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QSFP+ and QSFP28 Transceivers Cabling Solutions

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The short range 40-Gigabit Ethernet QSFP+ and 100-Gigabit Ethernet QSFP28 transceivers that are widely used in today’s data center use 12-fiber patch cables with female MPO connectors. The fiber can be either OM3 or OM4. The long range QSFP+ and QSFP28 transceiver use single-mode fiber patch cables with duplex LC connectors. This article may introduce the cabling solutions for QSFP+ and QSFP28 transceiver to you.

QSFP+ and QSFP28 Transceiver Types
In terms of 40G QSFP+ transceivers, from short range to long range, they are available in 5 common types. The minimum transmission distance is 100m, and the max transmission distance is 40km. 100G QSFP28 transceivers are commonly avaiable in 100GBASE-SR4 and 100GBASE-LR4 two types. Detailed QSFP+ and QSFP28 transceiver specifications are displayed in following tables.

Transceiver Type Interface Standard Connector Type Fiber Type
QSFP+ 40GBASE-SR4 Female MTP/MPO, key up 12-fiber multi-mode fiber (MMF) (OM3 or OM4)
QSFP+ 40GBASE-PLRL4 Female MTP/MPO, key up 12-fiber single-mode fiber (SMF) 1km
QSFP+ 40GBASE-PLR4 Female MTP/MPO, key up 12-fiber SMF 10km
QSFP+ 40GBASE-LR4 LC duplex SMF 10km
QSFP+ 40GBASE-ER4 LC duplex SMF 40km
QSFP28 100GBASE-SR4 Female MTP/MPO, key up 12-fiber MMF (OM3 or OM4)
QSFP28 100GBASE-LR4 LC duplex SMF 10km

12-Fiber Patch Cables with MTP Connectors
12-fiber patch cables with MTP connectors can be used to connect two transceivers of the same type—40GBASE-SR4-to-40GBASESR4 or 100GBASE-SR4-to-100GBASE-SR4. You can also connect 4x10GBASE-LR transceivers such as 40GBASE-PLRL4 and 40GBASE-PLR4 using patch cables—4x10GBASE-LR-to-4x10GBASE-LR—instead of breaking the signal out into four separate signals. Ensure that you order cables with the correct polarity. The MTP connectors on the 12-fiber cables should be key up (sometimes referred to as latch up, Type B, or Method B). If you are using patch panels between two QSFP+ or QSFP28 transceivers, ensure that the proper polarity is maintained through the cable plant.

12-Fiber MTP Patch Cables

12-Fiber MPO Patch Cables

12-Fiber Breakout Cables with MTP-LC Duplex Connectors
12-fiber breakout cables with MTP-LC duplex connectors can be used to connect a 4x10GBASE-LR or 4x10GBASE-SR transceiver to four separate 10GBASE-LR or 10GBASE-SR SFP+ transceivers. The breakout cable is constructed out of a 12-ribbon fiber-optic cable. The breakout cable splits from a single cable with an MTP connector on one end, into 4 cable pairs with 4 LC duplex connectors on the opposite end.

40G QSFP+ and 100G QSFP28 transceivers solution

40G to 4×10G

LC Duplex Patch Cables
Single-mode patch cables with LC duplex connectors can be used to connect two transceivers of the same type—40GBASE-LR4-to-40GBASE-LR4 or 100GBASE-LR4-to100GBASE-LR4. The SMF patch cable is one fiber pair with two LC duplex connectors at opposite ends.

LC Duplex Patch Cables

Related Article: Can I Use the QSFP+ Optics on QSFP28 Port?