QSFP+ AOC Cable – A Favored Solution for 40G Network

As the need for increased network bandwidth to meet the global IP traffic demand is growing rapidly, more and more data centers are deploying 40G Ethernet links. And there are various technologies and solutions to be selected for 40G transmission. 40G QSFP+ transceivers, 40G direct attach cables (DACs) and active optical cables (40GbE QSFP+ AOC Cable) are three kinds of fiber optics used to achieve 40G interconnections in data center. Among them, 40G QSFP+ AOCs are very popular and have a broad prospect. In fact, 40G AOCs are widely used in many fields and play an important role in promoting the traditional data center to step into optical interconnection.

What’s AOC?

AOC cable is a kind of optical transceiver assemblies that is terminated with transceiver-style plugs to be used in the same ports where optical transceivers are used. And 40G AOC is a 4-channel parallel active optical cable, each channel is capable of transmitting data at dates of about 10Gb/s per direction, providing an aggregated rate of about 40Gb/s over multi-mode fiber (MMF) ribbon cables. Unlike DAC cable, AOC cables are active devices, which incorporate active electrical and optical components to boost/receive signal via optical fiber. And they are embodied the latest technology capable of providing the highest data rates.


Why QSFP+ AOC Is Favored in 40G Network?

As an alternative to optical transceivers, 40G AOCs use electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces. Nowadays, active optical cabling is one of the fastest growing technologies in the data center space. QSFP+ AOC cables are popular in 40G network for the following reasons.

Less Expensive

Compared with 40G QSFP+ transceivers, 40G AOCs are much more cost-effective solutions for the data center. Firstly, the QSFP+ transceivers terminated to the cable are cheaper than the 40G QSFP+ transceivers for the reason that there are no lasers in the terminated transceivers (the lasers in the transceivers are very expensive). In addition, the Active Optical Cable eliminates the separable interface between transceiver module and fiber cable. That’s to say, the transceivers are permanently attached to the fiber cables and no patch cables are needed. While the 40G QSFP+ transceivers need to be used together with fiber patch cords which may be expensive (as the following figure shows). Furthermore, since there are no air holes between the transceivers and cables, AOC cables can provide protection from environmental pollutants and other user trouble during installation.

QSFP+ AOC link vs 40G transceiver link
Lighter and With Higher Performance

AOC cables are originally invented to replace copper technology and to facilitate high-speed data connectivity for storage, networking, and high-performance computing (HPC) applications. It is known to us that DACs are heavy, bulky and require significantly higher power, making it difficult to physically manage the data center. And the nature of electrical signals, electromagnetic interference (EMI) also limits DACs’ performance and reliability. AOC cables, however, provide lighter weight, a smaller size, EMI immunity, a lower interconnection loss, and reduced power requirements.

More Customer-Friendly

Consisting of a complete fiber-optic data link (transceivers plus cable) that can be plugged into existing ports, AOCs enable a very rapid introduction of optical connections. AOCs provide customers with access to all the great advantages of fiber (for example, high bandwidth, relatively thin, lightweight cable and so on) in a plug-in format. Furthermore, used in a largely electrical data communications infrastructure, AOCs enable the end users to literally plug into the power and security of a fiber-optics link without any special knowledge of fiber optics.


As people expect more information to be available at their fingertips, our communications systems will need to be quicker—and active optical cable is one of the best solutions to this challenge. Fiberstore provides a wide range of solutions for 40G network, including the above mentioned 40G QSFP+ transceivers, 40G QSFP+ DAC cable and 40G QSFP+ AOCs. We highly recommend 40G QSFP+ AOCs to be used in data center interconnections. All of our optical assemblies are tested in original-brand switch which ensures the 100% compatibility to your device. For more information or quotation, please contact us via sales@fs.com.

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