Posted on Aug 19, 2009 in Knowledge Base

The Quad (4-channel) Small Form-factor Pluggable (often abbreviated as QSFP or QSFP+) is a compact, hot-pluggable transceiver used for data communications applications. It interfaces a network device motherboard (for a switch, router, media converter or similar device) to a Fiber Optic Cable. It is an industry format jointly developed and supported by many network component vendors, supporting data rates from 4×10 Gb/s. The format specification is evolving to enable higher data rates; as of May 2013, highest supported rate is 4×28 Gb/s.

The QSFP specification supports Ethernet, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and SONET/SDH standards with different data rate options. QSFP+ transceivers are designed to support Serial Attached SCSI, 40G Ethernet, 20G/40G Infiniband, and other communications standards. QSFP modules increase the port-density by 3x-4x compared to SFP+ modules.