Active optical cable (AOC) can be defined as an optical fiber jumper cable terminated with optical transceivers on both ends. It uses electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces. To understand the structure of AOC cable, the following figure depicts the detailed structure:
Active optical cables incorporate active electrical and optical components to boost and receive signal via optical fiber. They are becoming one of the most popular cabling solutions in the data center. In the modern market, a variety of AOC cables have been launched for 10G/40G/100G applications, including 10G SFP+ AOC, 25G SFP28 AOC, 40G QSFP+ AOC, 56G QSFP+ AOC, 40G QSFP+ to 4x SFP+ breakout AOC, 40G QSFP+ to 8x LC breakout AOC, 100G QSFP28 AOC, 100G QSFP28 to 4x SFP28 breakout AOC and 120G CXP AOC, etc. These AOC optics are commonly used for short-range multi-lane data communication and interconnect applications between two devices, such as rack-to-rack, shelf-to-shelf interconnect, storage, hubs, switches, routers, servers, etc.