QSFP28 vs QSFP+ vs QSFP – Difference & Comparison Explained

Rashmi Bhardwaj | Blog,BUZZ,Hardware, Infrastructure & Design


This document will focus on QSFP, QSFP+ vs QSFP28. Though they look very similar in physical appearance but the transmit data rates are quite different.

QSFP, QSFP+ and QSFP28 transceivers look very similar because they all share the same small form-factor. The QSFP has evolved to QSFP+ to meet 10 Gbps data rates. The standard is the SFF-8436. Further demand for higher data rates led to the introduction of QSFP28 which supports up to 100 Gbps of speed.

Related – 400 GE technology (QSFP-DD)


What is QSFP?

QSFP abbreviation stands for Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable.

QSFP is available for use in both single-mode and multimode and can to support 4 independent channels that can individually transmit at up to 1.25 Gbps per channel for a total speed of above 4 Gbps.


What Is QSFP+?

QSFP+ abbreviation stands for Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Plus.

QSFP+ supports Ethernet, Fibre Channel and Infiniband at 10Gbp/s per channel up to a maximum of 4 channels for a total speed of 40Gbp/s.


What is QSFP28?

QSFP28 combines speeds of 28Gbps per channel for a total speed of 100Gbps. The QSFP28 interface is highly flexible and can be used in the following combinations.

  • 100 Gbps
  • 2 X 50 Gbps
  • 4 X 25 Gbps

The comparison between 3 flavours is shared below –

Abbreviated for
Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable
Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable Plus
Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable 28

QSPF includes 4 channels carrying Gigabit Ethernet, 4G FiberChannel or DDR InfiniBand.
QSPF+ is an evolution of QSPF to support 4 * 10 G channels carrying 10 GB, 10 GB FiberChannel, or QDR InfiniBand.
QSPF28 is a high-density, high-speed product designed for 100 Gbps applications.
Nominal Optical Output
4 * 2.5 Gbps
4 * 10 Gbps

4 * 28 Gbps

Download the difference table here.



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