Know the Concepts of AOC and DAC

Published on Updated on November 28, 2023

With fiber optics gaining much traction, it is crucial to know various devices and cables used in a fiber-optic network. Some cables are connector or interfacing cables, while others are long wires which connect to the main port at one end and another device such as a fiber converter at the other. Both these cables have varied usage. With the demand for data storage and security increasing, these cables find application in data centers and businesses which involve a large amount of data. If you are looking to expand and increase the speed of your existing network, these cables are crucial along with a few other network devices such as ethernet media converters. This post discusses AOC and DOC cables in detail along with their advantages.

Know the Concepts of AOC and DAC

What is an AOC Cable?

AOC or Active optical cables work as an interface connecting two different optical modules and a cable. They actually act as a jumper cable and are short in length. This type of cable comes with optical fibers fixed in a module. These are fiber optic cables and hence transmit signals in the form of light pulses. AOCs offer a good bandwidth at a data rate of more than 40Gbps. Also, they are a one-stop solution for cables and transceivers put together. Being a fiber optic cable, it is resistant to EMI, and enables signal transmission up to 100m. This signal transmission capacity can be further extended with the help of fiber media converters.

What is a DAC Cable?

A DAC or Direct Attach Copper Cable may be either active or passive depending upon the transmission requirement, and has a fixed length and assembly. Made of copper, they cool naturally and hence reduce the possible disruption in data transfer. These are copper cables and hence transmit signals in the form electricity. Typically, these cables are meant for short distances, which means they are ideal for storage devices, servers, and switches placed on racks on server rooms, data centers, and so on you can learn more about Datacenter design cabling. If you use DAC cables, there is no need for separate transceivers and connectors. DACs are passive up to 5m and can be made active for distances more than 5m and maximum up to 15m.

A Comparative Account: AOC Cable vs. DAC Cables

Largely, you can have either a passive copper cable or an active copper cable. Else you can opt for an always active AOC cable made of fiber. Here are some differences in AOC and DAC cables

  • AOCs are generally suitable for data transmission over a short geographical distance.
  • AOC cables are more cost effective compared to DAC ones.
  • AOC cables are not flexible enough in terms of distance extension in the network. You need to preset the transmission distance. DAC cables, on the other hand are more flexible in terms of data transmission for high frequencies.
  • DACs offer electrical connectivity by connecting the corresponding ends of two cables.
  • DACs help reduce power consumption because of their minimal cooling requirements.
  • DACs do not generate lot of heat and hence can be used in applications which require a wide temperature range. AOCs do produce heat; however, they have a thin design which facilitates the required air flow for cooling.
  • The thin design of AOCs also facilitates a good bent radius, which is suitable for cabling in compact spaces.
  • AOCs do not have issues related to electromagnetic interference, while DACs may be susceptible to noise at times.

Choosing the right type of cables or any other devices for your network can be a daunting task. Ensure, you source your network devices from a reliable and certified player, and share your accurate requirements with them. VERSITRON is a leading manufacturer of a variety of fiber optic devices, and their team of experts can advise you based on your network requirements.

Rich Tull

Rich Tull
R.W. Tull is the President of Versitron, a leading technology company specializing in data communication and networking solutions. With expertise in Guiding network switches and media converters, R.W. Tull has played a pivotal role in driving Versitron's success. His deep understanding of these technologies has enabled the company to provide innovative and reliable solutions to clients. As a visionary leader, He ensures that Versitron remains at the forefront of the industry, delivering cutting-edge networking solutions that enhance data communication efficiency.
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