10G XFP Transceiver – How Much Do You Know?


In modern fiber optic networks, various tools and gadgets which are fundamental to performing smooth networking service have been designed with the latest fiber optic technology. Among these smart inventions, one particular device—fiber optic transceiver, attracts more and more subscribers’ attention. This device has two functions that it’s both a transmitter and receiver which are combined to form a unit and use the same channels to send and receive data.

In optical communication networks, fiber optic transceivers are used to connect the cabling to the network and provide the interface between the equipment and the cabling. They can be found in many form factors for different Gigabit applications: like SFP, GBIC, XFP, SFP+, CFP, QSFP+, and so on. This article mainly talks about XFP transceiver used for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) networks.

XFP Module Development

XFP specification was developed by the XFP MSA (Multi-Source Agreement) Group. It is an informal agreement of an industry group, not officially endorsed by any standards body. The first preliminary specification was published on March 27, 2002. And the first public release was on July 19, 2002. XFP was adopted on March 3, 2003, and updated with minor updates through August 31, 2005.

XFP/XFI Interface

XFP transceiver is a little form factor hot-pluggable component intended for 10G system applications. The recognized standard with this transceiver is called XFP MSA, which was created by various companies. XFP is often referred to as XFI. XFI electrical interface specification was a 10 gigabit per second chip-to-chip electrical interface specification defined as part of the XFP MSA.

XFP Transceiver Main Features

10G Transceiver ModuleXFP transceivers can be plugged into routers, switches, transport gear, or pretty much any network device to transmit and receive signals. They are protocol-independent and hot-swappable while the device is operating, standardized to be interchangeable among vendors, capable of operating over many different physical media and at different distances. XFP is optical inter-operable with 10GBASE XENPAK, and 10GBASE X2 on the same link. Judging for its size, XFP packaging is smaller than the XENPAK form-factor, which is desirable by many designers. The smaller the footprint, the easier to design it into the systems when needed.

XFP Transceiver Port types

Being the first small form factor 10GbE optics, XFP meets the relation to MSA launched by various popular companies on the market today. There are many kinds of XFP transceivers available in the telecommunication market, including 10GBASE-SR XFP, 10GBASE-LR XFP, 10GBASE-ER XFP, and 10GBASE-ZR XFP.


10GBASE-SR XFP (ie. XFP-10G-MM-SR) is designed to work through MMF using 850nm lasers. This XFP type supports a link length of 26m on standard FDDI-grade MMF. And when using 2000 MHz/km MMF (OM3), 300m link lengths are possible. Fiberstore compatible Cisco XFP-10G-MM-SR is able to realize 300m distance reach over OM3 with the maximum data rate at 10.3125Gbps.


xfp-10g-mm-sr10GBASE-LR XFP is intended to operate via SMF using 1310nm lasers. The maximum link length that XFP 10GBASE-LR port type can support is 10km when it’s used in combination with high-quality optics.

10GBASE-ER XFP is able to realize the maximum link length of 40km via 1550nm SMF, and 10GBASE-ZR XFP is capable of realizing the utmost distance of 80km also by 1550nm SMF.

XFP Transceiver Purchasing Tips

To those 10GbE XFP transceiver subscribers, they can either go to the local store for choice or buy it online. The question is how to find a reliable seller who supplies high-quality products at affordable prices. One of the most widely used and reliable brands of transceivers is Cisco. Before making a decision, it’s advised to read the reviews on the web and testimonials from customers who have bought from it before. This matters a lot in your purchasing, leading to avoid unnecessary expenses on gadgets out of use.

However, the original brands are often expensive. When you have a tight budget, you can turn to third-party suppliers for compatible ones, like Fiberstore XFP transceivers which are quality-assured and fully compatible with some major brands, such as Cisco, Finisar, Juniper, and HP. Most importantly, those compatible XFP transceivers are really cost-effective while they ensure the same functions as the originals.


After discussion, you have gained a deeper understanding of XFP transceivers. These hot-pluggable XFP modules allow for easy configuration and future upgrading, suitable for 10GbE networks. Fiberstore provides various types of XFP transceivers, severely checked for compatibility with tools and devices from large organizations in industry, including the above mentioned XFP-10G-MM-SR (10GBASE-SR port) and ONS-XC-10G-S1.

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