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Optical Transceivers in IT Networks

Optical transceivers have become an important component of the IT network infrastructure nowadays. These are most commonly used to connect routers and switches within the IT network using optical fiber cables at rates of 1 Gigabit or 10 Gigabit with the potential to go to higher rates depending on the applications.

The preferred optical transceiver type for routers and switches is the SFP for 1 Gigabit interfaces and SFP+ for 10 Gigabit interfaces. These SFP/SFP+ ports allow the routers and switches to connect to a wide variety of fiber and Ethernet cables and extend the functionality throughout the network.

Almost all enterprise-class switches today come equipped with two or more SFP/SFP+ ports enabling them to integrate into various networks configurations and connect different buildings, floors, or areas of the networks using optical fiber cables.

Even though SFP and SFP+ modules are relatively inexpensive, RJ45 connections using copper cables remain cheaper and that's why most routers and switches that offer SFP/SFP+ ports will also offer RJ45 ports as well. The decision of when to use RJ45 or an optical SFP/SFP+ port will depend on the distance between the connection endpoints. If the endpoints are close enough then the use of RJ45 will be more economical but using SFP/SFP+ optical interfaces will be required for connection endpoints that are far enough that a fiber link is needed. Another consideration is the fact that cross-talk between copper cables can be an issue when multiple cables are running side by side. This can be avoided with optical fiber cables which can run side by side without any cross-talk concerns.

GigOptics offers a complete line of SFP and SFP+ transceivers guaranteed to be compatible with virtually all router and switch brands and all tested to ensure quality and reliability. For more information, contact us at

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