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What is the difference between LR and SR transceiver?
Knowledge Base + 2024.01.11

LR (Long Range) and SR (Short Range) are terms commonly associated with optical transceiver modules, particularly in the context of fiber-optic communication. These designations help indicate the intended reach or distance of the transceiver. Here are the key differences between LR and SR transceivers: 

  1. Reach or Distance:

    • LR (Long Range): LR transceivers are designed for longer-distance transmissions. The exact reach can vary depending on the specific LR module, but it is typically in the range of several kilometers, such as 10 km or 40 km. LR modules are commonly used for connections between buildings, data centers, or in metropolitan area networks (MANs).

    • SR (Short Range): SR transceivers are intended for shorter-distance transmissions. The reach of SR modules is typically limited to a few hundred meters, such as 100 meters (SR), 150 meters (SR4), or 300 meters (SR10). SR modules are often used for connections within the same data center or between closely located network equipment.

  2. Fiber Type:

    • LR: LR transceivers are usually designed to operate over single-mode fiber (SMF), which is optimized for longer-distance transmissions.

    • SR: SR transceivers typically operate over multimode fiber (MMF), which is more suitable for shorter distances. However, there are variations like SR4 that use parallel optics over multimode fiber.

  3. Optical Wavelength:

    • LR: LR transceivers typically use a single wavelength for both transmit and receive functions.

    • SR: SR transceivers, especially those using parallel optics like SR4, use multiple wavelengths for parallel data transmission.

  4. Use Cases:

    • LR: LR transceivers are commonly used for applications requiring longer-distance connectivity, such as interconnecting data centers or connecting network equipment in different buildings.

    • SR: SR transceivers are often used for short-distance connections within a data center, for example, between servers and switches.

  5. Data Rates:

    • Both LR and SR transceivers can support various data rates, such as 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps, 25 Gbps, 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps, and beyond. The specific data rates are often defined by the standard or the specific implementation of the transceiver.

It's important to note that these distinctions are general and that the specific characteristics of LR and SR transceivers can vary between different vendors and technologies. When selecting a transceiver for a particular application, it's crucial to consider factors such as the required reach, the type of fiber being used, and the compatibility with other network equipment.