Black Box aims new SFP/QSFP active optical cables at data centers, edge networks

Aug. 31, 2020
With integrated SFP/QSFP transceivers, the company says its new all-in-one cable solutions may significantly reduce the cost and complexity of fiber installs.
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Black Box has introduced a new family of networking active optical cables (AOC) optimized for data center and edge network applications.

Offering SFP+ 10Gbps, SFP28 25Gbps, QSFP+ 40Gbps, and QSFP28 100Gbps AOC variants, Black Box says the new product family addresses the increasing need for lower-cost, high-speed interconnectivity solutions that are flexible enough to be used in applications of one meter or hundreds of meters, "while maintaining the premium performance required to support the always-on, connected world of today," as stated by the company.

Capable of transmitting data over longer distances than Direct Attach Cables (DACs) with higher bandwidth support, the Black Box notes its new Networking AOCs allow connection of (Q)SFP network equipment across multiple racks, whereas DACs are limited for use primarily within a rack. With integrated SFP/QSFP transceivers, the company says the new all-in-one cable solutions may significantly reduce the cost and complexity of fiber installs, while eliminating the time-consuming and expensive testing often required with modular transceivers. 

Further, for connecting Cisco switches, servers, and routers the new Black Box AOCs are 100% compliant with their Cisco counterparts. Constructed for full compliance with MSA industry standards, the new cables also support non-Cisco equipment that does not require proprietary connectivity.  

Available in an array of lengths and speeds, the Black Box Networking AOCs can be used for switch-server interconnectivity inside racks, between racks, and across multiple rooms. Because they are compatible with the Black Box Emerald Unified KVM platform and MCX 4K network AV distribution and management system, the company's Networking AOCs can also be used to connect the transmitters of these KVM and AV-over-IP solutions to network switches. 

“To accommodate the rapidly rising demands of cloud services, media streaming, and big data storage, data centers and enterprise IT departments are upgrading their equipment from 10Gbps to 25Gbps, and from 40Gbps to 100Gbps,” observes David Muzinic, product manager at Black Box. Muzinic concludes, “The features of our new Networking AOC family align perfectly with the requirements of both large, hyperscale data centers and smaller edge networks, providing high-performance interconnectivity for Ethernet, Infiniband, Fibre Channel applications, and more.” 

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