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What is the Direct Attach Cable (DAC) and Active Optical Cable (AOC)?

What is the DAC? Direct Attach Copper Cable, referred to as DAC, is generally translated as a direct connection cable or a direct connection copper cable, a cable assembly with fixed connectors at both ends, and the module head and the copper cable cannot be separated. The DAC is divided into Passive Copper Cable and Active Copper Cable. The DAC transmits all electrical signals, and does not involve the conversion of electricity to light or light to electricity.

Passive Copper Cable use shielded high-speed differential copper cables, and there are no chips on the circuit boards at both ends. During the entire signal transmission process, no signal processing is performed. Passive Copper Cable is the preferred solution for short-distance applications, and is widely used in data transmission between the same cabinet or adjacent cabinets in data centers. Its biggest features are low cost, ultra-low power consumption (less than 0.1 W) and high reliability.

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Active Copper Cable are similar to Passive Copper Cable in that they also use shielded high-speed differential copper cables, but they have high-speed electrical signal compensation chips such as pre-emphasis and equalization inside to compensate for the attenuation during electrical signal transmission, and can add switches without compensation. data transmission distance between devices. Compared with Passive Copper Cable, its biggest feature is that the cable used is thinner and the transmission distance is longer.

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What is the AOC? Active Optical Cable, referred to as AOC, translated as active optical cable. There are two modules at both ends of the AOC, and a piece of fiber in the middle. There are optical transmitters and optical receivers on the circuit boards in the modules at both ends of the AOC. Their functions are to convert electrical signals into optical signals at the transmitting end, transmit them to the optical fiber, and then convert the optical signals into electrical signals at the receiving end. Because it uses optical signal transmission, the transmission distance is longer than that of the DAC, but due to the photoelectric conversion involved, the design and processing technology are more complicated, and the cost and power consumption are also higher.

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How to choose DAC and AOC ?

The DAC has low cost and low power consumption, but the transmission distance is short. It is mainly concentrated in the application scenarios of 1 meter to 5 meters. The product structure is simple, the parts are few, and the reliability is high. It is suitable for short-distance applications that require low cost and low power consumption.

AOC has a long transmission distance, and the common length ranges from 1 meter to 30 meters. However, AOC products with a length of more than 300 meters can also be customized, but the cost is high and the power consumption is high, which is suitable for scenarios requiring convenient wiring or long transmission distance.

Active Copper Cable is generally used in application scenarios of 5-10 meters. Since the cost of copper cable is much higher than that of optical cable, the cost of optical devices is rapidly decreasing. In the distance range of 5-10 meters, the price of Active Copper Cable products Compared with AOC products, there is no obvious advantage, but the Active Copper Cable  will be more bulky in use, and the heavy weight will lead to a lot higher transportation costs, so the market share is much smaller than that of passive copper cables and active optical cables.

Sopto Technology is an experienced professional fiber networking solution provider, we can provide all kinds of DAC and AOC products. The following is the information and parameters of some products, welcome to contact us for more details.

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