100G Optical Modules and Cable Solutions for Data Center Networking

The market for 100G data center optics is  accelerating and it is expected that 100G  optical module sales would take off in 2016 year. To meet the large demand  of the 100 Gigabit Ethernet, DataComm provides a series of 100G optical modules  and cable solutions that are compliant to the IEEE standards. The DataComm 100G  optical modules support different transmission distance from 100m, 10km and more reach options in CFP4 and QSFP28 form factors. The 100G cable solution also support kinds of link length from 4m, 10m and more. Before introducing the  DataComm 100G optical modules and cable solution, we first talk about the 100  Gigabit Ethernet standard.

IEEE 100GbE Standard Introduction

100  Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) is a computer networking technology for transmitting Ethernet frames at rates of 100 gigabits per second (100 Gbit/s). The  technology was first defined by the IEEE 802.3ba-2010 standard. The 100 Gigabit Ethernet standards encompass a number of different Ethernet physical layer  (PHY) specifications. A networking device may support different PHY types by  means of pluggable modules. Optical modules are not standardized by any official standards body but are in multi-source agreements (MSAs). The major 100-Gigabit  Ethernet 100GBASE-R optical modules standards transmission brief are listed  below:


Supported Distance


7m over twinax copper cable


7m over twinax copper cable


70m over OM3 MMF cable
 100m over OM4 MMF cable


100m over OM3 MMF cable
 150m over OM4 MMF cable


2km over SMF


10km over SMF


40km over SMF

DataComm 100G Optical Modules and Cable Solutions

DataComm provides 100G QSFP28 optical modules, including 100G QSFP28 SR4, 100G QSFP28 LR4, 100G QSFP28 PSM4, 100G  QSFP28 CLR4 and 100G QSFP28 ER4 Lite, as well as 100G CFP4 LR4 optical module.  All these 100G transceivers are good  choice for today’s high-density data center 100G interconnection and networking.  The 100G QSFP28 SR4 optical module supports up to 70 m on OM3 Multi-Mode Fiber (MMF) and up to 100 m on OM4 MMF. The 100G QSFP28 LR4 optical module supports  up to 10 km on SMF, the 100G CFP LR4 supports the same link length of 10 km as  LR4. And if you prefer a longer distance for the data communication, the 100G  QSFP28 ER4 Lite supporting with 25 km link length and the 100G CFP4 ER4 are  ideal recommendations. The DataComm 100G CFP4 ER4 will be available soon. Besides  100G optical modules, DataComm also provide 100G cable solutions like 100G active  optical cable (AOC) and 100G direct attach cable (DAC). The table below  summarizes the DataComm 100G optical modules and cable solutions and the  associated industry standards:

How to use DataComm 100G Optical Modules and Cable Solutions for Data Center

100G Transceivers & Cables


Associated Industry Standard

100G QSFP28 SR4

QSFP28 Transceiver, up to 100 m


100G QSFP28 LR4

QSFP28 Transceiver, up to 10 km


100G QSFP28 CLR4 (CWDM4)

QSFP28 Transceiver, up to 2 km

non-IEEE Standard

100G QSFP28 PSM4

QSFP28 Transceiver, up to 2 km

non-IEEE Standard

100G QSFP28 ER4 Lite

QSFP28 Transceiver, up to 25 km


100G CFP4 LR4

CFP4 Transceiver, up to 10 km


100G CFP4 ER4

CFP4 Transceiver, up to 40 km



100G QSFP28 to QSFP28 AOC, up to 20m


100G QSFP28x4SFP28 AOC

100G QSFP28 to 4 SFP28 AOC, up to 100m



100G QSFP28 to QSFP28 DAC, up to 5m


100G QSFP28x4SFP28 DAC

100G QSFP28 to 4 SFP28 DAC, up to 4m


For data center networking, users can choose different solutions based on the different transmission distance need. And there are two kinds of cases available: Direct Cabling and Breakout Cabling
100G  Direct Cabling Solutions:
 For 100G short direct cabling within 100m, 100GBASE-SR4  QSFP28 optical module and 100G QSFP28 to QSFP28 cables are good choice. Just  from the table list of DataComm 100G optical modules and cables, we know that 100GBASE-SR4  QSFP28 modules can support up to 70 m and 100 m respectively on OM3 and OM4 12  fiber multimode MTP cable. And 100G QSFP28 to QSFP28 direct attach copper cable  can support up to 5m and 100G QSFP28 to QSFP28 active optical cable can support  up to 20m.
 For 100G long direct cabling, for example  10km, both 100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28 optical module and 100GBASE-LR4 CFP4 transceiver can support up to 10km on single-mode LC patch cables.
 For longer 100G direct cabling above 10km,  the 100GBASE-ER4 QSFP28 and 100GBASE-ER4 CFP4 are ideal choice as their transmission  distances support up to 25 km and 40 km, respectively.

100G Breakout Cabling Solutions:
 It’s easy to understand that the  100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 optical module can also be connected to 4 x 25GBASE-SR  SFP28 optical modules, it works just like the 40GBASE-SR QSFP+ optical module  can be connected to 4x10GBASE-SR SFP+ optical modules.
 Between the 100G optical module and 25G  optical modules, there always uses the breakout cables connected the two kinds  of optical modules, and the common cable solutions are 100G QSFP28 to 4x SFP28  Breakout Active Optical Cable (AOC) or 100G QSFP28 to 4x 25G SFP28 Breakout Direct  Attach Passive Copper Cables.
 How to Get DataComm 100G Optical Modules  and Cables
 Without no doubt, the demand of 100G  optical transceivers will be surged in the 2016 and many optical module  suppliers do not have enough 100G optical modules in stock. So it is good for  data centers to prepare for the data center networking and architecture  beforehand with 100G transceivers. Then, don’t hesitate to contact us to get  quote at sales@datacommun.com for the  available 100G optical modules: 100G QSFP28 SR4, 100G QSFP28 LR4, 100G QSFP28  PSM4, 100G QSFP28 CLR4 (CWDM4), 100G QSFP28 ER4 and 100G CFP4 LR4. More 100G  optical modules will be available soon.

6/22/2016 4:06:15 AM

Contact us

As a leading optical transceiver module provider, DataComm offers both excellent high-quality products and servies to global customers over the world. And you can contact us for inquiry and quote as below ways.
8A,Haiyuege ,Huijing Haoyuan,NO.10 Kexing Road, Science Park,Nanshan District,Shenzhen,Guangdong,China. 518057
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