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Data Center Transmission Solution: DAC Cable VS AOC Cable

Data Center Transmission Solution: DAC Cable VS AOC Cable

When the data centers continue to grow in importance at the interconnecting devices and high-speed networking environments, the good transmission cable is more and more important. DAC and AOC are two commonly used cables in data centers today. Both AOC cable and DAC cable offer reliable and efficient connectivity solutions, but there are some differ in terms of technology, construction, and performance. In this blog, we will dive into the differences between AOC cable and DAC cable to help you understand which option best suits your networking needs.

What is Active Optical Cable (AOC)?

Active optical cable (AOC) is used for short-range multi-lane data communication and interconnect applications. There are transceiver modules at both ends of the active optical cable (AOC)  that allow direct communication between devices via the permanently linked fiber optic cable. It has fixed connectors on both ends and a specified length of cable. Active optical cable (AOC) is essentially a transceiver product permanently embedded in a fiber optic cable. AOC cables can be used for multi-line data communications, interconnecting applications, and accelerating storage, data, and high-performance computing.

Data Center Transmission Solution: DAC Cable VS AOC Cable

What is a Direct Attach Copper Cable ( DAC )?

DAC cable is generally called direct cable, direct copper cable, or high-speed cable. Electromagnetic shielding around the copper cable increases as the speeds increase to keep communication reliable. High-speed cable is a kind of low-cost short-distance connection solution to replace optical modules. DAC cable is designed to be used inside a rack to interconnect devices that are generally not rack-mounted, such as network switches, servers, and storage.

DAC Cable VS AOC Cable

Difference Between AOC cable and DAC cable

1. Transmission Distance: AOC cables have a longer transmission distance than DAC cables, which can transmit signals over hundreds of meters for applications that require longer transmission distances. DAC cables have a shorter transmission distance, usually only a few meters.

2. Bandwidth and Speed: AOC cables are able to support higher bandwidths and speeds and are typically used in where 40Gbps, 100Gbps, or higher transmission rates are required. DAC cables are typically used in short-distance transfer networking where high bandwidths and speeds are not a primary requirement.

3. Cost-Effective: AOC cables are more expensive than DAC cables because they use advanced technology and fiber optics; DAC cables are passive cables that use copper conductors and are generally more cost effective.

4. Power Consumption: AOC cable require power for the operation of the embedded optical transceivers. DAC cable do not require any electricity, and because of its thermal design of the cooling needs of the lower, it can significantly save the operating expenses of the data center.

Difference Between Aoc Cable and Dac Cable


AOC cable and DAC cable have emerged as next-generation solutions for high-density, high-speed networking applications. DAC cables are used to create connections between switches, servers, and storage units within the same rack. In contrast, AOC fiber optic cables are primarily used to interconnect switches, servers, and storage units in different racks within a data center. Understanding the differences is crucial to choosing the most appropriate cable and saving money. The best cost is to use DAC cables within 5 meters; above 5 meters, it is best to use AOC cables for better work.

UnitekFiber is a trusted and reputable supplier specializing in providing a wide range of fiber optic product for various networking and data communication applications. Whether you require AOC/DAC cable, or fiber optic cable assemblies for data center. UnitekFiber has got you covered. For any inquiries or further information, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at sales@unitekfiber.com.

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