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What is an AOC?

Active Optical Cables, or AOCs, are fiber optic cable assemblies, terminated with transceiver housings on each end. AOCs are available in 1 meter to 100 meter lengths, and typically use about 1W of power. Inside the AOC cable assembly are multiple multi-mode fibers that allow transmit and receive functionality. Each fiber is factory terminated into the transceiver housing.

AOCs are available for use in standard transceiver form factors, including

  • 10G SFP+
  • 25G SFP28
  • 40G, 56G QSFP+
  • 100G QSFP28
parts of an aoc

Parts of an AOC


AOCs are commonly used in End-of-Row data center applications, direct connecting network elements like top of rack switches to End-of-Row and aggregation switches.

AOCs can also be configured to support 4x10G and 4x25G applications. These configurations allow a 100G or 40G switch port to connect to four 10G or 25G ports. The QSFP switch port must support breakout applications and be configured by the user to support. The AOC cable simply provides the optical lanes for each circuit. Breakout cables are available up to 100 meters.

4x Breakout DAC

4 x Breakout DAC

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