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40G QSFP+ AOC Active Optical Cable Overview
Knowledge Base + 2024.01.29

Let's start with a review: traditional data center interconnections use coaxial cables. Now, let's compare Active Optical Cables (AOC) with copper cables. Which one has the advantage? AOC has lower transmission power on the link, weighing only one-fourth of Direct Attach Copper (DAC) cables, with approximately half the volume of copper cables. Moreover, it has good heat dissipation in the data center cabling system. AOC has a longer transmission distance compared to direct copper wires and can reach over 300 meters.

40G QSFP+ Active Optical Cable

The 40G QSFP+ Active Optical Cable is a core component for parallel optical interconnection, consisting of ribbon fiber jumpers connecting two high-speed 40G parallel connectors. Each signal direction has four data channels, each capable of operating at 10Gbps speed, with a transmission distance generally ranging from 1 to 100m. The length of the cables at the ends of the splitter can be freely chosen.

Classification of 40G QSFP+ Active Optical Cable

        1.40G QSFP+ to QSFP+ AOC

        2.40G QSFP+ to 4*SFP+ AOC

Advantages of AOC compared to Optical Modules

Compared to optical modules, AOC has no exposed optical interfaces, eliminating issues with optical interface cleanliness and contamination. This significantly improves system stability and reliability while reducing data center maintenance costs. AOC, compared to optical modules, doesn't have cleanliness issues with connectors in case of failures, saving more time for users. AOC has better consistency and repeatability in wiring, and sealed ends make it easier to avoid environmental impacts and vibrations. In case of failures, it can be replaced directly, saving costs. AOC is much cheaper than optical modules, saving deployment costs, and its transmission distance can meet various short-distance transmission application requirements.

Applications of 40G QSFP+ Active Optical Cable

AOC products are fully applicable to InfiniBand interconnection applications and comply with Ethernet IEEE 802.3ba. In the data center and cloud computing system fields, they are mainly used for interconnection between servers and switches. Walsun provides common AOC products and customization options, such as 10G SFP+, 25G SFP28, 40G QSFP+, 100G QSFP28, and other AOCs with different transmission rates.

Additional Learning Hub Resources

What is the difference between OM5, OM3 and OM4? 

Optical module common faults and solutions 

How to use SFP optical modules with switches