Features of HDMI Active Optical Cable (AOC)

In recent years, technological breakthroughs in the audio and video transmission industry have continued. HDMI high-definition cables have evolved from traditional HDMI copper core cables to HDMI active optical (AOC) cables. Since the traditional former cannot achieve long-distance stable transmission, more and more people use HDMI Active Optical (AOC) cables.

Do you know the principle of audio and video transmission?

Today’s article aims to deepen your understanding of the birth, advantages, and applications of HDMI Active Optical Cable (AOC) cables. In addition, the difference between the traditional HDMI copper core cable and HDMI active optical cable (AOC) cable will also be mentioned, hoping to provide some reference for your discovery.

First, let’s start: What is an HDMI Active Optical (AOC) cable?

What is an HDMI active optical (AOC) cable?

HDMI AOC cable is a cable technology that can accept the same electrical input as a traditional copper cable and uses optical fiber as the transmission material “between connectors”.

The AOC cable uses electricity to light and integrates a photoelectric conversion function at the end of the cable to improve the speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces.

Before proceeding, you should have a brief understanding of traditional HDMI copper core cables to better catch up with the advantages of HDMI active optical cables.

Limitations of traditional copper core cable technology

InfiniBand technology is the inventor of HDMI AOC (active optical cable) cables. At that time, with the growth of data center clusters with increasing InfiniBand data rates, copper cable technology was gradually expanding to its limit.

Imagine that when using traditional copper cables, the double data rate (DDR) of 20 gigabits per second (Gbps) is limited to the range of 8 to 10 meters, which may be good for small clusters, but for larger clusters, It will be a huge challenge that the physical layout of the cluster is limited by the distance of the physical link.

Due to the constant bandwidth distance of copper cable assemblies, designers usually embed amplifiers, signal generators, or similar devices in the cable assemblies.

In addition, copper core cables are heavy and heavy, making it difficult to physically manage the data center. And due to the nature of electrical signals, electromagnetic interference (EMI) limits the performance and reliability of copper core cables.

The idea of ​​HDMI AOC cable is to convert high-speed digital signals (such as HDMI/DP/USB) into optical signals because traditional copper cables limit the transmission distance due to their natural physical characteristics.

Theoretically, the bandwidth can be increased without limitation, and there will be no signal attenuation over a longer distance. It provides greater application possibilities for HDMI/DP/USB, etc.

Compared with the traditional HDMI copper core cable, the advantages of HDMI AOC cable

HDMI AOC cable aims to solve the inherent limitations of traditional HDMI copper core cables, and its development has had a huge positive impact on the audio and video transmission industry and its applications in various fields.

The signal spreads further and reduces the risk of EMI/RFI interference

For the traditional HDMI copper core cable, when the long-distance transmission exceeds 10 meters, there will be a certain loss. Therefore, when the long-distance signal transmission is required, you can realize the many benefits of using optical fiber as the core.

The HDMI AOC cable relies on optical fiber technology to transmit digital HDMI signals, which means it can transmit more signals than traditional copper cables (up to 100 m). In addition, through the use of fiber optic technology, AOC cables also perform well in reducing the risk of EMI/RFI in high-interference environments.

No external power supply required

No external power supply required
Photo by TheRegisti on Unsplash

There is a dedicated copper power cord inside the HDMI AOC cable to ensure low power consumption, which means no external power supply is needed.

Using optical fiber, the data stability is excellent, and the power consumption is extremely low: 45mA, which is far lower than the 55mA required by the HDMI specification. The outer diameter of the wire is only 4.0mm, which is very suitable for installation in narrow spaces. Therefore, AOC cables can be widely used in home theaters, medical equipment, factory automation, public display occasions, and installation.

Small size and light weight

Compared with traditional copper HDMI cables, HDMI AOC cables have a smaller diameter, and durable ultra-thin high-quality braided cables can be used with stylish metal connectors, making physical data center management easier.

In summary, AOC cable has the advantages of long-distance transmission, which can achieve 300 meters to 4K HD, is easy to use, has no impedance, no signal loss, strong stability, and no electromagnetic interference. Due to these characteristics, HDMI fiber optic cables are purchased in large quantities.

Application of HDMI AOC cable

Not surprisingly, nowadays, whether it is for personal mobile phones, commercial screens, industrial or medical fields, high-definition video applications are becoming more and more popular. Moreover, it is somewhat suitable for engineering use. For most projects, construction units, meeting rooms, and other environments, it is particularly suitable for use.

Without the application requirements of HDMI AOC cables, more and more scenarios cannot be achieved, and we also believe that with the advent of 5G, HDMI AOC cables will be able to provide more applications.

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