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A Closer Look at Copper SFP

SFP are most commonly associated with fiber optic as the connection interface, after all they are known as optical transceivers. However, with copper based RJ45 connections still prevalent in many network infrastructures especially in the IT domain, there is an important role to play for the Copper SFP in the ecosystem.

Types of Copper SFP

There are two main variations of the Copper SFP on the market today. The first one is the Gigabit RJ45 Copper SFP transceiver which supports rates up to 1000Mbps over Cat 5 cables and allows for distances up to 100m.

The second one is the 10Gigabit RJ45 (10GBASE-T) Copper SFP transceiver which supports rates up to 10Gbps over Cat 6a/7 cable and can reach distances of up to 30m.

Why Copper SFP

Copper SFP is a popular choice for short range links especially in IT networks where the upgrade to fiber optic infrastructure may be cost prohibitive. Given that fiber optic cables are more of a requirement for long distance transmission it makes perfect sense to utilize copper based SFP in that particular scenario.

So why use a Copper SFP rather than an RJ45 direct connection? Well there are two main reasons for that. The first reason is simply that some of the newer models of switches come with SFP ports built-in so the Copper SFP is a perfect tool to allow the use of these newer switches with the existing copper based cabling infrastructure. The second reason is the flexibility they provide in terms of future network evolution. Given that the Copper SFP and the traditional fiber optic SFP use the same physical port, it then becomes very easy to replace the Copper SFP with a fiber based SFP should the need arise at any point. This would typically be as a result of expanding the network reach in terms of distance or in some cases increasing the bandwidth beyond 10Gbps.

GigOptics - Your Supplier for Copper SFP

At Gigoptics, we offer a wide range of optical transceivers including Copper SFP (both 1G and 10G); all tested to ensure quality and reliability. For more information, contact us at

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