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Comparison of 40GBASE QSFP+ AOC and 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ Transceiver

40G AOC has similar performance as 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver. It’s much more faster and easier for 40G interconnection. But everything has its pros and cons. Let’s tale a look at the differences between 40G QSFP+ AOC and 40G QSFP+ SR4 transceiver.

Because of the increasing needs for high speed network, fiber optic transceivers have been improved in the past years. 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver with small size can support conversion between optical signals and electrical signals of high data rate and is now a commonly applied interconnection solution in data center for short distance. At the same time, another network interconnection is rising. And that’s AOC (active optical cable), which is a kind of DAC (direct attach cable) and can be also used in data center.

A 40G AOC usually contains a length of fiber optic cable connected with QSFP+ connectors on both ends. There are also fanout 40GBASE QSFP+ AOC with a QSFP+ connector on one end and several SFP+/XFP connectors on the other end. 40G AOC has similar performance as 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver and it doesn’t need fiber optic connectors. It’s much more faster and easier for 40G interconnection. But everything has its pros and cons. Let’s tale a look at the differences between 40G QSFP+ AOC and 40G QSFP+ SR4 transceiver from the following aspects.

Transmission Distance

Usually 40G QSFP+ SR4 can support longer transmission distance than that of 40G QSFP+ AOC. For 40G transmission, if the distance is less than 100 meters, the performance of the two are almost the same. However, if the transmission distance is longer than 100 meters, the performance of 40G AOC is not as good as 40G transceiver. But our 40G AOC can support 40G transmission distance up to 300 meters.

Reliability and Stability

In data center, the plugging of connectors for regular use and maintenance will influence the reliability and stability of an equipment. Compared with 40G QSFP+ SR4 transceivers, the advantage of 40G AOC is that its connectors are factory pre-terminated. So AOC can avoid the repeated plugging. And there is no insertion loss and return loss, which can ensure its reliability and stability.

Installation and Maintenance

40G AOC and 40G QSFP+ SR4 transceiver are highly integrated components that provide increased port density and high data rate connection with great convenience during installation and maintenance. However, 40GBASE QSFP+ AOC is superior in this aspect. This is mainly because, it is factory pre-terminated. Just plug the connectors on the devices, the AOC can start working. Different from 40G QSFP+ SR4 transceiver, it needs to link two modules for interconnection. Moreover, if there is a fault, you can just replace the AOC. But the tests for the MPO connectors and cables are needed if 40G QSFP+ SR4 transceivers are used. Thus, AOC is easier and faster in installation and maintenance.

Digital Diagnostic Monitoring

Digital diagnostic monitoring is a function that most modern transceivers including 40G QSFP+ SR4 have. With this function, the working performance of optics can be visually tested and controlled.The coupler state and sensitivity of this 40G transceiver can be adjusted to the best with its help. But now 40G AOC doesn’t have this function.


Cost shows on the materials and maintenance. Currently the market price of 40G AOC is generally lower than 40G QSFP+ SR4 transceiver. Because to build the connection with 40G QSFP+ SR4 transceivers, additional cost for patch cables should be caused. For maintenance, as above mentioned, AOC is faster and easier which do not require much skills and saves labor.


By comparison, it is clear that 40G AOC is more reliable and stable than 40GBASE SR4 QSFP+ transceiver and costs less for 40G interconnection. But it can’t perform as well as 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ when the transmission distance is longer than 100 meters. And 40G transceiver has digital diagnostic monitoring function. With these instructions, can you figure out which is the one you need? For better selectingBusiness Management Articles, Fiberstore provides 40GBASE QSFP+ AOC and 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver in various specification for your reference. Kindly contact or visit FS.COM for more details.


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I'm currently working as a Telecom Engineer in Fiberstore, an innovative company providing fiber connectivity network solutions for carriers, ISPs, content providers and networks.

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