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Avago high speed active optical cable assemblies

Jun 23, 2023

Avago Technologies has announced an active optical cable assemblies for use in high performance computing (HPC) and datacentres.

These active optical cable assemblies use proprietary technology yielding a lower cost per 10G link than active copper cables.

They support a high data throughput interconnects up to 100 metres.

The AOC portfolio includes 10GbE SFP+, 40GbE QSFP+ and 150G CXP active optical cable offerings.

AOCs use a cabling technology that accepts the same electrical inputs as a traditionalcopper cable, but use optical fibre "between the connectors" with electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends that improves speed and the link distance of the cables without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces.

System applications include data aggregation, backplane communications, proprietary protocol data transfers, and other high-density/high-bandwidth applications.

The AOC market is forecasted to grow to just under $100m by 2015, according to LightCounting's forecast.

"The main market continues to be in HPC or supercomputers with the InfiniBand protocol," said Brad Smith, senior v-p and industry analyst for data center interconnects at Lightcounting.

"Over the last couple of years AOC adoption in data centers using the Ethernet protocol to connect switch layers together and also in telecom applications, interconnecting long-haul DWDM and routers in central offices has grown."

The new SFP+ and QSFP+ AOC products are the first to be released using the new Avago AtlasTM 75X embedded optical engine.

This optical technology makes it possible to realize significantly higher performance and reach at a lower cost compared to copper cables.

The CXP AOC offerings use the proven AtlasTM 77X optical engines (also known as MicroPOD modules) which deliver all the performance, link distance and features such as DMI available in discrete transceiver solutions at a cost savings.

AOCs have numerous advantages over direct attach copper (DAC) as used in previous generation applications which cannot provide the features that are required by today's performance-enhanced applications.

The bit error rates (BER) for Avago AOCs are 10-15 compared to DAC that is 10-12. Statistically, this translates to less than one bit error per day for the Avago AOC compared to a bit error every 1-2 minutes for a copper cable.