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What is Active Optical Cable

AOC cable converts electrical signals into optical signals, transmits them through optical fiber, and then converts the optical signals back into electrical signals at the receiving end. This conversion is done by an optical conversion chip , which consists of a transmitter and a receiver.
100G Active Optical Cable
Table of Contents

The AOC(Active Optical Cable) patch cord has the following advantages over traditional signal transmission methods.

AOC cable is a fiber optic patch cable with optical transceivers on both ends. It is a short distance transmission solution that can replace optical modules.

AOC cable converts electrical signals into optical signals, transmits them through optical fiber, and then converts the optical signals back into electrical signals at the receiving end. This conversion is done by an optical conversion chip , which consists of a transmitter and a receiver.

1.Advantages of Active Optical Cable

The AOC patch cord has the following advantages over traditional signal transmission methods.

Higher bandwidth

The optical conversion chip that regenerates and reshapes electrical signals, eliminating signal distortion and attenuation during transmission through circuits such as Limiting Amplifier, Clock Extractor, and Re-timer.

Longer transmission distance

Optical Amplifier enhances the optical signal and allows it to travel longer.

Lower electromagnetic interference

Since the transmission medium is optical fiber, which avoids electric signals from electromagnetic interference and RF interference during transmission, ensuring the stability and quality of the signal.

AOC patch cord chips
AOC patch cord chips

Better user experience

Due to high reliability, low impact by repeated plugging and unplugging, use of industry-standard interface, easy installation, and maintenance.

2.Types of AOC Patch Cable

SFP+ AOC

This type of AOC patch cable uses SFP+ (Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus) connectors and is commonly used in data center applications for connecting servers, switches, and storage devices.

SFP+ AOC patch cord

QSFP+ AOC

This type of AOC patch cable uses QSFP+ (Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus) connectors and design for high-speed data transmission over short to medium distances. We typically use in InfiniBand and Ethernet applications.

100G QSFP+ AOC

HDMI AOC

This type of AOC patch cable uses HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) connectors and we commonly use it for transmitting high-definition video and audio signals over longer distances than traditional copper HDMI cables.

The different types of AOC cables in different projects. We hope you could make it clear about AOC series products after reading this article.

3.How to Buy Satisfied AOC cable?

Data Usage for AOC Cable

AOC cables are built for data rates of 10, 25, 40, 100, and 120 GB/s, accelerating connectivity for storage, data, and high-performance processing.

Wire Length for AOC

Data centers usually use AOC cable assemblies for links up to 100 meters in length.

Reliability of AOC Wire

The dependability of all equipment becomes more important as data rates rise and consumers become less tolerant of mistakes and failures.

AOC Cable Cost & Supplier

The most popular brands are Cisco, Juniper, HP, etc.; however, products from these brands can only be used in the respective switches. The cost of original pieces is extremely expensive.

Many IT professionals are more prone to a good substitute for third-party optics from an economic perspective.

Market AOC

As data center managers work to reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs. Low-power AOC cable assemblies will become more and more crucial.

Active Optical Cable Structure

4.What is QSFP+ AOC

QSFP+ AOC active optical cables are made up of optical fibres and two QSFP+ connectors (one at each end).

QSFP+ AOC active fiber optical cables adopt multimode fibres and the QSFP+ connections on QSFP+ AOC cable are actually QSFP+ optical modules.

So that the structure and price of QSFP+ AOC fiber cable are more complex and expensive than QSFP+ DAC high-speed cables.

QSFP+ AOC active optical cables require an external power. It supply to convert electrical and optical signals and can transmit up to 100 metres.

Differences between AOC and DAC

Generally speaking, AOC active fiber cable and DAC high-speed cable have the following differences:

  1. Power consumption: the power consumption of AOC active fiber cable is higher than that of DAC;
  2. Transmission distances: theoretically, the maximum transmission distance of AOC can reach 300M, and the maximum transmission distance of DAC is 7M;
  3. Transmission media: the transmission medium of AOC is optical fiber, and the transmission medium of DAC is copper cable;
  4. Transmission signals: AOC transmits optical signals, DAC transmits electrical signals;
  5. Prices: the price of optical fiber is higher than that of copper. In addition, AOC contains lasers at both ends but DAC does not, so the price of AOC is much higher than DAC;
  6. Volume and weight: under the same length, the volume and weight of AOC is much smaller than that of DAC, which is convenient for wiring and transportation.

When selecting cables, we need to consider transmission distance and wiring cost and other factors. Generally, DAC high-speed cables can be used for interconnection distances within 5m, and AOC high-speed cables can be used for interconnection distances between 5M-100m.

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