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How Much Do You Know About Direct Attach Cable?

Date: 2023-01-31 14:17:00

Direct Attach Cable (DAC) is used in data centers. It provides low latency, low power consumption, low cost, and high-density alternative cabling solution for high-speed 10G-400G interconnect to fiber optic transceivers.  This article will introduce DAC cable and its types and applications. 

What is a Direct Attach Cable?
A direct attach cable (DAC), also called direct copper cable or high-speed cable is a type of factory-terminated Twinax cable that connects directly into transceivers and can be brought in several lengths for short distances of up to 15 meters. DAC cable consists of fixed lengths of shielded copper coaxial or fiber optic cable with fixed pluggable transceivers on either end with varying gauges from 24 to 30AWG. DAC cable can achieve interconnection up to 15m via twin axial copper cable, and reach 100m over active optical cable at 10Gbps, 40Gbps, or beyond. 

Direct Attach Cable Types
There are different types of DAC cables: direct, breakout, passive and active. Direct DAC cable provides a direct connection from one port to another. Breakout DAC cable enables one port to be connected to 4 ports. Passive DAC cable has no electrical components built into the cable assembly. Hence, it has a minimal power consumption of no more than 0.15w and generally for short reach up to 7m. Active DAC cable has electrical components in the connectors that can boost signal levels, allowing reaching greater distances (5m or more) via copper media and ensuring better transmission quality.  


Features and Benefits
DAC cable provides high reliability, high speed,  high density, low cost, low power consumption, low latency, excellent attenuation performance, anti-interference in high-frequency broadband transmission, energy saving and environmental protection, strong interchangeability, and ease of installation.

DAC cable is used in high-speed interconnect applications such as data centers, local area networks (LAN), high-performance computing (HPC), storage area networks (SAN), serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) storage devices, routers, switches, servers for 10G/40G/100G Ethernet, and InfiniBand. Generally speaking, DAC cable provides a cost-effective solution for the following applications:
●  Top of rack(ToR) / Adjacent rack – Passive and active DAC cable is suitable for shorter ToR or adjacent racks with cost-effective budgets.
●  Middle of Row – As long as the distance is no more than 15m, the active DAC cable may be the best solution in this application.
●  End of Row – DAC cables are ideal for the end of row architectures as long as the distance is within the 15 meters limit.

DAC cable is a high-speed and low-cost short-distance connectivity solution to replace optical transceiver modules. It is designed to meet the growing need for higher bandwidth in data centers, storage area networks, and HPC applications by connecting switches to routers or servers. Sun Telecom specializes in providing one-stop total fiber optic solutions for all fiber optic application industries worldwide. Contact us if any needs.

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