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What Factors Should Be Considered in Choosing a Cost-effective Active Optical Cable?

What Factors Should Be Considered in Choosing a Cost-effective Active Optical Cable?

Active optical cable, short for AOC, is composed of multimode optical fiber, optical transceiver, control chip and parallel optical module. Both of the optical transceiver at each end provide photoelectric conversion and optical transmission functions to increase the transmission speed and transmission distance of the optical cable without weakening the compatibility with the standard electrical interface. It is mainly used in short-distance, multi-channel data communication applications.

1. The necessity to use active optical cable (AOC)

People use active optical cables mainly to replace copper cables in data centers and high-performance computing (HPC) applications.

As far as we know, passive copper cables are heavy and bulky, and do not meet the high-density requirements of data centers. Moreover, due to the nature of electrical signals, electromagnetic interference (EMI) limits the performance and reliability of copper. However, active optical cables break through the limitations of passive optical cables and play an important role in high-speed data transmission.

2. The advantages of active optical cables

What factors should be considered when choosing a cost-effective active optical cable (AOC)? This is a concern of many people. Wish the following analysis may help you.

(1) AOC connection port

When choosing AOC, we should first determine whether the optical port of the device is SFP+ or QSFP+.

(2) The type and rate of data transmitted

  • AOC is suitable for Ethernet switch, LAN: 1G 10G 40G Ethernet;

  • Storage service, SAN: 1G 2G 4G 8G Fiber Channel;

  • Infini Band switch, Infini Band: SDR DDR QDR (2G 5G 10G).

3. Transmission distance

  • For Ethernet services, 10G SFP+ AOC and 40G QSFP+ AOC, transmitting distance is within 20m via OM2, while via OM3 optical cables, distance is up to 300m.

  • For storage services, 10G SFP+ AOC uses OM3 optical cables, which can realize the 4G service transmission distance of 380m, and the 8G service transmission distance of 150m.

4. Quality Assurance

Common brands of AOCs are H3C, Cisco, etc., and the original factory prices are prohibitively high. At the same time, there is a mixture of good and bad products in the market, with many outdated goods and even fake goods. Thus, it is particularly important to choose a strong brand manufacturer.

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