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Exploring High-Speed Cabling Solutions for 800G Data Centers

Posted on Sep 14, 2023 by
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With the rapid advancement of technology, data centers are evolving at an unprecedented speed. While 100G and 400G data centers are already prevalent, 800G data centers are on the rise. The demand for high-speed data transfer has increased exponentially, resulting in the need for efficient and reliable cable connectivity solutions. This article will introduce cabling solutions of DACs, AOCs, and fiber optical cables for 800G data centers.

800G Data Center DACs and AOCs Solutions

Direct attach cables (DACs) include passive copper cable, active copper cable(ACC), and active electrical cable(AEC), which are much cheaper than fiber and can reduce the unlimited cost of data centers. Compared with DACs, active optical cables(AOCs) are lighter, and smaller with lower bit error and further transmission distance. DACs and AOCs are widely used for short-distance interconnection of network cards, switches, servers, supercomputers, cloud computing, and data centers.

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800G DAC

The rise in large and hyper-scale data centers has led to the greatly increased power capacity of individual server racks and reduced vertical cabling distance. Therefore, DAC cabling solutions for 800G data centers are widely used to connect servers within the rack. They operate over passive copper, which requires no additional power to ensure quality connectivity. DAC has two branch types: direct attach and breakout for both form factor OSFP and QSFP-DD.

FS 800G DAC supports hot pluggable function, low power consumption, and small bending radius for flexible wiring, which brings the advantages of high stability, low cost, space-saving wiring, and high heat dissipation for data center cabling. These DAC cables seamlessly integrate with switches, routers, and servers, ensuring flexibility in network design and networking equipment integration.

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800G ACC/AEC

At high transmission rates, the loss of copper cables increases and the length of the interconnect cannot be met, leading to the introduction of ACC and AEC. ACC uses the Redriver Chip Architecture to adjust the gain at the Rx end through CTLE equalization, which is more like an active cable by amplifying an analog signal. While AEC uses the retimer chip architecture, which not only amplifies and equalizes the Tx and Rx ends, but also re-shapes the signal at the Rx end. ACC and AEC also applied to connect the TOR and server. They simplify patching and offer a cost-effective way for short links, providing larger bandwidth transmission.

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800G AOC

The 800G AOC is ideally suited for decentralized data centers and cloud environments by increasing bandwidth, minimizing latency, and reducing power consumption. Besides, VCSEL on PAM4 DSP technology optimizes performance while reducing cost and complexity. 800G AOC on the market is available at speeds up to 800Gbps in point-to-point interconnection over distances up to 100 meters, and supports a single 800Gbps interface to two 400G QSFP-DD modules in a branch cable configuration. The branch cable is ideal for connecting next-generation switches running at 800Gbps to existing ports running at 400Gbps, with no additional conversion or mapping required.

800G AOC

Fiber Optic Cable Solutions for 800G Data Centers

Compared with DACs and AOCs, 800G fiber optic cables provide superior performance and efficiency for high-speed data transmission, which are suitable for high-density cabling solutions. The advantages of fiber cables are obvious in terms of minimal latency, low power consumption, and longer transmission distance, ensuring a more stable and reliable connection for long-distance needs.

MTP/MPO Fiber Cables

The basic cores of MTP patch cables are 8, 12, 16, and 24. Of those,12 fibers MTP OM4 cable is a good choice for space-saving and cable management for data center cabling solutions, and 16 Fibers MTP trunk cable is designed for 800G QSFP-DD/OSFP DR8 and 800G OSFP XDR8 optics direct connections. MTP/MPO cabling solution offers the high density, reliability, and flexibility that data centers need, and could be used to connect the core, spine, and leaf-level platforms. It also features plug-and-play, easy management, excellent bending and compression resistance, and supports 100G/400G/800G upgrade, which is the ideal solution for today's 800G data center cabling. Besides, the US Conec MTP® connectors are fully compliant with the MPO standards, achieving higher performance levels when compared to generic MPO connectors.

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Uniboot Fiber Patch Cables

Uniboot cable enables a single cable to carry two fibers, reducing cable bulk when routing. It uses a Very Small Form Factor (VSFF) connector and supports 200/400/800G Ethernet communication, while also providing 1.5x fiber cabling density over Duplex LC. This kind of fiber cable is designed for high-density fiber patching in 200/400/800G data centers which need space saving and reduce cable management problems. Additionally, they are smaller and lighter, making installation and maintenance easier and resulting in better overall network performance. The picture below shows the featured connector of uniboot cables.

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Conclusion

The deployment of an 800G data center requires careful consideration of the different types of cables and their specific characteristics. Different 800G cabling solutions offer distinct advantages and should be chosen accordingly based on the specific requirements of the network. By selecting the appropriate cable types and considering factors such as bandwidth, distance, and cost, the data center can provide the necessary connectivity and support for seamless operations at 800G speeds.

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