40G QSFP+ AOC Overview

There is no doubt that we live in a high-speed world. From fast food to the way we walk from one place to another, everything is seemingly done as quickly as possible. So does the data transmission. The speed of data transmission has evolved from 1GbE, to 10GbE and 40GbE, even to 100GbE. As 100G Ethernet is still developing and not cost effective, most data centers prefer to deploy 40G Ethernet links. 40G QSFP+ transceivers, 40G QSFP+ direct attach cables (DACs) and 40G QSFP+ active optical cables are three main fiber optics to achieve 40G interconnections in data center. Today, I’d like to introduce 40G QSFP+ AOC in details.

Introduction to 40G QSFP+ AOC

QSFP+ AOC is a high-performance and low power integrated cable solution which provides less expensive and reliable transport for aggregated data rates up to 40Gbps. It is terminated with one QSFP+ transceiver at one end, while the other end can be terminated with QSFP+ transceivers, SFP+, LC or SC connectors. 40G AOC is a four-channel parallel active optical cable, and each channel is capable of transmitting data at a rate of 10Gbps per direction, providing a total rate of 40Gbps over multimode fiber ribbon cables. Compared to 40G DAC, 40G AOC can offer more advantages, such as lighter weight, high performance, low power consumption, low interconnection loss, EMI immunity and flexibility. Nowadays, 40G AOC is widely applied in many fields and promotes the traditional data center to step into optical interconnection.

Effective Solutions for 40G QSFP+ AOC

Generally, there are three types of 40G QSFP+ AOCs available on the market. The following text will briefly introduce them one by one.


QSFP+ to QSFP+ AOC (shown in the image below) is a 40G parallel active optical cable which transmits error-free 4×10G data over multimode fiber ribbon cables. It consists of a cable assembly that connects two QSFP+ transceiver modules respectively attached to either end of the cable. This kind of cable is usually applied in rather short distances and provides an efficient way to establish a 40G link between QSFP+ ports of QSFP+ switches with less cost.



QSFP+ to 4xSFP+ AOC (shown in the following picture) is a breakout active optical cable which contains a 40G QSFP+ transceiver on one end and four separate 10G SFP+ modules at the other end. It offers IT professionals a cost-effective interconnect solution for merging 40G QSFP+ and 10G SFP+ enabled host adapters, switches and servers. Users can install this breakout cable between an available QSFP+ port on their 40Gbps rated switch and feed up to four upstream 10G SFP+ enabled switches.



QSFP+ to 8xLC connector breakout active optical cable (see the picture below) is a high-performance, low power consumption, long reach interconnect solution supporting 40G Ethernet and fibre channel. It provides connectivity between devices using QSFP+ port on one end and 8xLC connectors on the other end.


Prospect of Active Optical Cable

Active optical cable market, including 10G AOC, 40G AOC and 100G AOC, continues growing and attracts new entrants, like some of the world’s biggest supplier of cabling and telecom components. The applications of AOC are mainly in data center, HPC, consumer electronics, HDMI and digital signage, etc. According to the newest report, sales of active optical cables for the data center will produce 1.5 billion dollars in revenues by 2019. With the increasing need for more cost-effective cabling solutions in telecommunication networks, the market and application prospect of AOCs will have a broader development.


As people expect more information available in their fingertip, it is time to deploy cost-effective and high-performance 40G active optical cables in networks. Besides 40G AOC, Fiberstore also provides 10G AOC and 100G AOC for your references. All of these AOCs are fully compatible with the original-brand switches. For more information, please kindly visit FS.COM.

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