How to Select the Right Fiber Patch Cable for 40G QSFP+ Transceiver?

It is clear that most servers in data center can support Ethernet transmission of 40G and 40G QSFP+ transceivers are considered to be the most economical solution for 40G transmission in data center. However, to make all these devices run normally and effectively, fiber patch cables must be used to connect the fiber optic transceivers which are plugged in Ethernet switches which is shown in the following picture. As the structure of 40G transmission is more complex than ever, the select of patch cords for 40G QSFP+ transceiver becomes more difficult. This article will focus on how to select the proper patch cords for 40G QSFP+ transceivers in details.

Let’s get straight to the point. Numerous things need to be taken into consideration for proper selecting the fiber patch cables for 40G QSFP+ transceivers in practical cabling. However, several factors should always be considered: the cable type of the patch cords, the connector attached on the ends of the patch cords, and the ports of the switches that need to be connected.

For the first factor to be considered is cable type. This is because of the transmission characteristic optical signals of the fiber optic. Optical signals performs different over different wavelength. And optical signals with the same wavelength performs totally different when they run through different types of cables.

A question that people might come across can illustrate the above point well. Can a 40GBASE universal QSFP+ transceiver working on wavelength of 850nm be used with OM1 patch cords? Usually, signals with wavelength of 850nm are transmitted over short distance. Thus selecting a multimode fiber patch cords would be more economical. However, OM1 patch cords, which are ususally suggested for 100Mb/s and 1000Mb/s, cannot support 40G transmission and the quality of the 40G transmission is bad. This is because the transmission distance reduced as the data rate raised. For this case, OM3 and OM4—the optimized multimode fiber optic cables for 40G transmission in short distance are suggested. OM3 can support 40G transmission up to 100 meters and OM4 can support 40G transmission up to 150 meters.

The second aspect should be considered is the connector type that attached on the both ends of the patch cords, which is usually decided by the interface of the 40G transceivers. Usually 40G QSFP+ transceivers for short distance are armed with MPO interface and for long transmission distance up to 10 km usually employ LC interface. However, there are several 40G QSFP+ transceivers do not follow this rule, like 40GBASE-PLR4 and 40GBASE-PLRL4. These transceiver with MPO interface can support transmission over long distance. The biggest characteristics of MPO connector is high density which seems perfectly satisfy the requirement of 40G transmission. However, for this kind of connect, the polarity becomes complex. Thus during the selecting of this types of patch cords. The polarity must be considered. For your reference, here offers another article which is informative about MPO polarity—”Understanding Polarity in MPO System”. The following pictures shows the commonly used 40G transceivers with MPO or LC interfaces.

The third important factor is the switch ports which is closely related to the applications. During the practical cabling, two situations are common. One is 40G QSFP+ to 40G QSFP+ cabling and the other is 40G QSFP+ to 10G SFP+ cabling.

For 40G QSFP+ to 40G QSFP+ cabling: for distance up to 100m, the 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver can be used with OM3 fiber patch cable attached with a MPO one each end. For distance up to 150m, the 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver can be used with OM4 fiber patch cable attached with a MPO one each end. For distance up to 10km, the 40GBASE-LR4 QSFP+ transceiver can be used with single-mode fiber with LC connectors. The picture above shows the transmission of 40GBASE-LR4 QSFP+ transceiver with LC connector over single-mode fiber.

For the 40G QSFP+ to 10G SFP+ cabling, fan out patch cable with MTP connector on one end and four LC duplex connectors on the other end is suggested (as shown in picture below).

In conclusion, three main factors must be considered are fiber optic cable type, fiber optic connector type and the switch port. In practical cabling, more should be considered. These three aspects are far from enough. However, Fiberstore can solve your problems with professional one-stop service including the cost-effective and reliable network designing and 40G products. You can contact sales@fs.com for more details.

Source: http://www.fiber-optic-tutorial.com/how-to-select-the-right-fiber-patch-cable-for-40g-qsfp-transceiver.html

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