The Difference between Active Cable and Direct Attach Cable
With the advent of the big-data age, the cloud technology has developed rapidly. In order to satisfy the demands of higher bandwidth and more applications in a variety of cloud computing environments, active optical cable (AOC) has emerged. Nowadays, the market of AOCs keeps growing and has a broad prospect.
Direct Attach Cable, short for DAC, is a form of high speed cable with “transceivers” on either end. They can be used to connect switches to routers or servers. They are becoming increasingly popular in the network industry and widely applied in storage area network, data center, and high-performance computing connectivity etc.
Difference between Active Cable and Direct Attach Copper Cable
Direct Attach Copper Cable
As the development of fiber technology, someone may deem that copper technology is out of fashion. This is not true for direct attach copper cable. In fact, direct attach copper cable still has its advantages in the market.
Advantages of Direct Attach Copper Cable
Enough data rate for various applications—Today’s direct attach copper cable can support higher data rates than traditional copper interfaces—from 4Gbps to 10Gbps per channel.
Interchangeability—as the development of copper cable technology, direct attaches copper cable is interchangeable and hot swappable with fiber optic modules.
Cost effective—supporting such multiple protocols as Gigabit & 10G Ethernet, 8G FC, FCoE and InfiniBand, direct attach copper cable is a cost effective solution over optical transceivers.
Disadvantages of Direct Attach Copper Cable
The defect of direct attach copper cable is that it is heavy and bulky, making it difficult to be managed. Furthermore, due to the nature of electrical signals, direct attach copper cable is vulnerable to the effects of electromagnetic interference (EMI), such as undesirable responses, degradation, or complete system failure.
Active Optical Cable
Active Optical Cable is an alternative to optical transceivers, which eliminates the separable interface between transceiver module and optical cable. It offers a number of advantages over direct attach copper cable.
Advantages of Active Optical Cable
Greater bandwidth—needing no equipment upgrades, it has a throughput of up to 40 Gbps with QSFP+.
Lightweight—Due to its material, Active Optical Cable weighs less than a comparable direct attach copper cable.
EMI immunity—since the optical fiber is a kind of dielectric (not able to conduct electric current), Active Optical Cable is immune to electromagnetic energy. over long distances and the sleek fiber cable is attractive and easy to use.
Disadvantages of AOC
Compared with direct attach copper cable, the drawback of AOC is that it may be a little expensive for customers.
DAC is widely applied in storage area network, data center, and high-performance computing connectivity, etc. AOC (Active Optical Cable) is one of the forms of DAC which integrates multimode optical fiber, fiber optic transceivers, control chip and modules. With the benefits of AOCs, such as lighter weight, high performance, low power consumption, low interconnection loss, EMI immunity and flexibility etc. AOCs are now considered as the rising star of telecommunications and datacom transceiver markets.