Multi-source agreements (MSAs) are not official standards organizations. Rather, they are agreements that equipment vendors assume when developing form factors for communications interfaces.
These form factors-"modules," as they are commonly known-are typically deployed in active electronics such as switches, servers and multiplexers.
MSAs specify parameters for system components and their guideline values, such as the electrical and optical interfaces, mechanical dimensions and electro-magnetic values.
Equipment vendors rely on MSAs when designing their systems, ensuring interoperability and interchangeability between interface modules. The multi-source notation acknowledges the choice end users retain when selecting module vendors, which serves to drive down cost through economies of scale.
MSAs are particularly important in the cabling industry as the density, line speed, power consumption and typical costs of an MSA can strongly impact its success in the marketplace. This, in turn, can drive the choice for both connector and media type.
|Name of MSA||Year of latest revision||Brief Description||Keywords/Applications|
|SFP+||2013||Enhanced small form-factor pluggable||Designed for 10Gb/s. Supports 8Gb/s Fibre Channel, 10 Gb/s Ethernet and Optical Transport Network standard OTU2|
|2013||Quad Small Form factor Pluggable 10G and 28G||Supports Ethernet, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and SONET/SDH standards up to 40GB/s and 100Gb/s|
|CXP||In Progress||C Form Factor Pluggable||CXP and CXP2. Supports Infiniband and Ethernet to 100G.|
|CFP||2013||C Form Factor Pluggable (100G)||optical transceiver form factors supporting 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s. CFP, CFP2 and CFP4|
|Obsolete MSAs |
|GBIC||2000||GigaBit Interface Converter ||Designed for Gigabit Ethernet, SDH/SONET (2.5 Gb/s) and Fibre Channel (4Gb/s). superseded by SFP|
|SFP||2001||Small Form-factor Pluggable ||Designed for Gigabit Ethernet, SDH/SONET (2.5 Gb/s) and Fibre Channel (4Gb/s) |
|XENPAK||2001||Fiber optic transceiver for 10Gb Ethernet ||Superseded by X2 and SFP+ |
|X2||2005||Fiber optic transceiver for 10Gb Ethernet ||Superseded by SFP+ |
|XFP||2005||Fiber optic transceiver for 10GB Ethernet ||Designed for 10Gb/s. Supports 8Gb/s Fibre Channel, 10 Gb/s Ethernet and Optical Transport Network|
|SNAP12||2002||12-channel optical pluggable module ||Multi-fiber parallel optics. Superseded by CFP and CXP|