Why Does AOC Meet With Great Favor in 40G Network?

Nowadays more and more data centers are deploying 40G Ethernet links due to the growing need for higher network bandwidth. A variety of technologies and solutions can be chosen for 40G transmission, which includes 40G QSFP+ transceivers, 40G direct attach cables (DACs) and 40G active optical cables (AOCs). All of the three are used to achieve 40G interconnections in data center, and 40G AOCs are very popular and have a broad prospect. Actually, AOCs are widely used in many fields and play an important role in promoting the traditional data center network to step into optical interconnection. This article will explain why AOC meets with great favor in 40G Network.

Definition of AOC

AOC is a type of optical transceiver assemblies terminated with transceiver-style plugs to be used in the same ports where optical transceivers are inserted. 40G AOC can be terminated with 40G QSFP+ connector on one end and on the other end, besides QSFP+ connector, it can be terminated with SFP+ connectors and LC connectors. Moreover, 40G AOC is a 4-channel parallel active optical cable and each channel is able to transmit data at 10Gb/s per direction, providing an aggregated rate of 40Gb/s over multimode fiber ribbon cables. AOCs incorporate active electrical and optical components to boost and receive signal via optical fiber. And they are embodied the latest technology capable of providing the highest data rates for network.


What Makes AOC Popular?

Using electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces, the active optical cables are becoming one of the most popular cabling solutions data center network. The reasons are as follows.

Lower Cost

Compared with 40G QSFP+ transceivers, the 40G AOCs are much more cost-effective solutions for the data center. First, the QSFP+ transceivers terminated to the cable are cheaper than the 40G QSFP+ transceivers because there are no lasers in the terminated transceivers. The lasers in the transceivers are very expensive. Second, the AOC eliminates the separable interface between transceiver module and fiber cable. This means that the transceivers are permanently attached to the fiber cables and no fiber optic patch cables are needed. The 40G QSFP+ transceivers need to be used with fiber optic patch cables which may be expensive (see the picture below). Third, AOCs can provide protection from environmental pollutants and other user trouble during installation due to no air holes between the fiber optic transceivers and cables.

active optical cable

Higher Performance With Lighter Weight

As is known to all, DACs are heavy, bulky and require significantly higher power, which makes it difficult to physically manage the data center. And the nature of electrical signals and electromagnetic interface (EMI) also limits DAC’s performance and reliability. However, AOCs are originally invented to replace copper technology and to facilitate high-speed data connectivity for storage, networking, and high-performance computing (HPC) applications. They have lighter weight, a smaller size, EMI immunity, a lower interconnection loss, and reduced power requirements.

More User-friendly

AOCs consist of a complete fiber-optic data link (transceivers plus cable) that can be plugged into existing ports, which enables a very rapid introduction of optical connections. Moreover, the AOCs can provide users with access to all the great advantages of fiber in a plug-in format, such as high bandwidth, relatively thin, light-weight cable and so on. Used in a largely electrical data communications infrastructure, AOCs enable the end users to literally plug into the power and security of a fiber-optic link without any special knowledge of fiber optics.


With lower cost, higher performance and lighter weight, the AOC meets with great favor in 40G network. It is one of the best solutions to quicker and efficient communication systems. FS.COM supplies a wide range of solutions for 40G network including the 40G QSFP+ transceivers, 40G DACs and AOCs. The AOCs are highly recommended to be used in data center interconnections. Futhermore, all of our optical assemblies are tested in original-brand switch to ensure the 100% compatibility to your device.