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What is the difference between SFP and SFP+ cable?
Knowledge Base + 2023.12.08

SFP and SFP+ cables are both types of cables used in networking for data transmission, but there are a few key differences between the two:

1.Speed: SFP cables are designed to support data transmission speeds of up to 1 Gbps, while SFP+ cables are designed to support speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

2. Compatibility: SFP cables are compatible with SFP ports, which are commonly found in older networking equipment. SFP+ cables are compatible with SFP+ ports, which are found in newer networking equipment that supports higher data transmission speeds.

3. Size: SFP cables typically have a smaller form factor than SFP+ cables, reflecting the difference in the maximum data transmission speeds they support.

Overall, SFP+ cables are designed for higher speed networking applications, while SFP cables are suitable for lower speed networking applications.

SFP vs. SFP+

Here is a table of comparison between SFP and SFP+




Stands for

Small Form-factor Pluggable

Small Form-factor Pluggable plus (standard form)

Data rate







Dual fiber

Single Fiber/WDM



Dual fiber

Single Fiber/WDM
























How to Choose an Ethernet SFP Module?

Choose SFP Copper or Fiber Module?

SFP module comes in various types on the basis of different classification standards. It works with copper Ethernet cables or fiber optical cables.

On the fiber optics side, there are single mode SFP module and multimode SFP module, which allows users to select the appropriate transceiver according to the required optical range for the network. Operation wavelength ranges from 850nm to 1550nm. Commonly, 850nm SFP can reach up to 550 meters with multimode fiber optics, and the 1550nm SFP supports up to a maximum of 160km via single mode fiber cables. On the other hand, copper SFP modules primarily are 1000BASE-T SFP and 1000BASE-TX SFP modules, which are excellent used in gigabit Ethernet networking within 100 meters.

Choose SFP or Advanced SFP+?

SFP and SFP+ are applied at different transmission speeds. SFP module supports 1Gb data rate, and the SFP type includes 1000base-T/TX, 1000base-SX, 1000base-LX/LX10, 1000base-BX10, 1000base-LX/LH, 1000base-EX, 1000base-ZX and so on.

SFP+ is used in 10-gigabit Ethernet applications but shares the same form factor with SFP. In the SFP+ family, there are primarily SFP+ SR, SFP+ LR, and SFP+ ZR modules for 10 Gigabit ethernet networking.

Choose an MSA Compatible SFP or Not?

Compatibility is often the most important parameter users care about when buying an MSA SFP module. MSA (multi-source agreement) is an agreement supported by a number of manufacturers who came together to collaborate and standardize the fit-form and try to provide a reliable mean of mixing and matching SFP brands successfully. Third-party companies also have developed their own tools to program SFP modules to be compatible with the OEM. So, the MSA compatibility Gigabit SFP module can be used successfully in most networks.

Can I Use SFP+ DAC Twinax Cable in SFP Ports?

Yes, SFP+ cables are backward compatible to SFP ports and will work fine.

Can I Use a Compatible SFP+ DAC Twinax Cable on Cisco Switches?

Yes, just like optical transceivers, you should not worry about DAC cable compatibility. All the compatible SFP+ DAC twinax cables are made with the same industry standard as the Cisco cables. A qualified SFP+ DAC copper cable should be tested and be fully recognized by Cisco equipment to ensure proper function. Get a reliable direct attach cable manufacturer to buy SFP+ DAC twinax cable, so your compatible SFP+ DAC cable can perform equally great as the branded one—with significantly reduced cost.

Passive or Active SFP+ DAC Twinax Cable?

Passive SFP+ DAC twinax cable contains no electrical components, thus requires little or no power to operate. SFP+ active copper cable, on the contrary, needs DC power to integrates signal processing circuitry into its built-in connectors, making it more expensive. It is recommended to use passive SFP+ DAC when the distance is no more than 7m. As for link distance greater than 7 m (like ToR to EoR), active DACs would be required.

DAC Cable Max Length?

SFP+ DAC can only provide a maximum distance of 10 meters (about 33 feet) based on active copper cables. If the distance is not a problem, the SFP+ DACs tends to be an optimal option because of lower power consumption and lower latency. Read Guide to 10G DAC & AOC Cables for more information about AOC and DAC cables max length.