemblies provide functions such as transmit disable and receiver loss of signal in addition to signal amplification, which makes it ideal for highly cost-effective networking connectivity between switches and servers. Figure 2 shows an active copper SFP+ DAC cable with SFP+ connectors.

SFP+ Active Copper Cable with SFP+ connectors

From these two pictures, we can see that there is no visual difference between active and passive SFP+ twinax cables. So, people should read the product specifications carefully before purchasing twinax cables.

SFP+ twinax cables offer a cost-effective way to interconnect 10G Ethernet devices within racks and across adjacent racks. These cables are usually accommodated into the SFP+ transceiver housing of a switch or server. Fiberstore SFP+ twinax DAC cables provide robust connections for leading edge 10GbE systems. We provide a full range of SFP+ DAC cables including SFP-H10GB-CU3M, SFP-H10GB-CU1M, EX-SFP-10GE-DAC-1M, JD097C, JD095C, etc. These SFP+ twinax cables are fully compatible with major brand. For more detailed information, please visit www.fs.com or contact us over sales@fs.com.

Basic Information About Fiber Optic Transceiver

Optical fiber transceivers are also called fiber optic transmitter and receiver, which are used to send and receive optical information in a variety of different applications. The role of the optical module is photoelectric conversion. These optical modules are scalable and flexible in their use, and this is why they are preferred by designers. Here is what you need to know about the basics of fiber optic transceivers.

Fiber Optic Transmitters and Receivers
Fiber optic transmission system consists of a transmitter on one end of a fiber and a receiver on the other end. The transmitter end takes in and converts the electrical signal into light, after the optical fiber transmission in the fiber cable plant, the receiver end again converts the light signal into electrical signal. Both the receiver and the transmitter ends have their own circuitry and can handle transmissions in both directions. Fiber optic cables can both send and receive information. The cables can be made of different fibers, and the information can be transmitted at different times. The following picture shows a fiber optic datalink.

fiber optic datalink

Sources of Fiber Optic Transceiver
There are four types of fiber transmitters used to convert electrical signals into optical signals. These sources of fiber optic transmitters include: distributed feedback (DFB) lasers, fabry-perot (FP) lasers, LEDs, and vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). They are all semiconductor chips. Take QSFP-40G-UNIV as an example, it is Arista QSFP-40G-UNIV compatible 40G QSFP+ transceiver. It uses DFB lasers as sources for fiber optic transmitters, which are used in long distance and DWDM systems. DFB lasers have the narrowest spectral width which minimizes chromatic dispersion on the longest links.

Arista QSFP-40G-UNIV

The choice of the devices is determined mainly by speed and fiber compatibility issues. As many premises systems using multi-mode fiber have exceeded bit rates of 1 Gb/s, lasers (mostly VCSELs) have replaced LEDs. Fiber optic transceivers are reliable, but they may malfunction or become out-dated. If an upgrade is necessary, there are hot-swappable fiber optic transceivers. These devices make it easy to replace or repair without powering down the device.

How Fiber Optic Transceiver Works?
Information is sent in the form of pulses of the light in the fiber optics. The light pulses have to be converted into electrical ones in order to be utilized by an electronic device. Thanks to the conversion by fiber optic transceivers: In its fiber optic data links, the transmitter converts an electrical signal into an optical signal, which is coupled with a connector and transmitted through a fiber optic cable. The light from the end of the cable is coupled to a receiver, where a detector converts the light back into an electrical signal. Either a light emitting diode (LED) or a laser diode is used as the light source.

Optical fiber transceivers are usually packaged in industry standard packages like SFP, SFP+, XFP, X2, Xenpak, GBIC. According to the fiber type it connects to, there are MM (multi-mode), SM (Single-mode), as well as WDM fiber (CWDM, DWDM modules). The SFP modules support up to 4.25 Gbps with a connector on the optical end and a standard electrical interface on the other end. The QSFP are for 40 Gigabit networks using a LC duplex connection. Take compatible Brocade 40G-QSFP-LR4 as an example, it supports link lengths of 10km on single-mode fiber cable at a wavelength of 1310nm.

Keep in mind that fiber optic transceiver has two ends. One has an optical cable plug and another for connecting an electrical device. Each aspect of the transceivers is necessary to properly deliver a signal to its destination. Be aware of all aspects of fiber optic transceivers to purchase what you need for your application. Fiberstore supplies a wide variety of 40GBASE QSFP+ transceiver modules for you to choose from. More detailed, please contact us directly.