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The Difference between DAC and AOC Cable

With the development of the big data era, there are more and more high-density and high-bandwidth applications. High-speed cables and active optical cables are used more and more widely in short-distance data transmission. Both AOC active optical cables and DAC high-speed cables are used Used for short-distance server interconnection in data centers and interconnection between servers and switches, so what are their characteristics?


AOC Cable


DAC Cable

DAC Direct Attach Copper Cable, It is composed of a dual-core copper wire and optical module connectors at both ends, usually purchased in a fixed length. DAC cable include passive copper cables and active copper cables, both of which can directly transmit electrical signals through copper wires. The difference is that passive copper cables are widely used to connect servers to servers or to connect servers to top-of-rack (TOR) switches. Passive copper cables can transmit without signal modulation because of the passiveness and power consumption. It is zero, the delay is minimal and cost-effective; while the active copper cable is equipped with electronic components inside the optical transceiver to enhance the signal. In general, DAC cables are commonly used in wiring racks to connect switches, servers, and storage devices.

High-speed cables are much cheaper than optical modules of the same type. The connectors used at the high-speed cable end are the same as the interfaces of the optical modules, but the connector modules above do not have the expensive optical lasers and other electronic components that optical modules have. It saves cost and power consumption. The high-speed cable adopts silver-plated conductor and foamed insulated core wire, which has excellent attenuation performance and low delay performance, which can not only make the signal transmission accurate, but also increase the transmission speed. In short-distance applications Widely welcomed, the longest transmission distance of the DAC cable is 10 meters (passive DAC: 7m; active DAC: 10m).


AOC Active Optical Cable, It is composed of fiber jumpers and optical modules. The optical transceivers at both ends of the fiber jumpers provide photoelectric conversion and optical transmission functions. An external power supply is required to complete the signal conversion. First, convert electrical signals to optical signals, and then convert them. Into an electrical signal. Different from the copper cables used in DAC cable, the transmission medium used by AOC active optical cables is optical fibers. There are optical laser devices in the optical modules. The optical modules and optical fibers are integrated and cannot be separated. Therefore, the cost is higher than DAC. The cable is higher, and the length can be customized when purchasing.

Because the AOC active cable uses optical fiber transmission, its longest transmission distance can reach 100m. At the same time, because the optical fiber cannot conduct electricity, the AOC active cable is not subject to electromagnetic interference, and the DAC cable contains copper material, which is susceptible to electromagnetic interference. Impact; AOC active optical cables provide a flexible way to connect within and across adjacent racks. And AOC supports longer distance between racks. AOC is thinner and lighter than DAC, which makes wiring easier. AOC high-speed cables are mainly used for storage equipment, switches, and interconnection between switches and servers in data center wiring racks. SOPTO provides various products ranging from 1m to 100m, including CXP, QSFP28, QSFP, SFP28, SFP+ size specifications and 10G~120G data rates.

When we select cables, we need to consider factors such as transmission distance, wiring cost and environment. Generally, for interconnection distances within 5m, DAC cable can be used. For interconnection distances within 5m-100m , Can use AOC cable.

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