What is an XFP Transceiver Module?

High speed computer networks and telecommunication links that use optical fibers will typically employ the XFP standard for transceivers. It is a 10-Gigabit small form factor pluggable and was defined as the industry standard in 2002 alongside the interface with other electrical components. The interfaces are often referred to as XFI. Here are some highlights that designers should know about XFP transceiver modules if they are in the market for them.

XFP Transceiver Module facts

Hot-Swappable and Protocol-Independent
XFP devices are hot-swappable, which means that you don’t have to power down the entire device before replacing it. This is preferable to many of the designers who employ XFP transceivers in their designs. Designers who upgrade frequently or have high failure rates because of a stringent environment will appreciate the ability to replace their devices quickly. The best part is that more designers are ensuring that their designs will accommodate XFP transceiver modules of all types. Typically, there are no compatibility issues when the devices are hot-swappable. That’s why it’s important to find devices that are hot-swappable.

Operate at a Variety of Frequencies
These devices operate at a variety of frequencies including 850 nm, 1310 nm, and 1550 nm. At these near-infrared frequencies, designers can transmit signals with high integrity and at longer distances. This gives designers more flexibility in their designs and will help them achieve what they want in their lives. These devices can operate over a single wavelength and also use dense wavelength multiplexing techniques.

XFP Specifications
XFP Multi-Source Agreement Group was developed by the XFP Multi-Source Agreement Group. This is an informal agreement of an industry group. It is not “officially” endorsed by a standards body, but it is recognized by many designers in the industry. There have been many updates to this standard since it was first introduced in 2002. The website was maintained until 2009 through the XFP group chaired by Robert Snively of Brocade Communications Systems. The technical editor was Ali Ghiasi of Broadcom.

XFP Features a Variety of Transmitter and Receiver Types
XFPs are available in a variety of receiver and transmitter types. This will allow users to select the type of transceivers they need to excel in their design. Each link provided should have the optical reach over the optical fiber types available. The most common types of XFP transceiver types are SR-850 nm, which will transmit 300 m, and LR-1310 nm, which will transmit for 10 km. ER and ZR both utilize 1550 nm range, but they transmit different lengths, 40 km and 80 km, respectively.

Size of XFP Module
The XFP packaging is smaller than the XENPAK form-factor, which is desirable by many designers. The smaller the footprint, the easier it is to design it into the designs as needed. The best devices support both the XENPAK and the XFP.

The XFP is a Flexible Device
XFP devices are flexible and can offer customers a variety of options in terms of design. Designers who are searching for compact devices with flexibility and power will appreciate XFP devices. They offer many of the benefits that people love about XFPs. Hot-swappable capability is just one of the benefits of using these flexible devices. Contact your local provider to learn more about the XFP devices on the market that can help you improve your design.

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