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Active Electrical Cables (AEC)

Affordable QSFP-DD and OSFP Interconnections for Data Center and ISP Applications

Approved’s Active Electrical Cables (AECs) provide affordable 400G QSFP-DD and OSFP interconnections for data center and Internet Service Provider (ISP) applications. AECs offer significantly improved signal efficiency for next generation networks where bandwidth demands and functionality have outgrown their cable counterparts.

Approved AECs are ideal for Network Interface Card (NIC) to Top-of-Rack (ToR) and Direct Digital Control (DDC) applications extending distance and enabling speed-shift and breakout solutions not possible in other cable types.


AECs carry 400G Ethernet signals up to 7m over copper with integrated Clock and Data Re-timer (CDR) technology to provide improvements in reach, performance, and cable thickness. These cables consume 75% less power than optics with more than 50% savings. AECs sustain 8 lanes of 56G-PAM4 signal in each direction, providing bi-directional 400G traffic per cable and are ideal solutions for straight connections between racks or ports in the data center switch and router environment. They are currently available in QSFP-DD and OSFP form factors.

AEC Breakout

AEC Breakouts carry Ethernet signals up to 5m over thin copper through inline mode-shifting, speed-shifting and FEC termination. The 400G cable breaks out from one 400G (8x56G-PAM4) OSFP or QSFP-DD end into four 100G (4x28G-NRZ) QSFP28 ends with a built-in gearbox feature, enabling the connection of new PAM4 ports to existing in-rack NRZ gear. This makes it simple and affordable to connect top-of-rack 400G ports to today’s most common switches, servers, and storage. This solution is not possible in other cable types.


Up to 50% lower power

Lower Power

Up to 50% lower power requirements than AOCs

Savings of up to 50%

Maximize Budget

Savings of up to 50% over AOC solutions

Longer Distance

Extend from 2.5m to up to 7m (5m/breakout) over DACs

Less Weight & Volume

Up to 75% less volume than 400G DACs

Tighter bend radius

Tighter Radius

Tighter bend radius saves both space and time making deployment simple and quick

Breakout your 400G DACs to 100G QSFP28 ports


Breakout your 400G AECs to 100G QSFP28 ports

Take Advantage of Approved Networks’ Expertise

Reliable and Compatible

Extensive testing for functionality and compatibility in our lab, which includes all major OEM switches and server cards. All Approved Networks AEC cables are tested lower than IEEE industry standards (to BER).

Lower Cost

Save up 80% off major OEMs, including Cisco, Juniper, Arista, Dell, Broadcom, Intel, and Mellanox.* AEC available brands

*New platforms are being added as needed.
Please contact your Approved rep for additional systems, servers and NICs.

Custom Solutions

Unique and qualified compatibility solutions for OEM platforms that don't currently have AECs in their product portfolio.

Multi-vendor coded solutions allow our AECs to operate seamlessly within your diverse OEM network environment. Customization and private labeling are available upon request.


Quick turnaround solutions for immediate purchasing needs and evaluations. We ship large quantities in under 6 weeks, nearly 4 times faster than Cisco, Arista, Juniper, Molex, and Mellanox.

Super-Charge your Data-Center with AECs Video