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Twinax Cable Application Twinax Cables are mainly used with PCI or PCI-E Card for the short distance interconnection in the server room.

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Performance Feature

Stable Transmission Speed

Reliable Transmission

Various Length Selection

Wider Operating Temperature

Good for HPC

Good for Data Center

Twinax Cable Knowledge




FTTH Drop Cable and 7m XFP AOC

What is Active Cable?


Active cables are copper cables for data transmission that use a silicon chip (semiconductor) to boost the performance of the cable. Without a chip, a cable is considered a 'passive' cable. Passive cables are liable to degrade the data they carry, due to such "channel impairments" as attenuation, crosstalk and group velocity distortion. In active cables, one or several semiconductor chips are embedded in the cable to compensate for some or all of these impairments. This active boosting allows cables to be more compact, thinner, longer and transmit data faster than their passive equivalents.


Today, active cables are used to connect consumer devices such as cameras, gaming consoles and HDTVs, as well as enterprise networks which form the backbone of modern data communication systems.


The benefit of embedding chip technology in cables is a reduction in the copper used in cable production, reducing the overall form factor of the cable and reducing the weight of the cable by as much as 80%. Other benefits include longer reach and lower power consumption: active cables have demonstrated reach extensions up to 5× over simple passive cables while consuming approximately 75% less power than comparable fiber-based interconnects


Active Cable Technology


The active component in active cables is a semiconductor device which acts to boost the quality of the data signal. The most common technology used is equalization and de-skew, both forms of filtering and amplification which is applied to the signal before it leaves the connector at the end of the cable. In some cases, chips are used at both ends of an active cable where the first device actively boosts the signal before it is transmitted over the copper lines and the second chip improves the signal integrity before it leaves the end connector.


active cable circuit


Enterprise and storage applications


Active cables play an important role in enterprise and storage applications due to the confined space and air-flow requirements in data centers and long reaches (up to 30 meters) required to make some of the rack-to-rack connections. Because active cables can facilitate thin cable gauges, a tighter bend radius results, which can give cables in these applications better routability and improved airflow.


Active cable adoption in data centers has been growing steadily. For example, as of 2010, half of SFP+ interconnect volume is in active cables (as opposed to passive copper cables and optical transceiver modules).


The advent of QSFP (Quad SFP) interconnects for 40 Gigabit Ethernet and InfiniBand is driving the widespread adoption of active cables in this form-factor as well.




Opponents of active cable technology often criticize the fact that the electronics in an active cable design could be placed inside the connected devices instead, and an inexpensive passive cable used to connect the devices. Digital alternatives to using analog equalizers and impedance matching circuits to improve cable performance also exist, such as channel estimation or link adaptation.


Another criticism of active cables is that manufacturers may patent the electronics inside an active cable or even utilize on-chip cryptography to prevent competitors or consumers from producing their own replacement cables, and therefore enable manufacturers to monopolize the market for cables and charge consumers exorbitant prices. Active cables typically cost 5 to 10 times more than their passive counterparts. Some active cables are only produced by a single manufacturer, and sold through a single distributor. Low cable cost and high availability is desirable because cables are often inadvertently lost or damaged.


Some opponents of active cables also believe that active cables do not provide power savings for signal processing reasons, because in an active cable design, there is at least one extra integrated circuit compared to passive cable designs. This extra IC must be powered separately, when in a passive cable design, the signal processing can be integrated onto a single chip.


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