QSFP+ AOCs achieve up to 56-Gbps over 4 km

Nov. 9, 2012
Molex has launched its low power QSFP+ 56 Gbps Fourteen Data Rate (FDR) active optical cable (AOC).

At Super Computing 2012 (SC12) in Salt Lake City, Utah (Nov. 10-16), Molex announced the availability of its low power QSFP+ 56 Gbps Fourteen Data Rate (FDR) active optical cable (AOC), which delivers aggregated data rates up to 56 Gbps over reaches up to 4 km. Molex says the QSFP+ 56 Gbps AOC integrated cable requires less than 1 W of power per cable, and provides the flexibility of traditional optical modules by interfacing to systems via a standard Multiple Source Agreement QSFP [Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable] connector.

Featuring four bi-directional optical data links per end, each operating at data rates from 1.0 to 14.0 Gbps, the new FDR AOC cables are compatible with multiple protocols including InfiniBand FDR, 10-Gbit Ethernet, SAS 2.0 and 3.0 (6 and 12 Gbps), Fibre Channel (8 and 10 Gbps). A low Bit Error Rate of 10e-18 errors provides increased data reliability and a robust link compared to standard transceivers with 10e-15 errors per link, claims Molex. The cables are also available in a low loss pigtail version, which allows customers to install the singlemode fiber separately and connect to the pigtail version to avoid constant high-cost cable upgrades as bandwidth increases.

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The 56 Gbps AOC cables from Molex are available in lengths up to 4 km (2.49 miles) for optimal design flexibility. The company contends that the cables' singlemode fiber technology provides a longer reach than copper and multimode fiber solutions in data center and campus environments. The firmware is field flashable via a I2C bus so cables can be reflashed while in the host system.

“As data centers and scalable HPC clusters become larger and more distributed, Molex's singlemode solution provides customers with a lower-cost alternative that can interconnect at medium range distances at a fraction of long range optics costs," says Brent Hatfield, product manager, Molex. "This also provides customers with a clear path to speed upgrades without having to continuously upgrade their structured cabling, and the standard QSFP+ port is an economical, readily available interconnect to support those requirements.”

Learn more about Molex's low power 56 Gbps FDR AOC cables.

See also: Structured cabling fending off active optical cables in data centers, for now

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