How About the Prospect of 100G Optical Transceiver Market?


The topics about 100G optical transceivers are involved in the previous articles. If you still know little of it, then the topic about it will be kept on.

In the development process of the 100G optical transceiver, the main problems are high cost, high power consumption on the port. In some sense, these problems are impossible to avoid whether it is via 10G*10 multimode fiber for 100G parallel transmission, or via single-mode fiber based on WDM technology for long-distance transmission. However, with the advancements in technology, these problems can be solved. Well, after that, how about the prospect of 100G optical transceivers? This article will make an analysis of it.

The Application Objects of 100G Optics

The transmission rate is different in different application scenarios. To predict the market situation of the 100G optical module, it is necessary to know its application objects at first. According to some materials, data centers can be roughly divided into two categories: Internet data center and enterprise data center. From the perspective of the scale and usage of the data centers, the demand for 100G network in Internet data centers (including some operators) is more urgent, which does not mean that enterprise data centers do not need to deploy 100G networks, but the scope is not so wide.

Types& Features of 100G Optical Transceivers

Three main types of 100G optical transceivers will be introduced in the following content, respectively QSFP28 100G SR4, QSFP28 100G PSM4, QSFP28-100G CWDM4.

1. QSFP28 100G SR4 Optical Transceiver

100G_QSFP28_SR4The wavelength of  QSFP28 SR4 is 850nm, and the interface type is 12-fibers MPO (Intermediate 4-fibers channel is not activated). It is with 4 channels combined with 8-fibers multimode fiber, each channel supporting 25G to achieve 100G rate.

Features: the interface, same as that of QSFP-40G-SR4, can be directly upgraded from 40G  to 100G. The optical module is usually connected with OM3 and OM4 multimode fiber, respectively to support the transmission distance of 70 meters and 100 meters (the recently-published technology is possible to support transmission distance of 200 meters via OM4 optic fiber).

2. QSFP28 100G PSM4 Optical Transceiver

qsfp28 psm4 opticsQSFP28 PSM4 transmission mode is similar to that of QSFP28 100G SR4. Each channel supports 25G in 4 channels. This optical module uses single-mode optic fiber as the transmission media and the wavelength is 1310nm.

Features: adopting the QSFP28 port, able to reach transmission distance of 500ms via the single mode optic fiber, which makes it have a certain advantage in the market.

3. QSFP28 100G CWDM4 Optical Transceiver

qsfp28 cwdm4The coarse wavelength division multiplexing technology and LC duplex interface are used with single-mode fiber, by which the maximum transmission distance can reach 2km. Its form factor is QSFP28. This optical module is cheaper than the traditional single-mode optical module.

Features: the coarse wavelength division multiplexing technology based on single-mode fiber has been relatively mature, but QSFP28 CWDM4 has not been formally approved by the IEEE standard group. Currently, the technology standard is unified and promoted by CWDM4 MSA.

The Prospect of 100G Optical Module Market

According to the above overviews of them, the analyses on the prospect of the 100G optical transceiver is as follows.

1. 100G SR4 QSFP28 Optical Transceiver

The development prospect of this optical module is pretty good. Although it has some limitations on the transmission distance. But with the upgrade of technology, these issues will be solved. Besides, it is with these advantages :

  • It is accorded to the standardized applications
  • It can directly disintegrate one 100G interface into 4 independent 25G interfaces via adopting the 1/4 of MPO/MTP to LC  patch cable on the interface of the 100G network device. After that, the type of switch interface can be unified, and the cost can be also reduced.
  • Its overall price is one of the most cost-effective options at present.
  • Its interface is the same as that of QSFP-40G-SR4, which makes it easy for the upgrade from 40G to 100G.

2. 100G PSM4 QSFP28 Optical Transceiver

The transmission distance of this optical module can reach 500m, which can meet the requirements of most data centers for transmission distance. In addition, it also has some advantages in cost, so that it is competitive in the market. However, its price is less possible to drop, and the post-maintenance cost is high. Generally speaking, it is difficult to become mainstream.

3. 100G CWDM4 QSFP28 Optical Transceiver

The optical module for long-distance transmission is suitable for the application of super large data center backbone, as well as the 100G connections between building backbones in the industrial parks of the data center. On account that the application is not approved by the IEEE standard group, there will exist certain limitations. It is available for part of users in large scale Internet data center. Simultaneously, it is predicted that 100G CWDM4 will not become the mainstream of 100G applications in the data center, but a small part of the main application in the large-scale 100G data center market.


It is seen from the above analyses, the different interfaces of the 100G module have different application emphases so that their applications and prospects are also different.  Hoping this post will be beneficial to some users to deploy 100G data center.

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