what is connector?

Fiber-optic connectors are used to connect two fibers together. When these connectors are used in a communications system, proper connection becomes a critical factor. Fiber-optic connectors differ from electrical or microwave connectors. In a fiber-optic system, light is transmitted through an extremely small fiber core.

SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) is a type of transceiver optics that plugs into a special port on a switch, router or other network devices to convert the port to a copper or fiber interface range from Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet speeds. Applications include Gigabit Ethernet switches and routers, fiber channel switch infrastructure, xDSL applications, and metro edge switching. we have numerous SFP module connector with various data speed rate. No doubt SFP is one of the major optical transceivers used for data communication. With ever-increasing demand for faster speed and higher density, the SFP connectors have experienced several generations of update for the signal speed capability as well as port density, from the original SFP to SFP+ and then to the new SFP28 type. The compatibility of these connecting ports is the pain point for many subscribers in data communication transmission. So what’s the similarities and differences between them and are these module connectors compatible with each other when plugged into switches? SFP28 vs SFP+ vs SFP connector, which one should you choose? This paper will give you the answer.

What Is SFP Connector?

SFP connector was first introduced in early 2000 and designed to replace the previous gigabit interface converter (GBIC) connector in fiber optic and Ethernet high-speed networking systems. Small FormFactor Pluggable (SFP) connectors and cables are long time primary types of high-speed IO interface interconnect systems used to connect server, storage, switch, video and communication systems.Based on the IEEE 802.3, SFF-8472 protocol specification, SFP module connectors has the ability to handle up to 4.25Gb/s with greater port density than the GBIC, which is why SFP is also known as mini GBIC. This allowed it to quickly become the connector of choice for system administrators who liked the idea of being able to significantly increase their output per rack. The SFP connectors can support Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) and other communication standards.

Major market segment implementations include cloud datacenters, enterprise datacenters, HPC (High Performance Computing) labs, camera surveillance systems, Internet provider systems and machine vision systems

What Is SFP+ Connector?

To cater the need for faster transmission speed, the SFP+ (or SFP10) was introduced in 2006, as an extension of the SFP connector.SFP+ is the 10-Gbps mainstream and current very high volume version of this interconnect family. Besides being specified in the 10 G Ethernet IEEE-802.3ak, this connector has been chosen for 14 Gbps InfiniBand and 16 Gbps FibreChannel. Compared with its predecessor SFP, the newly SFP+ can support Fibre Channel, 10GbE, SONET, OTN, and other communication standards. The SFP+ is similar in size to the SFP connector. And the primary difference between an SFP and a SFP+ is their transmission speed. It is noticeable that SFP/SFP+ are both copper and optical.

To meet the increased speed rate for medium and long reaches, active copper chips were added to the cable’s PCB plug connector for different signal conditioning, retiming or re-driving electrical options. Some OEM systems’ house cables have had EPROM chips on board for various system management functionality like identification and closed and secured networked system requirements. Sometimes there have been EPROM handshake inter-compatibility problems between different company products causing headaches for end-users. Although primarily a single lane interconnect, some passive copper SFP+ four lane designs have been used for 4L x 10 G = 40 Gbps short links versus using the larger traditional QSFP+ connector. SFP+ Active Optical Cables have been mostly used for 10+ meter reaches. This is done by having an E/O engine chip on the plug’s PCB and terminating optical fibered cable to the plug.

what is SFP28 connector?

SFP28 or 25G SFP+,assembly solution enables a new generation of high-density 25G Ethernet switches, which facilitates server connectivity in data centers, and offers cost-effective upgrade path for enterprises deploying 10G Ethernet links today to 100G or even 400G in the future. SFP28 stands for Small Form-Factor Pluggable 28. It is the third generation of the SFP interconnect systems  designed to operate at 25.78125 Gb/s. However SFP28 has an increased bandwidth, superior impedance control and less crosstalk than the SFP+ solution. it operates on a  25G performance per the IEEE 802.3by specification (25GBASE-CR). Furthermore, SFP28, is the upgraded version of SFP+, is designed for 25G signal transmission. SFP28 utilizes the same familiar form factor as SFP+, but the electrical interface is upgraded to handle 25Gbps per lane. Since its transmission rate can reach up to 28Gbps, the engineering and industry name is SFP28. SFP28 is considered the rising sun in the industry to deliver enhanced bandwidth, superior impedance control and less crosstalk.


1.SFP transceiver modules are MSA compliant to ensure interoperability with all other MSA-compliant networking devices.

2.The connection quality depends on two factors: the type of connector and the proper cleaning and connection techniques.