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Overview on 100G QSFP28 Connectors

2017-04-19 17:19:19 | Connector

Nowadays, QSFP28 transceivers play a leading role on the market of 100GBASE transceivers for their smallest form-factor and lowest power consumption among other QSFP28 optics. The common QSFP28 transceivers are 100GBASE-SR4, 100GBASE-SR10, 100GBASE-LR4, 100GBASE-ER4, 100G CWDM4 and 100G PSM4... Data can be transmitted through 100G QSFP28 transceivers connected with MTP/MPO patch cable or duplex LC patch cable. Different patch cables have different connector types, which must be plugged into corresponding interface correctly. Thus, it is imperative to be aware of 100G QSFP28 connectors, interfaces as well as patch cables and that will be mainly covered in this passage.

Detailed Information About Common 100G QSFP28 Transceivers

Different types of QSFP28 transceivers match different patch cables. Here, we list some common 100G QSFP28 transceivers in detail, especially for their connectors and interfaces.

MTP/MPO Connectors Applied For QSFP28 Transceivers

As we can see from the above figure, there are two main types of MTP/MPO connectors of QSFP28 transceivers—12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP/MPO connectors. 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 and 100G PSM4 work over 8 fibers (four transmit and four receive), and 12-fiber MTP/MPO connectors should be used. 100G BASE-SR10 QSFP28 is connected with 2×12 fiber or 24-fiber MTP/MPO connectors for longer transmission.

12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP/MPO connectors are mainly applied to QSFP28 transceivers. So what’s the difference? Both a 12-fiber and 24-fiber MTP/MPO connector can support a single 100G channel. However, a 12-fiber MTP/MPO connector is inefficient for an 8-fiber channel as 4 strands in the 12-fiber connector are not used. But by using a 24-fiber MTP connector in the horizontal cabling, it can then be converted into three 8-fiber 100G channels that run over one cable, with all 24 fiber used to support traffic. Therefore, 24-fiber MTP/MPO connector is more suitable for 100G than 12-fiber.

Duplex LC Connectors Applied For 100G QSFP28

Duplex LC connectors are designed for high-density connections, such as SFP, SFP+ , XFP transceivers. LC optical connectors and MTP/MPO connectors both use a push-pull plug design, which is similar to audio and video plugs and sockets. You can see it clearly in the following figure. It is clear that 100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28, 100GBASE-ER4 QSFP28 and 100G CWDM4 are equipped with LC connectors. 100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28 and 100GBASE-ER4 QSFP28 operated over single-mode fiber cable with duplex LC connectors by multiplexing and de-multiplexing optical signals. QSFP28 CWDM4 interfaces with LC duplex connectors as well, which uses 4×25 Gbps to achieve 100 Gbps.


Through this article, we are cleared that there are two types of connectors applied to 100G QSFP28—MTP/MPO and duplex LC connectors. With a MTP/MPO connector, the transmission distance of certain QSFP28 transceivers can reach 500 m while the connection can be up to 10 km with duplex LC connectors. You can select an optimal one for yourself based on your demand. 

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