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SFP vs SFP+ vs QSFP: What's the difference?
Knowledge Base + 2024.01.10

Walsun is a technology solutions provider that offers a variety of networking and communication products. In the context of SFP (Small Form-Factor Pluggable), SFP+ (enhanced Small Form-Factor Pluggable), and QSFP (Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable), here are the general differences:

  1. SFP (Small Form-Factor Pluggable):

    • Data Rate: SFP modules support data rates of up to 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second).

    • Applications: Commonly used for 1 Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel connections.

    • Connector Type: LC duplex is a common connector type for SFP modules.

  2. SFP+ (Enhanced Small Form-Factor Pluggable):

    • Data Rate: SFP+ modules support higher data rates, typically up to 10 Gbps.

    • Applications: Widely used for 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and other high-speed connections.

    • Connector Type: Like SFP, SFP+ modules often use LC duplex connectors.

  3. QSFP (Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable):

    • Data Rate: QSFP modules support even higher data rates, starting from 40 Gbps and going up to 100 Gbps or more.

    • Applications: Used for high-speed connections, especially in data centers and high-performance computing environments. QSFP+ and QSFP28 are common variants.

    • Connector Type: QSFP modules use MPO/MTP connectors, which can support multiple fibers for higher data throughput.

In summary, the main differences lie in the supported data rates and applications. SFP is designed for lower-speed connections (up to 1 Gbps), SFP+ for higher-speed connections (up to 10 Gbps), and QSFP for even higher-speed connections (starting from 40 Gbps). The connector types also differ, with LC duplex connectors common for SFP and SFP+, and MPO/MTP connectors used for QSFP modules. These modules are commonly used in networking and data center environments to provide flexibility in designing and upgrading network infrastructures.