Good news for data center operators: Netcope Technologies now offers NFB-100G2Q, a new NIC with 2 QSFP28 optical interfaces.
NFB-100G2C is no longer the only 100G dual port NIC offered by Netcope. The key difference between this card and the new NFB-100G2Q is that NFB-100G2C has 2 CFP4 optical interfaces, while NFB-100G2Q has 2 QSFP28 optical interfaces.
CFP4 is the interface of choice for those who want to interconnect cards that have long distance between them, since the CFP4 LR4 has a reach of up to 30 kilometers. This feature, however, is needlessly expensive for data center operators or others who only need to interconnect servers that are in the same building. QSFP28 is ideal for these purposes, as it comes cheaper than CFP4.
Another benefit of QSFP28 is that it consumes less power than CFP4. With the difference of roughly 2W per transceiver it adds up to 4W per NIC and 8W per server. This might seem like a miniscule number, but with multiple servers equipped with couples of NFB-100G2Q that run 24/7, the total reduction of operational expenditures might not be so negligible after all.
Last but not least, QSFP28 is compatible with QFSP+ interface of most 40G NICs. This in practice means that if a data center network architect wants to enrich couple of servers with NFB-100G2Q, he does not need to reoutfit all the servers with 40G models, but he can instead just comfortably plug them together and save money.
In summary, NFB-100G2C is a NIC outfitted with powerful CFP4 interfaces that are ideal for interconnection of cards that are in different buildings. NFB-100G2Q is better suited for interconnection of cards in the same building, because QFSP28 transceivers cost less, consume less power and, as a bonus, they offer compatibility with QFSP+ interface.