QSFP+ AOC (Active Optical Cables) are conceptually two QSFP+ optical transceivers with a fiber optic cable permanently embedded into each end (the fiber cable cannot be removed). This results in a “ready to use” cable assembly, similar to passive Direct Attach Copper (DAC) cables, but with the benefit of internal active electronics to manage the host electrical interface and a longer reach, lighter weight cable.

The QFP+ (Quad Small Form Pluggable Plus) transceiver form factor was established to enable multi-lane (quad) optical transceivers, such as 40GbE, with a variety of optical connectors (such as 4+4 MPO and duplex LC). An earlier (original) QSFP MSA had been established in 2006 for 1Gb/s to 4 Gb/s per channel operating rates, such as 4x2.5Gbps SDR Infiniband and 4x3.125 Gbps XAUI based Ethernet transceivers. QSFP+ was developed in 2010 to support 10Gb/s to 16Gb/s per lane electrical interfaces associated with 40Gb/s Ethernet and QDR/FDR Infiniband. The QSFP+ form factor is publicly defined by SFF Committee specification SFF-8436.

For the later developed 25Gb/s to 28Gb/s per lane generation of QSFPs (such as 100Gb/s Ethernet), newer transceiver, connector and cage specifications were established under a new name, called QSFP28. These transceivers are listed under the QSFP28 designation.


Part Number Data Sheet Form Factor Max Data Rate (Gbps) Maximum Distance (m) Connector Type Fiber Type Nominal Optical Wavelength (nm) Lifecycle
AFBR-7QERxxZ PDF QSFP+ AOC 40 20 N/A Multimode 850 Active
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