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QSFP28 PSM4, QSFP28 SR4 and QSFP28 LR4: What

Are Their Differences

The appearance of QSFP28 optical transceivers is the same as that of 40G QSFP + optical
transceivers. The difference is that QSFP28 optical transceiver can transmit optical signals up to
100G. Therefore, QSFP28 optical transceivers have become the mainstream of 100G optical
transceivers and are the preferred solution for 100G network upgrade. There are mainly four
kinds of popular QSFP28 optical transceiver modules: QSFP28 SR4, QSFP28 LR4, QSFP28 CWDM4
and QSFP28 PSM4. In this article, we will focus on describing the differences between QSFP28
PSM4 optical transceiver, QSFP28 SR4 optical transceiver, and QSFP28 LR4 optical transceiver.

The Definition of 3 Types of QSFP28 Optical transceivers:

The QSFP28 PSM4 optical transceiver is a high-speed, low-power product with a hot-swappable
QSFP form factor and built-in digital diagnostics function. It has eight optical fibers, each with a
data rate of 25Gbps.

The QSFP28 SR4 optical transceiver is a parallel 100G optical transceiver with the advantages of
high port density and low cost. If you need a short distance transmission of optical transceivers
for 100G network upgrade, you can choose QSFP28 SR4 optical transceiver.
The QSFP28 LR4 optical transceiver is an optical transceiver with transmission distances up to
2km. It provides an ideal solution for the ever-increasing transmission distance requirements of
very large data centers and will lead the use of single-mode optical fibers in the data center.

Differences between QSFP28 PSM4, QSFP28 SR4 and QSFP28 LR4

1. Different Transmission Methods

As we all know, QSFP28 optical transceivers usually have four transmission channels, and each
channel data rate is 25Gbp. This transmission method is very similar with 40G QSFP+ optical
transceiver transmissions. QSFP28 SR4 optical transceiver and QSFP28 PSM4 optical transceiver
both use 12-way MTP interface, realizing the 8-way fiber bidirectional 100G transmission. But the
QSFP28 LR4 optical transceiver cannot do this, which is transmitted at the same time in two LC
duplex fibers in one direction for 100G transmission.

2. Different Transmission Media and Transmission Distance

The QSFP28 SR4 optical transceiver operates at 850nm and is used with OM3 or OM4 multimode
optical fibers and OM3 optical fiber. When using together, the maximum transmission distance of
up to 70m, and OM4 fiber transmission distance up to 100m.

The QSFP28 LR4 optical transceiver is usually used with single-mode fiber, which operates at
1310 nm and has a maximum transmission distance of up to 10 km.

The QSFP28 PSM4 optical transceiver is generally used with a 12-way MTP interface and
single-mode optical fiber with a transmission distance of up to 2km.

3. Different Cabling Structure

Optical transceiver transmission has playing a very important role in the optical fiber routing.
Because the QSFP28 SR4 optical transceiver and the QSFP28 LR4 optical transceiver are used for
short-distance transmission and long-distance transmission respectively, their wiring structures
are different. The former requires multi-fiber cabling based on a 12-way MMF MTP interface,
while the latter requires only a traditional two-fiber SMF cabling. In this case, the conversion
between multimode fiber and single-mode fiber is very complicated because they use a
completely different wiring structure.

Although the QSFP28 PSM4 optical transceiver operates in single-mode fiber, its wiring structure
is the same as that of the QSFP28 SR4 optical transceiver. Using the QSFP28 PSM4 optical
transceiver saves conversion costs between multimode and single-mode without changing
existing cabling structures.

4. Different Working Principle:

(1) Working Principle of QSFP28 PSM4 optical transceiver:

The QSFP28 PSM4 optical transceiver works in much the same way as the QSFP28 SR4 optical
transceiver. The difference is that the QSFP28 PSM4 optical transceiver operates on single mode
fiber while the QSFP28 SR4 optical transceiver operates on OM4 multimode fiber.

(2) Working Principle of QSFP28 SR4 optical transceiver:

QSFP28 SR4 optical transceiver transmits signals at the transmitting end; the electrical signals are
converted into optical signals by the laser array and then transmitted in parallel on the ribbon
multimode fiber. Upon reaching the receiving termination, the photodetector array converts the
parallel optical signals into parallel Electrical signals.
(3) Working Principle of QSFP28 LR4 optical transceiver:

QSFP28 LR4 optical transceivers are typically used with LC single-mode fiber optic cables to
convert 4 25Gbps electrical signals into 4 LAN WDM optical signals and then multiplexed into a
single channel for 100G optical transmission. At the receiving end, the module demultiplexes the
100G optical inputs into 4 LAN WDM optical signals, which are then converted into 4 electrical
signal output channels.

Types Connector Fiber Transmission Wavelength Cabling


Type Distance
QSFP28 SR4 MPO MMF 100m 850nm 12-Way
MPT
QSFP28 LR4 LC SMF 10km 1295.56/ Duplex LC
1300.05/1304.58/1309.14nm
QSFP28 MTP SMF 2km 1310nm 12-Way
PSM4 MPT

Conclusion

The QSFP28 SR4 optical transceiver is suitable for 12-way MTP fiber cabling systems and also for
short-distance transmission of OM3, OM4 multimode fiber. The QSFP28 PSM4 optical transceiver
is also suitable for transmission with 12 MTP interfaces, but it is suitable for use with single-mode
fibers and can transmit distances up to 500m. QSFP28 LR4 optical transceiver is for data
transmission up to 2km. If you want to know more about 100G optical transceiver solution, you
can visit Gigalight official website.