USB Active Optical Cable Vs Passive Optical Cable

Optical cables are the new trend in the tech industry, and they are very much different compared to previous products. Instead of using copper wire, a USB active optical cable connection uses light to transmit digital data. That’s the main advantage of active cables.

Optical cables also vary in uses and types. While many people prefer a USB active optical cable some others will like the passive cable. And you must be wondering now which kind would be better for you. That’s why this piece contrasts active and passive cables and their respective uses.

USB Active Optical Cable And USB Passive Optical Cable

A cabling technique known as active optical cable (AOC) employs optical fiber between connections but accepts the same electrical inputs as standard copper cable. With AOC, normal electrical connectors may be maintained while the cable’s speed and range are enhanced by the use of electrical-to-optical conversion at both ends of the connection. When USB connectors are used with it, it becomes USB active optical cable.

However, AOCs were originally developed as an alternative to copper cable, especially in the context of data centers, where copper’s bulky, heavy construction made it more difficult to handle and where electromagnetic interference sometimes slowed performance. To eliminate the need for a standalone optical transceiver and a pluggable fiber cable, AOC incorporates those components directly into the electrical connection.

On the other hand, passive optical networks (PONs) use optical fiber to connect homes and businesses to high-speed data networks. It uses unpowered or passive optical fiber dividers to divide the bandwidth of a single optical cable among numerous ends, hence implementing a point-to-multipoint topology.

Compared to AONs (active optical networks), the operating expenses of a PON are cheaper since it requires fewer switch ports, a lesser fiber cable, and unpowered splitters to handle and steer multipoint traffic. PON also lessens the need for supplementary climate control and machinery.


usb active optical cable


USB Active Optical Cable Vs Passive Optical Cable

Below are the differences between a USB active optical cable network and a passive optical network.

  1. When compared to PON, AON may provide significantly more bandwidth to each user. In a PON distribution network, fiber is shared across many users, but in an AON, a separate fiber is utilized for each user.
  2. When compared to the passive splitters used in PON, the active splitters utilized in AON provide significantly higher efficiency.
  3. The price of AON is higher than that of PON. Since the active switch is cheaper to produce in bulk than the passive splitter, AON is more expensive.
  4. When comparing Active Optical Networks to Passive Optical Networks, fault identification in the former is simpler.



So now you know what a USB active optical cable and passive cable are. You have also gained an understanding of how these networks are distinct from one another. You now have more information at your disposal and can make an informed decision on the next occasion you need to purchase a cable.

You can also contact Koincable to clear further doubts, if any. Since 2005, our company in China has been producing cables (including the USB active optical cable) for customers all around the world and providing excellent service. We’ve been serving for the past 17 years, and still counting.