“Pluggable Optical transceivers” also called “Optics”, are the basic building blocks of optical networks. Their function is sending and receiving optical signal over fiber. Making the optic switchable was a major step forward in the flexibility of the optical interfacing of network hardware. It has not only reduced the range of manufacturers, network designers now have access to a wide range of possibilities in terms of distance and fiber optic type.
Optics are standardized and can be used in various types of hardware such as switches, routers and servers from different manufacturers. The optical signals supported by the Optic can vary in characteristics depending on the type of network, data rate and effective distance.
The Optics come in different formats, such as SFP (Small Form factor Pluggable tranceiver), XFP (10 Gigabit Small Form factor Pluggable transceiver), SFP + (enhanced Small Form factor Pluggable transceiver), CFP (C form factor pluggable) , and QSFP (Quad, 4-channel, Small Form-factor Pluggable).