The SFP may be the smaller sized optical transceiver utilized in optical communications. It interfaces a network equipment mother board to some fiber-optic or unshielded twisted pair networking cable.
This is probably the most diffused transceiver format available with a number of different transmiter and receiver types, allowing users to select the appropriate transceiver for each connect to supply the required optical reach within the available optical fiber (e.g., multi-mode fiber or single-mode fiber).
A drawing of SFP module is presented below, where the particular connector for the input and output fibers that, with different dimensions, exists in all the transceivers is evidenced. The way in which the SFP transceivers are hosted on the motherboard utilizing a suitable cage allowing a hot plug is show in the figure below, where both empty cages around the front of a system card and also the cages with plugged SFPs are provided.
Optical SFP modules are commonly obtainable in a choice of models: 850 nm (SX), 1310 nm (LX), 1550 nm (ZX), and WDM, both DWDM and CWDM. SFP transceivers are also available with a copper cable interface. The copper SFP allows a host device designed primarily for optical fiber communications to also communicate over unshiedled twisted pair networking cable.
Commercially available transceivers have a capability as much as 2.5 Gbps for transmission applications; moreover, a version of the standard having a bit rate of 10 Gbps exists, however it can be used only to connect nearby equipment, and it is very helpful to spare space and power consumption as interface within the client cards of line equipments.
Modern optical SFP transceivers support digital monitoring functions based on the industry standard SFF-8472 MSA. This selection gives the consumer the opportunity to monitor real-time parameters from the SFP, for example optical output power, optical input power, temperature, laser bias current, and transceiversupply voltage.
SFP transceivers are designed to support SONET, Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and other communications standards.
The standard is expanding to SFP (SFP plus), which will be capable of supporting data rates as much as 10.0 Gbps (that will range from the data rates for 8G Fibre Channel, and 10 GbE). Possible performances of various realistic SFP transceivers are reported in the figure below.