SDI SFP vs. SFP Optical Transceiver: What Are the Differences?

SDI SFP optical module is also called as digital video optics or SDI(serial digital interface)optical transceiver. This optical transceiver mainly supports video pathological signal of SDI device. Different from SFP optical transceiver, SDI SFP optics is not known to many people.

What Is SDI SFP Optical Transceiver?

SDI SFP optical module and its related products are initially designed for the radio and television industry, applied for the television studio, animal filming, film shooting, large sports events live. It is extended to the 1080 PHD monitoring field. SDI SFP optical module is usually used on the SDI interface of the HD-SDI terminal device. The transmission rate and frequency for each different SDI interface are different. The following is the comparison of the SD-SDI, HD-SDI and 3G-SDI interfaces.

Connector Type SD-SD HD-SDI 3G-SDI

Signal Type

Digital signal Digital signal Digital signal
Specification SMPTE 259M SMPTE 292M SMPTE 424M
Transmission Rate 306Mbps 1.485 Gbps 2.970Gbps
Transmission Frequency 180MHz 750MHz 1.5GHz

What Is SFP Optical Transceiver?

The small form-factor pluggable (SFP) is a compact, hot-pluggable optical module transceiver used for both telecommunication and data communications applications. The form factor and electrical interface are specified by a multi-source agreement (MSA) under the auspices of the Small Form Factor Committee. It is a popular industry format jointly developed and supported by many network component vendors.


What Are the Differences Between SDI SFP and SFP Optics?

Similar to the SFP optical transceiver module, SDI SFP optics are small in size, and hot-pluggable also used to transmit and receive signals. Their differences between video SFP and SFP optical transceiver mainly lie in their different application situations. SFP optical transceiver is applied in the data communication application, while SDI SFP optical module is used to provide video transmission. In other words, the SFP optical module is used on exchangers, while SDI SFP optical transceiver is used on HD-SDI optical terminal device. As we all know, video transmission is distinguished from data communication. The biggest difference between them is that video is transmitted in the form of unidirectional, which means what video links transmit is possibly an optical signal or electrical signal. Therefore, SDI SFP optical transceiver is with two optical transmitters and two optical receivers, or one optical transceiver.

In addition, they also differ in application fields, shown as below:

Applications of SFP Optical Transceiver

SFP sockets are found in Ethernet switches, routers, firewalls and network interface cards. Storage interface cards, also called HBAs or Fibre Channel storage switches, also make use of these modules, supporting different speeds such as 2Gb, 4Gb, and 8Gb. Because of their low cost, low profile, and ability to provide a connection to different types of optical fiber, SFP provides such equipment with enhanced flexibility.

Applications of SDI SFP Optical Transceiver

1. Applied in HD Camera or Monitor System: there are usually multiple HD end-devices in HD camera or monitor system. Therefore, one HD video matrix can be used as one end which provides multiple video SFP ports, and multiple HD-SDI equipment can be used as the other ends.

2. Applied for Broadcast Video Transmission: broadcast video transmission needs high-density cabling. Thus, HD-SDI equipment with high-density video SFP ports is needed.


Generally speaking, the main difference between SDI SFP and SFP optical transceiver lies in application situations and application fields. In addition, with respect to SDI series products, in addition to SDI SFP series, there are also SDI SFP+ series, such as 6G SDI SFP+, 12G SDI SFP+, etc.

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