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What is the difference between SFP and QSFP ports?
Knowledge Base + 2023.12.04

SFP and QSFP ports are both types of transceiver ports used in networking equipment, but they have different form factors and capabilities.

SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) ports are smaller, modular ports that can support data rates of up to 10 Gbps. They are typically used in networking equipment such as switches, routers, and network interface cards to connect with fiber optic or copper cables.

QSFP (Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable) ports, on the other hand, are larger and capable of supporting higher data rates, typically up to 40 Gbps or 100 Gbps. They are used in high-speed networking equipment and are often used to connect switches and routers in data centers.

In summary, the main differences between SFP and QSFP ports are their form factor and the data rates they support. SFP ports are smaller and support lower data rates, while QSFP ports are larger and support higher data rates.

SFP and SFP+


The size and appearance of SFP and SFP+ modules are basically the same.

2.Transmission Rate

SFP can transmit up to 4Gbit/s, SFP+ can transmit up to 10Gbit/s.

3.Transmission Standard

SFP is based on SFF-8472 protocol, while SFP+ is based on SFF-8431 and SFF-8432 protocol.


It is possible to use SFP modules on the SFP+ ports of the switch, this operation is possible, but the rate will be reduced to 1Gbit/s. Please also note that SFP+ modules cannot be used in SFP slots, otherwise the ports or modules may be damaged.

SFP+ vs SFP28

1. Dimensions

SFP+ and SFP28 have the same dimensions.

2. Transmission Rate

The transmission rate is 10Gbit/s for SFP+ and 25Gbit/s for SFP28.

3. Compatibility

If the SFP+ optical module is inserted into the SFP28 port, the link transmission rate is 10Gbit/s.


SFP28 direct-connect copper cable has higher bandwidth and lower loss than SFP+ direct-connect copper cable.


1. Size

QSFP+ and QSFP28 are the same size with 4 integrated transmit and receive channels.

2. Speed

QSFP+ modules support 40Gbit/s single channel rate and QSFP28 modules support 100Gbit/s transmission rate.

3. Cables

Both QSFP+ and QSFP28 have the same DAC/AOC high-speed cables, but they have different rates. the QSFP+ DAC/AOC supports 4×10Gbit/s transmission rate. the QSFP28 DAC/AOC supports 4×25Gbit/s or 2×50Gbit/s. the QSFP28 DAC/AOC supports 4×25Gbit/s or 2×50Gbit/s. the QSFP28 DAC/AOC supports 4×25Gbit/s or 2×50Gbit/s transmission rate.

SFP28 and QSFP28

SFP28 and QSFP28 differ in size and protocol standards. The SFP28 module supports 25 Gb/s in a single channel, enabling 25 Gb/s error-free transmission up to 100 m over OM4 multimode fiber.

As for the QSFP28, it supports four independent channels with data rates ranging from 25 Gb/s to potentially 40 Gb/s. They can both be used in 100G networks. They can both be used in 100G networks, but the SFP28 is used as a QSFP28 to SFP28 branch cable.