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1987 - 2017

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We specialize in Cables, Connectors, Adapters & Converters for the Audio, Video & Computer markets that gives our Clients an edge over the competition. By working with Customers of all levels on a daily basis, we have the ability to develop our products and services through the use of leading edge technology.

Our data products cover virtually every communication application. They are the ultimate solution that will not only meet your current requirements, but your future ones too, with greater bandwidths, enhanced durability, and easier installation.

Technology moves fast and we keep up.

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Active Optical Cable (AOC) is a cabling technology that accepts same electrical inputs as a traditional copper cable, but uses optical fibre “between the connectors”. AOC uses electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces.

 An active optical cable (AOC) assembly is composed of 4 functional parts.

1. The Connector or Plug

2. An Active Optical Transceiver. Normally embedded inside the connector or plug.

3. An Optical connector. This connector is permanently attached to the shell and fibre. This permanent attachment shields the optical interface from the end user and also      from environmental contaminants.

4. The Optical Fibre Cable

So the basic idea of AOC is to embed the active optical transceiver components into the electronic connector instead of using separate optical transceiver and plug-able fibre cable. (since the cable is permanently attached).


Simply put, Active Optical Cable (AOC) assemblies were invented to replace copper technology in data centres and high performance computing (HPC) applications.

The first driver came from InfiniBand technology. As InfiniBand data rates rise and data centre clusters grow in size, copper cable technology is getting stretched to its limits. InfiniBand Double Data Rate (DDR) of 20 Gigabits per second (Gbps) means that conventional copper cable is limited to an 8 to 10 meter reach.

This may be fine for small clusters, but for larger clusters, this physical link distance makes the physical layout of the cluster becomes a real challenge. Due to the inherent bandwidth-distance limitations of high-speed copper cable assemblies, it is not uncommon for designers to embed amplifiers, signal regenerators, or similar devices within a cable assembly.

Copper cable is heavy and bulky, making it difficult to physically manage the data centre. And because of the nature of electrical signals, electromagnetic interference (EMI) limits copper’s performance and reliability. If you have a scaled-out high performance cluster, these problems really add up.

So that was why Intel and Luxtera invented Active Optical Cable assemblies to fill the gap.

Active Optical Cable assembly has many potential advantages. If the network equipment is properly designed, it becomes possible to have a common electrical port that can accept either passive copper cable or active copper cable, allowing the user to select the appropriate technology and cost with easy reconfiguration.

The optical connector can be an expensive, precision element (particularly for parallel optical links) due to tight manufacturing tolerances. This is eliminated by permanently attaching the fibres to the optics.

The following list presents the major benefits of Active Optical Cable assemblies.

Longer Reach and Higher Bandwidth

Secure, Reliable Transport

Limited EMI/RFI Exposure

Low Bit-Error Rate (BER) – 10-15

Smaller Size and Lower Weight Compared to Copper Cables

Breakdown of AOC market by applications.

Mainframes/Supercomputers (High Performance Computing – HPC)

High Definition TV (HDTV)

Personal Computers

Consumer Electronics (CE)

USB Type C Adapters HDMI Active Optical Cables & Adapters Premium Certified HDMI Cables Displayport Active Optical Cables & Adapters USB Active Optical Cables & Converters


Things change fast in the cable & connector industry world. With new cables, connectors & trends constantly emerging, keeping up can become very difficult.

Data - Computer - Audio - Video Cables - Connectors - Adapters

Tel: +44 (0)1493 717531

Email: info@microxpress.co.uk



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