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12 May 2016

As telecom technology advances in the past few decades, the size of transceiver modules has become smaller and smaller. Meanwhile, the rate of optical transceiver also becomes faster and faster, for it is ranging from 1.25 G, 2.5 G, 4 G to 10G, 40G and 100G, etc. However, when it comes to 10G, people found that the encapsulation is too small to keep many components. Thus, XFP modules were launched in 2002 as a new standard to solve this problem. Next, this article will introduce the 10G XFP optical transceivers in great details.

Introduction of XFP Transceiver

In fact, XFP is not the first 10G transceiver in the market. The 10G transceiver market has gone through 300Pin and XENPAK/XPAK/X2 before XFP came out. As these types of products are integrated with SerDes chips, we usually call them transponders instead of transceivers.

XFP optical transceivers support up to 16 channels, which can plug into a standard server equipment rack. Although high port density is necessary to reducing costs, addressing heat dissipation has become a critical issue as well. Power requirements can be met using VCSEL technology and also using the latest silicon. XFP 10 Gbps optical transceivers have greatly accelerated and converged in terms of development efforts.


XFP optical transceivers have been designed to conform to the requirements of servers and to the performance and distance requirements of 10 Gbps Ethernet. The desired server transmission rates and encoding qualifications can easily be met by an XFP optical transceiver. As server technology evolves, optical transceivers follow its lead accordingly. When designers moved digital functions out of transceivers and into ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits), the efficiency of the transceivers improved.

Inefficiencies of XFP Transceivers

Overcoming the loss associated with optical transceivers is one of the primary concerns with XFP optical transceivers. Crosstalk is another concern. As technology improves and inefficiencies are minimized, servers will become more efficient. This effort requires some assistance from designers and manufacturers to aid in the evolution of servers and transceiver technology.

Keep in mind that optical transceivers in a server convert electrical signals into optical signals. This is what allows them to achieve speeds in excess of 25 Gbps. If they are bulky, however, they are more prone to transmission losses and signal degradation—another impediment to faster transmission.

To address these issues, circuit technology has emerged in conjunction with XFP transceivers to suppress reflections and increase data rates. Efforts have also been made to decrease costs and footprint by incorporating flexible printed-circuit boards and optical devices. Some companies have developed film-type lens sheets to address these issues, but they have not eliminated them entirely. Future technology may erase this impediment from existence.

XFP can increase port density and will reduce the costs of optical transceivers. For that reason, all designers should have a plan to upgrade their transceiver technology and server technology. With plans in place, business owners can expect to decrease processing time and also conserve space. Keep track of transceiver technology advancements and determine how it can help you achieve your long and short term goals.

Developed Trend

By 2006, with the pre-emphasis circuit and the equilibrium technology matured, it is no longer difficult to transmit signals at the rate of 10Gbps on a single fiber on the host board. In consequence, the SerDes chip has been no longer needed since then. Additionally, the smaller optical components and higher IC integration have made the miniaturization become possible. 3rd generation transceivers, namely XFP and SFP+, emerged in the market and still in wide use in today’s 10G application.

As the saying goes, to want fish on the hook, the first thing you should know is what fish likes. When it comes to transceiver, it’s the same situation. The developed trend of transceiver depends on what customers need. And the fact is that customers always need faster, smaller, lower power consumption, more functional, and more cost-effective transceivers. Different package of transceivers have come to the market one wave after another. With the fact that the new generation of transceiver package form will gradually replace the older generation, the old version also need to upgrade otherwise it has to be replaced gradually till disappear. For example, when XFP came to us, the transponder was replaced gradually. By adding tunable technique, the 10G transponders have still been in the market so far. But now SFP+ module (like HP J9151A) also achieves tunable technique which indicates that XFP will vanish sooner or later.


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