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Active Optical Cables (AOC)

Lower Your Operational Costs with Approved Networks AOCs

icon active optical cables

Active Optical Cables (AOCs) are Multi-Mode (MM) or Single-Mode (SM) transceivers that have a bonded fiber connection. This creates a complete fiber assembly much like a DAC, but with distances that can reach up to fifty meters. The connector modules cannot be removed from the cable, so all AOCs are a fixed length. AOCs connect directly to ports (or line cards) within servers, switches, and data storage devices.

Used extensively in Ethernet hyperscale and enterprise data centers, AOCs have become a popular way to link Top-of-Rack (ToR) switches to aggregation layer switches, much like End-of-Row (EoR) and leaf switches. Several hyperscale companies have publicly stated their preference for AOCs when linking ToR switches. AOCs are an extremely popular solution for high-speed, NVMe FLASH subsystems.

Approved Networks’ AOCs are available in 10GB, 25GB, 40GB, 56GB, 100GB, 200GB, and 400GB data rates with multiple form factors. They come in both standard and breakout solutions for Ethernet, Infiniband, Omni-Path, SDR, DDR, QDR, and Fiber Channel interconnects.


Available with data rates from 10 to 400G, Approved’s AOCs are the most secure, lowest-cost and lowest-power optical link on the market. Most often used to create 3-30 links between switch-to-switch or switch-to-server links inside hyperscale, cloud, enterprise and government data centers. Available in lengths up to 50 meters depending on data rate.

Compatible with over 80 OEM system vendors, Approved Networks has a stable and flexible solution to fit almost any requirement.

AOC Breakout

AOC Breakout cables are a hybrid construction made with a QSFP+, QSFP28, QSFP56, QSFP-DD, or OSFP optical transceiver on one side, and two/four SFP+, SFP28, QSFP56, QSFP28, or QSFP-DD optics on the other side.

This is ideal for data transmissions between multiple devices, or that are directed to multiple ports. Depending on form factor and data rates, we offer AOC Breakouts that go up to 400G, and lengths up to 50 meters.



Ease of install and service at global data center locations.

Lower Optical Power Consumption Cost

  • QSFP28 SR4 optical transceiver = 3.5 W
  • QSFP28 AOC < 2.2 W
  • One watt saved at the component level translates to up to five watts at the facility level

Smaller circumference

Thinner, lighter, and tighter bend radius cables enable more flexible configurations (200-250mm or < 1 inch)

Increased Reliability

Factory assembly and testing limitations address cabling, compatibility, and power draw.

Lower Operational Cost

Plug and play simplicity reduces time spent inspecting and cleaning connections and cable components.

EMI immunity

AOC optical fiber uses light signals, making the AOC immune to electromagnetic interference and electrical static charge.

Take Advantage of Approved Networks’ Expertise

Reliable and Compatible

We do extensive testing for functionality and compatibility in our lab, which includes all major OEM switches and server cards.

Custom Solutions

Custom length, color, and private labeling are available upon request. We also offer same-day shipping on multi-vendor coded solutions (something the OEMs do not provide), because we understand your need for AOCs to operate promptly between different switch and server manufacturers.

Lower Cost

Save up 70% off major OEMs, including Cisco, Juniper, Arista, Nokia, Dell, Broadcom, Intel, and Mellanox.

TAA Compliant

Programmed, tested, labeled, and packaged in the United States.


Quick turnaround solutions for immediate purchasing needs and evaluations. We ship large quantities in under three weeks on most form factors, nearly eight times faster than Amphenol, Siemon, Molex, Finisar, Intel, and Mellanox.

DACs and AOCs - Multi-vendor Direct Attach Copper cables and Active Optical Cables Video