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TXO Systems

Active optical cables (AOC)

Active optical cables, also known as AOC, are used for interconnect in the data centre. They are popular because they have overcome the limitations associated with passive cabling.

The AOC is comprised of multi–mode fibre (sometimes single mode) with transceivers integrated at each end plus a control chip (the active element). In this way it is able to convert electrical signals into optical signals that can be carried over the optical fibre.

What are the advantages of AOC over DAC?

  • Lighter weight. Copper cables are bulky and heavy and therefore are more difficult to manage in the data centre
  • Better performance. Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) ultimately limits the performance of copper cables
  • Lower power consumption
  • Lower interconnection loss

 The main types of AOC that TXO Optics provides are as follows:

  • 10G SFP+ to SFP+
  • 40G QSFP+ to 4 x SFP+
  • 40G QSFP+ to QSFP+
  • 40G QSFP+ to 8x LC


Protocols supported

In the case of a typical 40 Gb/s QSFP+ active optical cable the following protocols are supported:

  • Multi-rate (1Gb/s to 10 Gb/s)
  • 4 channel full duplex AOC transceiver
  • InfiniBand (registered trademark of InfiniBand)
  • Ethernet 10G, 40G
  • Fibre Channel (FC 8G 10G)
  • SAS SATA 3G 6G
  • Fibre Channel SAN 10G, 20G, 40G


The TXO Optics range of active optical cables are compatible with a wide range of data centre device manufacturers and the interconnection meets MSA (multi-source agreement) standards.