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Is QSFP compatible with SFP28?
Knowledge Base + 2024.01.09

QSFP (Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable) and SFP28 (Small Form-Factor Pluggable 28) are different form factors for optical transceiver modules, and they are generally not directly compatible with each other due to differences in size and electrical specifications. 

  1. Form Factor:

    • QSFP: QSFP modules are larger and have a higher port density. They are commonly used for higher data rates, such as 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GbE) and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE).

    • SFP28: SFP28 modules have a smaller form factor compared to QSFP. They are typically used for lower data rates, such as 25 Gigabit Ethernet (25GbE) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE).

  2. Electrical and Mechanical Compatibility:

    • QSFP and SFP28 modules have different electrical and mechanical designs, and the connectors are not physically compatible. The size and shape of the connectors prevent direct insertion of an SFP28 module into a QSFP port or vice versa.

  3. Data Rate:

    • QSFP supports higher data rates than SFP28. QSFP is designed for data rates up to 100 Gbps, while SFP28 is designed for data rates up to 25 Gbps.

While QSFP and SFP28 are not directly compatible, it's worth noting that some networking devices are designed with mixed form factor support. For example, some switches may have ports that support both QSFP and SFP28 modules, allowing flexibility in module selection based on specific application requirements.

If you are considering using a specific form factor in your network, it's essential to check the specifications of your networking equipment to ensure compatibility. Always refer to the documentation provided by the equipment manufacturer for accurate information on supported module types and form factors.