CFP Optical Module Overview
2017-07-03
Optical modules are not standardized by any official body, but are in Multi-Source Agreements (MSAs). One agreement that supports 40 and 100GE is the C Form-factor Pluggable (CFP) MSA, which was adopted for distances of 100+ meters. The C stands for the Latin word for 100, centum, since the standard was primarily developed for 100GE. 
 
The CFP MSA was formally launched at OFC/NFOEC 2009 in March by founding members Finisar, Opnext, and Sumitomo/ExceLight. The CFP form factor, as detailed in the MSA, supports both single-mode and multi-mode fiber and a variety of data rates, protocols, and link lengths, including all the physical media-dependent (PMD) interfaces encompassed in the IEEE 802.3ba standard. At 40GE, target optical interfaces include the 40GBase-SR4 for 100 meters (m) and the 40GBase-LR4 for 10 kilometers (km). There are three PMDs for 100 GE: 100GBase-SR10 for 100 m, 100GBase-LR4 for 10 km, and 100GBase-ER4 for 40 km.
 CFP Optical Module Overview
CFP was designed after the Small Form-factor Pluggable transceiver (SFP) interface, but is significantly larger to support 100Gbps. The electrical connection of a CFP uses 10 x 10Gbps lanes in each direction (RX, TX). The optical connection can support both 10 x 10Gbps and 4 x 25Gbps variants. CFP transceivers can support a single 100Gbps signal like 100GE or OTU4 or one or more 40Gbps signals like 40GE, OTU3, or STM-256/OC-768.
 
The CFP-MSA Committee has defined three form factors:
 
CFP – Currently at standard revision 1.4 and is widely available in the market
CFP2 – Currently at draft revision 0.3 is half the size of the CFP transceiver; these are recently
available in the market
CFP4 – Standard is not yet available, is half the size of a CFP2 transceiver, not yet available

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