Tag Archives: fiber optic transceiver

Things You Should Know About SFP+ Transceiver

SFP+ transceiver in short stands for enhanced Small Form-factor Pluggable transceiver. As an enhanced version of SFP, the SFP+ transceiver is also a compact, hot pluggable optic module transceiver. The SFP+ can be used for telecommunications and data communication applications. With various standards, the SFP+ transceiver can be classified differently. In this text, we mainly focus on the SFP+ transceiver’s host interface, data rate, application, and distance.

Types of SFP+ Transceiver

Classified by host interface, the SFP+ fiber optic transceiver can be divided into linear and limiting transceivers. The linear SFP+ module is most appropriate for 10GBase-LRM; otherwise, a limiting module is preferred with the reason that it contains a signal amplifier to re-shape the degraded (received) signal whereas linear does not.

Classified by data rate, the SFP+ transceiver can still be put into three types: 8.5Gb/s SFP+, 10Gb/s SFP+, 16Gb/s SFP+. With its fast development, many vendors can provide a customized one to meet their customers’ different demands.

Classified by application, BiDi SFP+ modules, CWDM SFP+ modules, DWDM SFP+ modules, and other common SFP+ optical transceivers are covered. Considering CWDM and DWDM SFP+ transceivers, they are regarded as the most convenient and cost-effective choices for a campus, data-center, and metropolitan-area access networks using 10 Gigabit Ethernet, with a transmission speed up to 11.25G. The CWDM SFP+ transceiver is designed for bi-directional (BIDI) serial optical data communications such as IEEE 802.3ae 10GBASE-LR/LW/ER. It can support 18 wavelengths from 1270 nm to 1610 nm and has steps of 20 nm, with a transmission distance from 20 km to 80 km. The DWDM SFP+ transceiver is specifically designed for carriers and large enterprises that require a scalable, flexible, cost-effective system for multiplexing, transporting and protecting high-speed data, storage, voice and video applications in point-to-point, add/drop, ring, mesh and star network topologies. It supports more than 40 channels with a transmission distance up to 80 km. As for the BiDi SFP+ transceiver, it’s the enhanced small form-factor pluggable fiber transceiver designed for bi-directional 10G serial optical data communications. Working over one fiber, the BiDi SFP+ uses WDM technology sharing transmission directions into wavelengths of 1270 nm and 1330 nm with a distance up to 10 km, 20 km, 40 km, or 60 km.

1490nm 80km CWDM SFP+

Figure 1: 1490nm 80km CWDM SFP+ transceiver connected with single mode LC duplex cable

Classified by wavelength, 10G SFP+ can be grouped into short wavelength SFP+, long wavelength SFP+ and extra long one. For example, SFP-10G-SR belongs to the short wavelength (850 nm), supporting multimode fiber, such as OM3 (300 m) and OM4 (400 m). Besides, the 10G SFP+ copper also belongs to the short one. With an RJ45 connector, it is specifically designed for high-speed communication links that require 10 Gigabit Ethernet over Cat 6a/7 cable with a link limit of 30 m. While SFP-10G-LR can support a long wavelength and a long distance up to 10 km by using a single-mode fiber. For extra long wavelength and extended reach, 10GBASE-ER SFP+ can reach 40 km with the wavelength of 1550 nm by using a single-mode fiber, and also the 10GBASE-ZR SFP+ belongs to the extra long one, which can support the wavelength of 1550 nm with a distance up to 80 km.

10G copper SFP+ transceiver

Figure 2: 10G copper SFP+ and RJ45 Ethernet cable


With the above introduction, we will have a basic idea of what the SFP+ transceiver is and how many types it has. Since the SFP+ transceiver enjoys lots of strengths, such as high density, low cost, and low power consumption, it has been frequently used in the fiber communications industry. Now that the SFP+ possesses a wide range of types, it can meet their different needs. There is no need to doubt the SFP+ transceiver will keep releasing a huge potential in the future.

How to Clean a Fiber Optic Transceiver?

To ensure the high performance of optical data transmission, fiber optic cleaning is regarded as an essential way to get rid of the contaminants on devices. Fiber optic connectors are often recommended to be cleaned on a regular basis. Apart from the connectors, other devices such as fiber optic transceiver, optical adapter should also be cleaned when they are being polluted. This post will focus on introducing the proper method of cleaning fiber optic transceivers.

How to Find a Contaminated Optical Transceiver?

Compared with connectors, transceiver modules seem to have a smaller chance to be contaminated. Therefore, fiber optic transceivers should only be cleaned when problems occur. Generally, if signal output from the transceiver is still false or in low-power after cleaning the connectors, you can clean the fiber optic transceiver instead to solve the issue. Common contaminant in optical transceivers is the debris or particles coming through the contact with optical connector ferrules. The following picture shows the comparison of dirty and clean interfaces of transceivers under the digital microscope.

fiber optic transceiver contaminants

Cleaning Tools

Air duster and lint-free swab are the major cleaning tools for fiber optic transceivers. Air duster uses the clean dry air to blow any dust and debris out of the transceiver. Lint-free swab is special for not leaving any lint in the transceiver interface after cleaning.

cleaning tools

Things to Note Before Cleaning

A safe operation is very important to protect yourself from unnecessary accidents. Before starting the cleaning process, here are some precautions for you to note.

  • Always handle optical modules in an ESD (electro-static discharge) safe area using the proper safety precautions.
  • Ensure that the module power is off and handle the modules with care.
  • Always use CDA or an approved canned compressed air supply.
  • Always hold the can of compressed air upright. Tipping may release liquids in the air stream.
  • Do not touch the inner surfaces of the module including the OSA (optical subassemblies), or insert any foreign objects into the ports.
  • Use of finger cots or powder free surgical gloves is not required but can ensure better cleanliness.
Cleaning Procedures

After every thing is ready, you can start to clean the transceiver interface. The followings are the general cleaning steps for reference. If condition permits, you can use microscope to inspect the transceiver to ensure cleanliness. Usually, when output signal becomes normal, then the cleaning procedure is a success.

  • Step 1: Open the dust cover or remove the dust plug from the module.
  • Step 2: Use a non-abrasive cleaner (air duster) to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Step 3: Insert a lint-free cleaning stick of the appropriate size (2.5 mm or 1.25 mm) and turn clockwise. It is recommended to do dry cleaning instead of wet cleaning by using alcohol-based cleaning sticks.
  • Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 if necessary.
  • Step 5: Remove the cleaning stick, and reinsert the module’s dust cap. Always keep the dust cap inserted in the module when not in use.
  • Step 6: Always make sure that the connector is also clean before plugged into the module.

Fiber optic cleaning plays an important role in fiber optic system. Although optical transceivers are less frequent to be cleaned, the request for cleaning still exists. As long as you use the correct cleaning tools and follow the right cleaning procedures, transceivers can surely be cleaned with no more contamination. In this case, the efficiency of fiber optic system will be greatly improved.

Suggestions for Solving Unsupported Transceiver Errors

The unsupported transceiver errors may arise at any time of your work. Though this situation is the least you want to see during work, you must be enough prepared to solve issues in time. To deal with the errors is now an essential part to keep good running of devices. And different vendors will have tips to solve errors for their own products. But are there any suggestions for general issues? The answer is yes. This article will give some advice for how to deal with unsupported transceiver errors on ordinary occasions.



1)Check the error message first before actually deal with the problem. Different ways to address the errors are depending on the message you receive. Here is an example, when you receive this message, “3750e-sw1(config)#service unsupported-transceiver [1]”, the error may result from the false customer installation or a defective product. Thus, error message is a good source to decide your next step.

2)An uncertified transceiver will cause errors under most cases. When the third-party device does not come from a channel partner, problems may also arise. It is not that easy to address router issues if the transceivers is required to be made from the same manufacturer. But specialists may turn to hack codes to solve the problem.

3)Hidden commands of some devices may also cause errors. The message will go like “service unsupported transceiver”. But it allows other transceivers as an option for you to decide whether the transceiver should be replaced.

4)Before removing the transceiver to solve a third-party error, you can look up other options first. Because sometimes the third-party transceiver can provide significant savings for you. Perhaps one of the savings will help settle the problem.

About Third-Party Transceivers

Although you may encounter the unsupported errors when using the third-party transceiver, it still has some advantages. The major benefit is the cost which is much lower than the cost of original transceivers. Since the cost of transceiver takes a huge part of the entire system cost, reducing the investment on transceiver can greatly save expenses for better designs.

Also, the compatibility of third-party transceivers has been greatly increased thanks to the fully specified international standards. The risk of incompatibility is much lower, and there is no need to worry about buying a transceiver from formal vendors. For instance, FS.COM is one of the reliable manufacturers that provides cost-effective third-party transceivers, and all of the transceivers are 100% compatible to any named brands like Cisco, Juniper, Arista and so on.


Anyway, in order to avoid unsuspected transceiver errors, the fundamental aim is to make sure that the transceiver completely complies with IEEE and MSA standards. Understanding the hidden commands can also help you find out the source of error. So long as you follow the above suggestions, most of the problems can be solved in a short time. The purpose of dealing with the errors is all about getting good results, and your working efficiency will also be improved if there is no problem with the devices.

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.

How to Achieve Long Distance Transmission by Fiber Optic Transceiver

Recently we met a big project that involved the network channel installation about digital optical transmission equipment, in fact, it is not so complex as the organization network ways, just we can use with SDH and downward access with switches over backbone line, but because of?the SDH equipment covers all the site in the progress of construction, so it need to be solved for long distance network connections by another way. Fortunately, we have much experiences in using fiber optic transceiver, this page we will introduce the application of fiber optic transceiver in the network construction progress which combines with this experience.

1. Multimode fiber optic transceiver and multimode fiber optic cables

Fiber optic transceiver is an ethernet transmission device that can exchange the light signal and electrical signal, fiber optic cables that can transfer data over network can be divided into multimode fiber optic cables and single-mode fiber optic cables, fiber core diameter of multimode fiber cable is 50~62.5 μm,and the single-mode fiber cable core diameter is 8.3 μm. In fact, these data are not intuitive for us, we can judge it only by colors, the multimode fiber pigtail‘s color is orange and the single-mode fiber cable is yellow. From the network applications, because of multimode fiber optic cable can transmit for not tool long distance, it just can be used between the buildings, but because of the price is relatively cheap, so there are still some people like to use it.

2. Single-mode fiber optic transceiver series

With the development of technology, this phenomenon that?single mode fiber cables applied into the long distance network installation is more and more popular, nowadays many customers use fiber optic transceiver directly, just we call it FTTH (fiber to the home), and ?these different types of fiber optic transceivers we will introduce to you all based on single mode fiber cables.

Dual Fiber Single Network Port

The dual fiber single network port fiber optic transceiver just use two fibers, a fiber is used to receive and another is used to transmit. A group of fiber optic transceivers can achieve the exchange of electrical signal and light signal. The network device may a switch, also may a server, well, we can see the fiber optic transceiver as PC, which connected with the switch is straight through cable, and with the server is cross cable.?With the development of technology, the fiber optic transceiver ports have been generally made adaptive mode (automatic matching cross-line and direct line), it also bring conveniences to the projects.

Single Fiber Single Network Port

With the continuous development of business, we are faced with an unavoidable problem that the shortage of fiber resources. Some companies want to connect the network but there is only a fiber, it is time to use the single mode fiber optic transceiver, it means that receive and transmit signal over a fiber, this product use WDM technology, related product: passive cwdm mux?(shown as the figure). The wavelength usually are 1310nm and 1550 nm, and the 1310 nm stands for transmission, and the 1550 nm stands for receiving.


Single Fiber Dual Ethernet Port

With the development of business, some units put forward higher requirements, for example, we organized network for one bank, he asked us to provide two Ethernet lines to separate from. it needs mature and safe fiber optic transceiver device technology, in order to?simply the cost of fiber optic devices and achieve the networks over one fiber, we try our best to save the fiber sources. Our solution is that using 10/100 m adaptive port devices, access into the Ethernet link which can reach 60 km,?also keep it to support network management functions.

3. Gigabit fiber optic transceivers and integrated optical interface switches

The advantages of using fiber optic transceiver to connect the network, not only stable, but also it has fast speed, 100M full duplex and even 1000M duplex. For example, there is a Engineering machinery manufacturing enterprise, they use the 100M link to network at the beginning, but due to the requirements of the developments of business, we need to provide higher speed to them, fortunately, the progress of the technology provide good products for us, just gigabit fiber cable, from the appearances of fiber cable, it has no differences with 100M fiber transceivers. Yeah, the fiber optic transceiver we used can be directly plugged into the original power supply unit box, which just needs to change the fiber optic transceiver and then upgrade the bandwidth from Fast to Ethernet. Otherwise, we found that the education industry prefer to use an integrated gigabit fiber interface on the switches.