Because of increased port density and flexibility to logistical and inventory advantages, the application of copper SFP transceivers is a promising development for the optics industry.
Optical networking today is definitely the standard for Fiber Channel storage area networks (SANs) and SONET/SDH networks, while Ethernet local area networks (LANs) primarily use copper (i.e. electrical) networking technologies for data rates up to 1 Gbit/sec. As network infrastructures evolve, it’ll be very important to maintain both configuration flexibility as well as high port utilization for equipment deployed at the intersection of legacy copper and newly installed optical networks. Maturation of copper SFP transceiver is playing a key role in enabling system designers to meet these objectives while simplifying their inventory and reducing operating costs.
Originally defined in 2000 under a multi-source agreement (MSA) by fifteen module Suppliers, SFP optical transceiver modules combine transmit and receive functions in a low-cost, low-power and compact package format. Rapidly known as the industry standard, SFP modules now are usually used to support Fiber Channel, Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), and SONET/SDH applications, supporting data rates between 125 Mbits/sec and 4 Gbits/sec.
Introduced a couple of years ago, copper SFPs enable system manufacturers to populate SFP ports with either copper or optical transceivers. Because of this, the requirement for copper transceivers in recent years has begun to increase significantly.
The IEEE 802.3 standard defines two different kinds of GbE traffic: 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-SX/1000BASE-LX. 1000BASE-T refers to GbE over copper, primarily Category 5, 5E, and, increasingly, Category 6 twisted-pair cable. 1000BASE-SX /1000BASE-LX refers to GbE over fiber, with 1000BASE-SX meant for applications over multimode fiber and 1000BASE-LX primarily intended for applications over single mode fiber.
Nowadays in this network environments, systems must handle the continuing convergence of data, voice, and video traffic and also topologies that mix IP with legacy PDH traffic and integrate specialized requirements such as Fiber Channel or ATM. As a result, GbE switches, routers, and multi-service provisioning platforms (MSPPs), one example is, must provide port-level flexibility for handling both fiber and copper interfaces.
Copper transceivers that in accordance with the SFP form factor emerged being the most effective way to optimize port-level flexibility. This parity enables system builders to provide a single line card design which can handle the whole spectrum of copper and fiber connections.
Brand compatible Copper SFPs
OEM Manufacturer – Fiberstore, which offers Copper SFP and 1000BASE-T SFP compatible with equipment such as Cisco (e.g. GLC-T), HP (J8177C, JD089B), Juniper (SFP-1GE-FE-E-T), NETGEAR, Finisar (FCLF-8521-3), Dell 1000BASE-T SFP 310 7225, etc.