Guide to 40G QSFP+ Transceiver Module Installation

The 40G QSFP+ transceiver module is a hot-swappable, parallel fiber optical module with four independent optical transmit and receive channels. These channels can terminate in another 40G QSFP+ transceiver, or the channels can be broken out to four separate 10G SFP+ transceivers. The QSFP+ transceiver module connects the electrical circuitry of the system with either a copper or an optical external network. 40G QSFP+ transceivers, such as 40GBASE-CSR4 QSFP+ transceiver (Cisco QSFP-40G-CSR4), 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver (Arista QSFP-40G-SR4) , and 40GBASE-LR4 QSFP+ transceiver (Brocade QSFP-40GE-LR4), are primarily used in application in switches, routers, and data center equipment where they provide higher density than SFP+ modules. Since good 40G QSFP+ transceiver module installation can ensure the network to work stably and efficiently, it is very necessary to learn the proper installation method. Therefore this post will provide an instruction for 40G QSFP+ transceiver module installation.

Required Tools

When installing 40G QSFP+ transceiver module, some tools are necessary. The first one is the wrist strap or other personal grounding device to prevent ESD occurrences. In addition, antistatic mat or antistatic foam is crucial to set the transceiver on. Last but not least, fiber optic end-face cleaning tools and inspection equipment are needed.

Installation Procedures

QSFP+ transceivers have either a bail-clasp latch or a pull-tab latch. Now this part will introduce these installation procedures for both types of latches one by one. To better illustrate these procedures, we can specifically divide them into six steps.

Step 1: Attach an ESD Wrist Strap

Because the QSFP+ transceiver module is a static-sensitive device, use an ESD wrist strap or similar individual grounding device when handling QSFP+ transceiver modules or coming into contact with system modules. So the first step is to attach an ESD wrist strap to yourself and a properly grounded point on the chassis or the rack.

Step 2: Remove the QSFP+ Transceiver Module

Remove the QSFP+ transceiver module from its protective packaging, as shown in following picture. For optical QSFP+ transceivers, remove the optical bore dust plug and set it aside. For transceivers equipped with a bail-clasp latch, you should keep the bail-clasp aligned in a vertical position, then align the QSFP+ transceiver in front of the module’s transceiver socket opening and carefully slide the QSFP+ transceiver into the socket until the transceiver makes contact with the socket electrical connector. For QSFP+ transceivers equipped with a pull-tab, you need to hold the transceiver so that the identifier label is on the top, then follow the alignment process in the installation of transceivers with a bail-clasp latch.

remove the 40G QSFP+ transceiver module

Step 3: Check the Label

Since different QSFP+ transceiver modules have different applications, it is important for you to check the label on the QSFP+ transceiver module body to verify that you have the correct model for your network.

Step 4: Press on the Front of the Transceiver

Press firmly on the front of the QSFP+ transceiver with your thumb to fully seat the transceiver in the module’s transceiver socket (as shown in following picture). But if the latch is not fully engaged, you might accidentally disconnect the QSFP+ transceiver module.

seat the 40G QSFP+ transceiver module

Step 5: Reinstall the Dust Plug

For optical QSFP+ modules, reinstall the dust plug into the QSFP+ transceivers optical bore until you are ready to attach the network interface cable. Do not remove the dust plug until you are ready to attach the network interface cable.

Step 6: Attach the Optical Network Cable

Firstly, remove the dust plugs from the optical network interface cable connectors. At the same time, please save the dust plugs for future use. Secondly, inspect and clean the connectors’ fiber optic end faces. Thirdly, remove the dust plugs from the QSFP+ transceiver module optical bores, then immediately attach the network interface cable connector to the QSFP+ transceiver module. Finally, verify that the optical network cable is fully seated by pulling gently on the cable’s connector boot. If the network cable disconnects, reinstall it and make sure that the cable connector is fully seated and that the connector latch engages.


The correct operation can not only prevent 40G QSFP+ transceiver modules from being damaged, but also ensure its stable performance. So it is crucial to obtain the right method of installing 40G QSFP+ transceiver modules. Next time when you install 40G QSFP+ transceiver modules, the above statements may guide your installation.

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