In today’s network landscape, the adoption of 10GbE technology is rapidly increasing as enterprises expand their networks and support bandwidth-intensive applications. The versatility of 10GbE functionality offers immediate performance benefits and ensures a company’s investment is future-proofed. To facilitate 10Gbit/s data transmission applications, various types of supporting 10G fiber optic transceivers have been introduced, including 10G XENPAK, 10G X2, 10G XFP, and 10G SFP+ modules. This article aims to provide a brief overview of these 10G optical transceivers.
XENPAK: The Pioneering 10G Fiber Optic Transceiver
XENPAK was the first 10G fiber optic transceiver developed. It is a highly integrated, serial optical transponder module designed for high-speed 10Gbit/s data transmission. XENPAK modules feature XAUI interfaces and knowledge shaping (CDR) functions, complying with the XENPAK MSA protocol and the application requirements of the 802.3ae Ethernet protocol for 10GB. The working distance of XENPAK modules can reach up to 10km over G652 single-mode fiber. Newer versions of XENPAK modules, based on the 10GBASE-LX4 standard, can operate on legacy multimode fibers, enabling distances of up to 300 meters. This eliminates the need for cable reinstallation when upgrading certain 1 Gbit/s circuits to 10 Gbit/s.
X2: Compact and Reliable 10G Transceiver
The 10G X2 module shares similar functionality with XENPAK modules but is only half the size. X2 modules offer robust thermal performance and electromagnetic shielding. Initially focused on optical links up to 10 kilometers, X2 modules are well-suited for Ethernet, Fibre Channel, telecommunication switches, standard PCI-based servers, and storage connections. The 10G X2 fiber optic transceiver series includes models such as X2-10GB-SR, X2-10GB-LR, X2-10GB-ER, and X2-10GB-ZR. These modules are designed based on the X2 MSA and IEEE 802.3ae standards, catering to integrated systems solutions, fiber optics distributors, and other IT distributors.
XFP: High-Speed Standard for Network Links
XFP modules were developed as successors to the 10G X2 modules and serve as standards for high-speed computer network and telecommunication links utilizing optical fiber. They operate at near-infrared wavelengths of 850 nm, 1310 nm, or 1550 nm. The primary applications of XFP modules include 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gbit/s Fibre Channel, synchronous optical networking (SONET) at OC-192 rates, synchronous optical networking STM-64, 10 Gbit/s Optical Transport Network (OTN) OTU-2, and parallel optics links. XFP modules can operate over a single wavelength or utilize dense wavelength-division multiplexing techniques. These modules employ LC fiber connectors for high-density connectivity. The 10G XFP fiber optic transceiver series consists of models like XFP-10G-MM-SR, XFP-10GLR-OC192SR, XFP-10G-L-OC192-SR1, and XFP-10GZR-OC192LR. For instance, the XFP-10GLR-OC192SR is a Cisco 10GBASE-LR/LW XFP module operating at a wavelength of 1310nm, supporting distances of up to 10km.