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Short-Range 100G QSFP28 and 40G QSFP+ are widely used in data center applications these days. Generally speaking, 12-fiber patch cords with female, MPO type connectors are used for the types of transceivers as mentioned earlier. On the other hand; single-mode fiber (SMF) patch cords with duplex LC connectors are used for the long-range QSFP28 and QSFP+ transceivers. In all these applications, OM3 or OM4 fiber can be used. In this article, we are going to talk about the possible cabling solutions for QSFP28 and QSFP+ transceivers.


Available types of QSFP28 and QSFP+

The 40G QSFP+ transceivers are available in five common variations for short-range to long-range applications. In the case of 40G QSFP+, the minimum and maximum link distance are 100m` and 40km. Whereas, two types of 100G QSFP transceivers are available. Following is a table that contains summarized information about different available standards of cabling options for QSFP28 and QSFP+ transceivers:

12-Fiber Patch Cord with MPO/MTP Connector

12-Fiber Patch Cords with MPO connectors are widely used for in the interconnection of two similar kinds of transceivers like the ones shown in the following illustration:



In addition to this; fiber patch cords can also be utilized for the interconnection of 4x10GBASE-LR transceivers such as 40GBASE-PLR4 and 40GBASE-PLRL4. In this way, breaking of the signal into four separate signals can be avoided as one fiber strand will be employed as a single 10G transmission channel. Here, it is essential to understand that the correct polarity of the cables is something critical. On the 12-fiber patch cords, the MTP or MPO connectors should remain in key-up position. Proper polarity should be maintained throughout the cable plant when multiple patch panels are installed between two QSFP28 or QSFP+ transceivers.

Multimode OM3 12-fiber MTP patch Cord
• 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 70m
• 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ 100m

Multimode OM4 12-fiber MTP patch cable
• 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 100m
• 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ 150m

Single-mode 12-fiber MTP/MPO Patch Cord
• 40GBASE-PLR4 QSFP+ 2km • 40GBASE-PLRL4 QSFP+ 1km

12-Fiber Breakout Cables with MTP-LC Duplex Type Connectors

These cables are widely used to connect a 4x10GBASE-SR or 4x10GBASE-LR transceiver to four separate 10GBASE-SR SFP+ or 10GBASE-LR transceivers. The 12-fiber breakout cables consist of a 12-ribbon fiber-optic cable. This kind of cable splits a single cable with an MTP connector on its one end into 4 different cable pairs with 4 independent LC duplex connectors on the other end.

Multimode OM3 12-fiber MTP-LC Breakout Cord
• 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 70m
• 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ 100m

Multimode OM4 12-fiber MTP-LC breakout Cord
• 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28 100m
• 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ 150m

Singlemode 12-fiber MTP-LC breakout cable
• 40GBASE-PLR4 QSFP+ 2km

LC Duplex Patch Cables

Singlemode patch cables with duplex LC connectors are used in connecting two similar type transceivers such as; 100GBASE-LR4-to100GBASE-LR4 or 40GBASE-LR4-to-40GBASE-LR4. This cable consists of one fiber pair with 2 x LC duplex connectors at both ends.

Single-mode LC Duplex Patch Cords
• 100GBASE-LR4 QSFP28 10km
• 40GBASE-ER4 QSFP+ 40km
• 40GBASE-LR4 QSFP+ 10km