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COM, EXT, IND - Temperature Ranges for SFPs

COM, EXT, IND - Temperature Ranges for SFPs

When you build a network, you primarily focus on hardware that meets certain requirements. It has to be fast enough and able to manage enough traffic for your applications.

In some cases, it might also need durability requirements, and one of the scariest things for sensitive networking equipment (like SFPs) is something as simple as temperature. If it gets too hot or too cold, it can damage your hardware, and your whole network fails.

The good news is that you can very easily navigate temperature durability in equipment by learning about the simple industry standards. Below, we’ll cover the three primary standards for SFP equipment.

A Quick Breakdown of Temperature Ranges

Before we get into the specifics of each of the three main standards, let’s take a moment to get everyone on the same page. When discussing temperature ranges for IT equipment, there are a few possibilities. The numbers can refer to safe storage ranges, safe operating ranges, and optimal performance ranges.

They are pretty self-explanatory. The point is that the standards being discussed here all refer to safe operating temperature ranges. That means you can expect your equipment to perform normally and without any added safety issues as long as ambient air temperatures stay within the range.


With that covered, the first standard is the commercial temperature range (COM). This is the most common of the three standards, and unless you see otherwise, you can assume that your SFP hardware operates in this range.

Safe temperatures range from 0 to 70 (32 to 158).

COM hardware is absolutely fine in most data centers and enterprise applications. After all, these kinds of networks are usually indoor, climate-controlled environments.


Next up is the extended temperature range. As the name implies, this temperature range is larger than the COM standard. In fact, EXT safe temperatures range from -5 to 85 (23 to 185).

To contextualize these numbers, EXT hardware is fine in a wide range of outdoor settings, but it won’t hold up well in extreme cold. It can dip a little below freezing, but not by much. Deep winter freezes can and will damage EXT equipment.


That’s why the industrial temperature range exists. It’s the widest temperature range among the standards, and it’s quite robust. This hardware is safe from -40 to 85 (-40 to 185). That gets well below freezing, and IND hardware is viable in the vast majority of outdoor settings. Some extreme winter weather can drop below -40, but it’s uncommon.

At the same time, the high temperature extremes also make IND hardware ideal in many production facilities and other harsh industrial environments.

That’s really all you need to know about temperature standards for SFP hardware. You might find safe storage temperatures listed in the literature for your equipment. Storage temperatures will follow similar trends as compared to operating temperatures. It’s worth noting that for the same module, the storage and operating temperatures might not be identical.

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