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Can QSFP28 run at 10G?
Knowledge Base + 2024.01.05

No, a QSFP28 module is designed to run at higher speeds, typically up to 100G or 200G. It is not designed to run at 10G. If you need a module to run at 10G, you would need to use a different form factor, such as a SFP+ or XFP module.


SFP can be understood as an upgraded version of GBIC, which is only 1/2 the size of a GBIC module, greatly increasing the port density of network equipment. In addition, the data transfer rate of SFP ranges from 100Mbps to 4Gbps.


SFP+ is an enhanced version of SFP that supports 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel, 10G Ethernet, and the optical transport network standard OTU2. In addition, SFP+ direct-connect cables (i.e., SFP+ DAC high-speed cables and AOC active fiber optic cables) allow two SFP+ ports to be connected without the need to add additional optical modules and cables (network cables or fiber optic patch cords), which is a good solution for two adjacent short-distance network switches directly connected.


SFP28 is an enhanced version of SFP+, with the same dimensions as SFP+ but capable of supporting a single channel at 25Gb/s. SFP28 provides an efficient solution for 10G-25G-100G network upgrades to meet the growing demands of next-generation data center networks.


QSFP+ is an upgraded version of QSFP.QSFP is capable of supporting 4-channel transmission at the same time, with a data rate of 1Gbit/s per channel, but QSFP+ is different from QSFP in that it supports 4×10Gbit/s channel transmission, which can realize 40Gbps transmission rate through 4 channels. Compared with SFP+, the transmission rate of QSFP+ optical modules can be up to four times that of SFP+ optical modules. QSFP+ optical modules can be used directly when deploying 40G networks, thus increasing port density while effectively saving costs.


QSFP28 is born to meet the needs of 100G applications, there are four high-speed differential signaling channels, each channel transmission rate ranging from 25Gbps to a possible 40Gbps, to meet the needs of 100G Ethernet (4 × 25Gbps) and EDR InfiniBand applications.QSFP28 product types are numerous, and the realization of 100G transmission in different ways, such as 100G direct, 100G direct connect, 100G direct connect, 100G direct connect, 100G direct connect, 100G direct connect, 100G direct connect, 100G direct connect, 100G direct connect, 100G direct connect, 100G direct connect, 100G direct connect and 100G direct connect. There are many types of QSFP28 products to realize 100G transmission in different ways, such as 100G direct connection, 100G to 4-way 25G branch link or 100G to 2-way 50G branch link.


QSFP28 differences and similarities

After understanding what SFP, SFP+, SFP28, QSFP+, QSFP28 are, the specific similarities and differences between the two will be introduced next.

SFP and SFP+: same size.

Different rates and compatibility

SFP and SFP+ modules are different in size and appearance, so equipment manufacturers can use SFP physical designs on switches with SFP+ ports. Due to the same dimensions, many customers use SFP modules on the SFP+ ports of their switches, which is possible, but at a reduced rate of 1 Gbit/s. Also note that SFP+ modules cannot be used in SFP slots, as this may result in damage to the ports or modules. In addition to the difference in this aspect of compatibility, the transmission rates and standards for both SFP and SFP+ are different. SFP transmits up to 4Gbit/s, while SFP+ transmits up to 10Gbit/s; SFP is based on the SFF-8472 protocol, while SFP+ is based on the SFF-8431 and SFF-8432 protocols.