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What is the difference between CFP2 and QSFP28?
Knowledge Base + 2024.01.10

The C Form-Factor Pluggable 2 (CFP2) and Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable 28 (QSFP28) are both types of optical transceiver modules used in high-speed data communication applications. While they share some similarities, they have key differences, mainly in their form factors, data rates, and applications. Here's a comparison of CFP2 and QSFP28:

  1. Form Factor:

    • CFP2: CFP2 is physically larger than QSFP28. It is designed to be a more compact version of the original CFP (CFP1) and is larger in size compared to QSFP28.

    • QSFP28: QSFP28 is a smaller form factor, providing higher port density. It is one of the most widely used form factors for 100G and 400G applications in data centers.

  2. Data Rate:

    • CFP2: CFP2 supports various data rates, including 40G, 100G, and 200G. It is versatile and can be used for multiple data rate applications.

    • QSFP28: QSFP28 primarily supports a data rate of 100 Gbps, aggregated from four channels, making it suitable for 100G Ethernet and other high-speed networking applications.

  3. Number of Channels:

    • CFP2: CFP2 typically supports multiple channels for bidirectional communication. It is used in applications that require parallel optics.

    • QSFP28: QSFP28 has four independent channels, each operating at 25 Gbps or higher, providing a total data rate of 100 Gbps.

  4. Applications:

    • CFP2: CFP2 is used in a variety of applications, including 40G and 100G Ethernet, OTN (Optical Transport Network), and other high-speed optical networking environments.

    • QSFP28: QSFP28 is commonly used for 100G Ethernet, InfiniBand EDR, and other high-performance computing applications. It is also used for 400G applications when combined with four lanes of 100 Gbps each.

  5. Port Density:

    • CFP2: Due to its larger form factor, CFP2 provides lower port density compared to QSFP28.

    • QSFP28: QSFP28 is designed for higher port density, making it well-suited for modern data centers where maximizing the number of ports in a given space is crucial.

  6. Power Consumption:

    • CFP2: CFP2 modules typically have higher power consumption compared to QSFP28.

    • QSFP28: QSFP28 is designed to be power-efficient, suitable for energy-conscious data center environments.

In summary, while both CFP2 and QSFP28 are optical transceiver modules designed for high-speed data communication, QSFP28 is more compact, has higher port density, and is primarily focused on 100G applications. CFP2, on the other hand, is larger, supports a broader range of data rates, and is used in various optical networking applications. The choice between them depends on the specific requirements of the networking environment and the applications being considered.