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What is the difference between 1310nm and 850nm SFP?
Knowledge Base + 2024.01.08

The primary difference between SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) modules operating at 1310nm and 850nm is the wavelength of the optical signals they use. The wavelength affects the characteristics of the optical transmission and can impact the supported distance, the type of fiber used, and the compatibility with various optical components. Here's a brief comparison:

  1. Wavelength:

    • 1310nm SFP: Operates at a wavelength of 1310 nanometers. This is commonly associated with multimode and single-mode fiber optics. 1310nm signals can travel over longer distances compared to shorter wavelengths.

    • 850nm SFP: Operates at a wavelength of 850 nanometers. Typically used with multimode fiber optics. Shorter wavelengths like 850nm are suitable for shorter-distance transmissions.

  2. Distance and Fiber Type:

    • 1310nm SFP: Generally used for both short-range and long-range connections. Single-mode 1310nm SFP modules can support longer distances, potentially reaching up to tens of kilometers. Multimode 1310nm modules are suitable for shorter distances, typically within a few hundred meters.

    • 850nm SFP: Primarily used for short-range connections. Multimode 850nm SFP modules are commonly used for distances within a few hundred meters, making them suitable for applications within data centers.

  3. Applications:

    • 1310nm SFP: Often used for a variety of applications, including both short and long-distance connections in enterprise networks, telecommunications, and metropolitan area networks (MANs).

    • 850nm SFP: Commonly used for short-distance connections, especially within data center environments for applications like server-to-switch connections.

  4. Fiber Optic Mode:

    • 1310nm SFP: Compatible with both single-mode and multimode fiber optics, depending on the specific module.

    • 850nm SFP: Typically used with multimode fiber optics due to the shorter wavelength.

When selecting an SFP module, it's important to consider the specific requirements of your network, including the distance between devices, the type of fiber optic cabling in use, and the overall network architecture. Always refer to the specifications provided by the SFP module manufacturer and ensure compatibility with your networking equipment.