The term "QSFP" stands for Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable, and it represents a family of optical transceiver modules used in high-speed data communication. QSFP modules come in different variants, each designed for specific applications and data rates. The main types include QSFP+, QSFP28, QSFP56, and more. Here are the key differences between these variants:
QSFP+ is designed for 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GbE) applications.
It supports four channels, each operating at 10 Gbps.
QSFP28 is an evolution of QSFP+ and is designed for 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) applications.
It supports four channels, each operating at 25 Gbps.
QSFP28 is currently one of the most widely used form factors for 100GbE.
QSFP56 is designed for 200 Gigabit Ethernet (200GbE) and 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400GbE) applications.
It supports four channels, each operating at 50 Gbps for 200GbE or 100 Gbps for 400GbE.
QSFP-DD (QSFP Double Density):
QSFP-DD is an emerging form factor designed to support even higher data rates, specifically 200GbE and 400GbE.
It doubles the number of electrical lanes compared to QSFP28 and supports eight channels for 200GbE or 16 channels for 400GbE.
The number after "QSFP" indicates the number of channels and the associated data rate. For example, QSFP28 signifies 28 Gbps per channel.
The form factors have evolved to support higher data rates and increased density.
Each QSFP variant is backward compatible with the previous ones, meaning a QSFP28 port can typically support QSFP+ modules, but the data rate will be limited to the capabilities of the older module.
When selecting a QSFP module, it's crucial to consider the specific application, data rate requirements, and the compatibility with networking equipment. Always refer to the manufacturer's specifications and compatibility matrices for accurate information on the supported data rates and features.