Service For You With All Sincerity

What is difference between QSFP and CFP?
Knowledge Base + 2024.01.11

QSFP (Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable) and CFP (C Form-Factor Pluggable) are both types of optical transceiver modules used in high-speed data communication applications, but they differ in terms of form factor, data rates, and applications. Here are the key differences between QSFP and CFP: 

  1. Form Factor:

    • QSFP: QSFP is a smaller form factor compared to CFP. It is designed to be more compact while still providing high data rates. QSFP modules have four channels for bidirectional communication.

    • CFP: CFP has a larger form factor, allowing for more space for electronics and additional features. CFP modules typically support higher power consumption and offer flexibility for implementing different optical technologies.

  2. Data Rates:

    • QSFP: QSFP modules are commonly used for data rates of up to 100 Gbps. QSFP28, for example, supports data rates of 100 Gbps, aggregated from four channels operating at 25 Gbps each.

    • CFP: CFP modules are designed to support a range of data rates, including 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps, and even 200 Gbps or more. CFP2 and CFP4 are subsequent versions that provide higher data rates with the same form factor.

  3. Applications:

    • QSFP: QSFP modules are widely used in data center applications, high-performance computing environments, and for short to medium-distance optical links in networking.

    • CFP: CFP modules find applications in both data centers and long-haul telecommunications networks. They are used for a variety of data rates and can support different optical technologies, making them versatile for diverse networking scenarios.

  4. Port Density:

    • QSFP: QSFP modules are known for their high port density. The smaller form factor allows for more ports in a given space, making them suitable for densely populated data centers.

    • CFP: CFP modules have a larger footprint, resulting in lower port density compared to QSFP. They are often used in scenarios where port density is not the primary concern.

  5. Flexibility:

    • QSFP: QSFP modules are designed for flexibility in terms of deployment options and applications. Different versions, such as QSFP+, QSFP28, and QSFP-DD, support various data rates and optical technologies.

    • CFP: CFP modules offer a higher level of flexibility due to their larger form factor. They can support a wider range of data rates and are designed to accommodate different optical interfaces.

In summary, QSFP and CFP modules serve similar purposes in high-speed data communication but differ in their form factors, data rate capabilities, and applications. QSFP is more compact and suited for high port density in data centers, while CFP is larger and provides more flexibility in terms of data rates and optical technologies for diverse networking scenarios.