Active optical cables (AOCs) are used for short-range multi-lane data communication and interconnect applications. Usually, the wire transmission of optical communication should belong to passive part, but AOC is an exception. AOCs consist of multimode optical fiber, fiber optic transceivers, control chip and modules. They use electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces.
L-com has launched a series of active optical cables (AOCs), designed to address high-speed data centers and enterprise networking applications. The new AOCs are hot swappable, pluggable cable assemblies that support high-speed Ethernet, InfiniBand and Fibre Channel connectivity (10Gbps-100Gbps). Although they use the same electrical interface as Direct-Attach Cables (DACs), AOCs utilize fiber-optic cable instead of copper wiring, so they are able to support distances up to 100 meters. Furthermore, DACs are limited by crosstalk since they utilize copper cabling and generally cannot support distances over 10 meters.