Why Is a 10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Transceiver Needed?


The growing use of virtualization in data centers has addressed the need for 10G Ethernet as a way to reduce the complexities when using the existing 1G Ethernet infrastructures. Moving to 10G Ethernet has a number of choice from 10GbE interfaces including CX4, 10G SFP+, SFP+ direct attach copper (10G SFP+ Cu) and 10GBASE-T. However, 10GBASE-T is perceived as a more cost-effective solution for broad deployments. The 10GBASE-T SFP+ copper transceiver offers the potential to deliver power-saving connectivity by utilizing Cat 6a/7 cable infrastructure with pay-as-you-grow flexibility.

10GBASE-T Standard

10GBASE-T, also known as IEEE 802.3an, is the Ethernet standard released in 2006 to provide 10Gbps connections over unshielded or shielded twisted pair cables (Cat6/Cat7) over distances up to 100 meters (330 ft). 10GBASE-T is the fourth generation of IEEE standardized BASE-T technologies which all use RJ45 connectors and unshielded twisted pair cabling to provide 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1Gbps, and 10Gbps data transmission while being backward-compatible with prior generations.

10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Transceiver – RJ45 Connector

Last year, HPE and other vendors launched a 10GBASE-T SFP+ copper transceiver, giving the equipment designers and data center professionals a new option in deploying their network solutions. The 10GBASE-T SFP+ copper transceiver is specifically designed for high-speed communication links that require 10 Gigabit Ethernet over Cat 6a/7 cable with a link limit of 30 m. It is the first SFP+ transceiver that offers 10Gb/s communication over RJ45 copper cables. And this latest generation of 10GBASE-T interfaces reduces the average watt per Gigabit to less than that of GbE connections. The power consumption of SFP+ 10GBASE-T copper module is 2.5 watts, which is far less than the SFP+ DAC cable (nearly 4-8 watts). These power savings can add-up in ToR, mid-row and end-of-row switch connectivity. So the 10GBASE-T transceiver is a power-optimized solution for lengths up to 30m to optimize capital expense and reduce recurring operational expense.


10GBASE-T SFP+, SFP+ DAC, and SFP+ optical transceiver are the most commonly used types in the 10G network. When migrating a data center from 1G to 10G, many people are confused about how to make choice: 10GBASE-T or SFP+. SFP+ optics including SFP+ fiber optical transceivers and SFP+ direct attach copper (DAC) cables, dominates the 10Gbps connectivity solution in the core or spine due to the longer link lengths and higher aggregated data bandwidth. However, SFP+ 10GBASE-T module uses the Cat6a cables for a link length of 30 m over RJ45 connectors, which is proven to be unbeaten for its lower cost, ease of installation and reliable performance for 10Gbps edge network.

Comparison10GBASE-T SFP+SFP+ Optical TransceiverSFP+ DAC
MediaCat6a/Cat7Fiber cable (SMF/MMF)UTP Cable
Distance30mMax 100km15m
Cabling SystemCopper systemFiber systemNo
Date Rate 10 Gbps10 Gbps10 Gbps
ApplicationTop of Rack (ToR)
Middle of Row (MoR)
End of Row (EoR)Top of Rack (ToR)
Top of Rack (ToR)
Middle of Row (MoR)
End of Row (EoR)
Core network
Top of Rack (ToR)


  • Top of Rack: Intra-cabinet connectivity from servers to ToR switches
  • Middle of Row (MoR): Intra-cabinet connectivity from servers to MoR switches
  • End of Row (EoR): Inter-cabinet connectivity from servers to EoR switches
  • DA/HDA/MDA: Intermediate, Horizontal and Main distribution areas as outlined in TIA 942-A
  • MD/ZD/EO: Main Distributor, zone distributor and Equipment Outlets as outlined in ISO 24764
  • Core network: Backbone

Each option has its advantages, but 10GBase-T’s compatibility with existing structured cabling devices and existing low-speed devices makes it uniquely suited for widespread deployment from Gigabit Ethernet to 10G Ethernet. And the copper SFP+ bridges the gap in the market between 7m direct-attach cables (DACs) and short-haul 10GBASE-SR SFP+ optics. They are ideally suited for data center applications, where 10G copper spans exceeding 10m are becoming more prevalent. This is particularly evident in leaf-to-spine links. So when faced with choosing between SFP+ and 10GBASE-T, 10GBASE-T should be considered if cost, flexibility, and scalability are critical. Today, 10GBase-T SFP+ transceiver is becoming more and more popular in network switches and servers because of its lower cost and higher ease of use.

Benefits of 10GBASE-T SFP+ Copper Transceiver

  • Cost-effective twisted pair copper cabling, the lowest cost 10GbE Ethernet deployment
  • Auto-negotiable backward-compatibility with previous-generation BASE-T networks for a seamless migration to 10GbE
  • Field twisted pair cabling with familiar RJ-45 connector
  • Based on previous generations of basic knowledge and training of existing expertise
  • Cable (Cat6a/Cat7) length of up to 100 meters, enough to support almost all data center topology
  • Extend support for aggregated environments

The Future of 10GBASE-T

Broad deployment on 10GBASE-T will simplify data center infrastructures, making it easier to manage server and storage connectivity while delivering the bandwidth needed for heavily virtualized servers and I/O-intensive applications. Third generation advancements in 10GBASE-T PHYs have significantly lowered the cost per port and the power consumption for 10GbE. These factors and key 10GBASE-T features, including backward-compatibility with GbE infrastructures and distance flexibility, will help drive 10GBASE-T to a prominent place in the data center.


Compared with fiber and SFP+ DAC, using 10GBASE-T SFP+ is an effective 10G connectivity solution that reduces capital and operational costs while improving reliability and performance. If you need longer transmission distances more than 100meter, then fiber SFP+ transceiver is the most appropriate. Regardless of the solution you use, it is important to remember that high-quality cabling from reputable vendors will help ensure performance and reliability. FS.COM always delivers high-quality fiber SFP+ transceiver, DAC cables, and 10GBASE-T SFP+, providing with competitive price and fast shipping.

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