Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP) transceiver modules form the interface between fiber optics and devices like Ethernet switches, routers and network interface cards (NICs.) SFP modules are available for both single and multi-mode fiber and with speeds up to 10 Gbps.
SFP modules make it easy to connect switches and network components that use fiber optic cabling. Their “pluggable” nature makes for quick installation into the SFP sockets provided in most switches. As they are hot-swappable, if the fiber type or wavelength is changed or the network upgraded, the SFPs can be replaced in seconds. Sometimes referred to as “mini-GBIC”, SFP modules are available to suit equipment from leading manufacturers such as Cisco, Brocade, Juniper, Dell, and HP.
Fiber is a robust and inexpensive way of sending data long distances and is used extensively in commercial and industrial networks.
Most SFP modules contain an optical transmitter and a receiver. These accept a standard fiber termination style such as LC which provides duplex communication. Electrical signals are converted to visible or IR light for transmission and received light is converted back into the appropriate electrical signals.
Networks use one of two transmission methods: single-mode or multi-mode. Single-mode offers a much longer range – potentially many miles - and higher bandwidth, but multi-mode is used in most industrial and commercial environments.
Dimensions and electrical interfaces of SFP modules are “standardized” by a “multi-source agreement” (MSA) between the various network hardware manufacturers rather than through a formal standards process. As there are differences between various hardware vendors, it is important to select modules to suit the brand of switch, router or NIC being used. Westward Sales carries SFP modules compatible with all major equipment brands.
SFP modules meet a range of needs and applications. Manufactured by Antaira, these come with a 5-year warranty. Most are available in both multi and single-mode versions for easy integration with existing fiber infrastructure. For speeds from 4.25 to 10 Gbps look for the SFP+ designation. Extended temperature versions designed to operate reliably from -40 to 85°C are available.
Fiber optic cabling is a robust, reliable, and high-speed means of sending data over short or long distances. Hot-swappable SFP modules simplify the integration of fiber with network equipment like Ethernet switches. To determine which modules are right for your application contact a Westward Sales network expert.