100G Transceivers: Types and Comparison

Did you know that by 2025 data creation is predicted to exceed one hundred eighty zettabytes? The intense bandwidth needed to process this data has led to the quick adoption of networks that can support 100G transceivers. 

However, the rapid use of this technology has a downside: there are too many options to choose from. These days, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by all of the 100G transceiver types out there. That’s why we made this guide for you. 

In it, we’ll be exploring and comparing some of the different kinds of 100G transceivers. That way, you get a better idea of which option is right for you. 

What Are 100G Transceivers?

100G transceivers are quickly becoming vital to transmitting and receiving information in data centers. In the past, it was common to see 5G, 10G, or 25G transceivers. However, as the demand for bandwidth increased, 100G quickly became the industry standard for data center cabling practice

Nowadays, it’s possible to get transceivers that can go up to 800Gs. However, 100G currently remains the go-to option for most people due to their affordability and the variety of different types you can choose from.

 And as more people adopt this affordable technology, we can expect the concentration of broadband connections in this country to increase exponentially. If you want to discover more about what optical transceivers are, you can check out this helpful resource here

100G Transceiver Standards

Since the 100-gigabit network is quickly becoming the new norm, industry professionals have rushed to standardize these types of transceivers. The IEEE (or Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has been leading the charge in terms of this standardization. 

They’ve released four important standards surrounding 100G transceivers, including:

  • 100GBASE-SR10
  • 100GBASE-SR4
  • 100GBASE-LR4
  • 100GBASE-ER4

What’s more, many industrial companies have also passed multi-source agreements regarding these standards. 

The 100G PSM4 uses four sender fibers and four receivers to send or receive twenty-five gigabits each. Meanwhile, the 100G PSM4 can get that number down to two through retrocession multiplexers.

What Are the Different Types of 100G Transceivers?

You can break most 100G transceivers down into four different types. In this section, we’ll briefly cover each of them. 

Want to make sure that your data centers have adequate processing power? Read this guide to find out everything you need. 

Data being transmitted around the world

1. 100G CFP/CFP2/CFP4 Transceiver

If you have ethernet, the CFP hot-pluggable transceiver is an excellent option. It can support different transmissions on both single-form and multi-form fibers. 

Specifically, it can transmit ten by 10 Gbps. The only downside is that the CFP comes large. As such, it likely won’t meet the demands of data centers with high density. 

Related: Stranded vs. Solid Wire: When & Why It Matters

2. 100G QSFP28 Transceiver

If you are dealing with a high-density data center, the QSFP28 Transceiver is a much better option. This device can transmit data at speeds up to 28 Gbps. Moreover, its small size ensures that space isn’t an issue.

3. 100G CPAK Transceiver

The 100G CPAK Transceiver is a new proprietary technology from Cisco. In terms of appearance, it’s pretty similar to the CFP2. It’s suitable for most 100-gigabyte applications. 

Related: Control Room Design Adaptability and Modularity 

4. 100G CXP Transceiver

The CXP is a pluggable transceiver that comes with a data rate that reaches 12 by 10 Gbps. This Transceiver works well with ethernet. It’s popular in high-speed markets that require a lot of computing. 

How Do 100G Transceivers Compare With DAC and AOC? 

Transceivers aren’t your only option when it comes to 100G tech. You could also choose between 100G DACs and AOCs. DAC stands for direct attached cables, and they come in both passive and active forms. 

The passive DAC are short-range (five meters) and cheap. The active ones can increase their range to ten meters, but they’re more expensive. AOCs have an optical transceiver at each end. They can go much further than DACs, with a range of up to one hundred meters. 

So, how do you choose between a 100G transceiver and a DAC or AOC? It comes down to the type of data you need to transfer and how far it needs to go. 

For example, if you’re a data center transmitting vast amounts of data over 100 meters, then it makes sense to go with a 100G transceiver instead of a DAC or AOC. 

How to Find the Best 100G Transceivers

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by which type of 100G transceiver is right for you, don’t panic. We know that the many different styles can quickly feel like too much to handle. If you fall in this category, we recommend contacting a professional. 

Please describe your needs and ask for their recommendation. If you want, you can go to multiple professionals to see how, or if, their advice differs. 

Are you feeling lost deciding which 100G transceiver is suitable for you? If so, contact us here at C&C Technology today, and we’ll help you find the ideal solution for your needs. 

Different devices being connected through a network

The Importance of Finding the Right 100G Transceivers

We hope this guide helped you learn more about the different types of 100G transceivers. Remember that there isn’t really a correct or wrong answer for which Transceiver would work best for your organization. 

That’s because they all come with their pros and cons. So if you aren’t sure which type is right for your specific needs, reach out to a professional. 

Once you describe your current set-up, they’ll be able to describe which model best fits the need of your data center. Then you can start seeing the performance upgrade that your network deserves. 

Related: 4 Considerations for Developing an Edge Computing Storage Strategy

Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Josh Mahan

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