USB Active Optical Cables (AOC)

May 16, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

USB has long been proven to be a dependable, flexible and simple-to-use interface that is a staple for a multitude of applications. Along the way, USB has adapted to offer a variety of formats to fit today’s technology needs. From power delivery to SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2, USB has got you covered. Now the interface is taking things to another level with the introduction of USB 3.0 Active Optical Cables (AOC).

 

Active Optical Cable technology uses the same electrical inputs as traditional copper cabling, but with optical fiber between connectors. With electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends, AOC provides faster speeds and distance performance while also maintaining compatibility with standard electrical interfaces. Building upon the features of AOC, USB 3.0 AOC is made to be compliant with SuperSpeed USB electrical specifications, allowing for easy plug-and-play use and continuous operation between existing USB 3.0 hosts, hubs and devices.

 

These USB cables have an ultra-thin profile and much longer reach than a standard USB cable. In fact, they can reach speeds of 2.2 Gbps at over 100 meters. This allows for USB 3.0 AOC cables to be used in new and different ways USB might not have been able to before, such as with security cameras, industrial and medical machine control systems and in high-def surveillance applications. These cables are capable of speeds up to 5 Gbps, depending on the length of the cable. They also boast low power consumption and minimal EMI/RFI since fiber optic technology is being used.

 

Though USB 3.0 AOC is not backwards compatible, it won’t support older USB standards, there are many other features that make it worthwhile. Overall, USB 3.0 Active Optical Cables can be a great option if you have an application requiring USB connectivity over a long distance that traditional USB cables cannot meet.

 

To help you with your next high-speed, long distance USB application, check out our USB 3.0 AOC cables

 

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All About USB 3.2

January 10, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

We’ve discussed the difference between USB 3.1 Gen 1 vs. Gen 2, but now comes the next level for Universal Serial Bus - USB 3.2. What makes this newest USB standard stand out? First and foremost are increased bandwidth and USB Type-C connector and cable support. Here, we’ll take a look at all the specs, so you’ll know all about USB 3.2.

 

While USB 3.1 Gen 1 brought 5 Gbps and Gen 2 doubled that to 10 Gbps speeds, USB 3.2 then doubles down again to offer 20 Gbps speeds – the most notable feature of the new standard. The way it provides those speeds is a little different though. USB 3.2 utilizes what is being called multi-lane operation, where devices use two lanes of 5 Gbps or 10 Gbps running together to transfer data at the same time over extra wires inside the USB cables. This allows for a cumulative data transfer rate of 10 Gbps to 20 Gbps.

 

What does this new standard mean for older USB cables? Fortunately, the new standard will be backward compatible with older standards. Even more fortunately, if the host and recipient devices are USB 3.2 compatible, older USB cables will also see a boost in speeds as great as 2 Gbps. USB 3.2 will also support USB-C connectors and their features such as power delivery, alternate modes, and digital audio, video and data on the same cable.

 

Overall, the new USB 3.2 standard is a big upgrade in terms of speed, but otherwise, it’s not a huge shift – which might be good news for those not ready to replace all of their older USB equipment. Though faster speeds are always good news, so this update is sure to be a welcomed change.

 

Readers’ Choice -Top Blog Posts of 2018

December 20, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Our goal for this blog is to provide interesting and informative content for our readers. So we always enjoy taking a look back at the end of the year to see what the most popular posts were. To make sure you didn’t miss anything, here’s a list of the most read posts of 2018. We hope to see you back in 2019!

 

 

1.      Cat6 Cable: Shielded vs. Unshielded


Category 6 Ethernet cable is designed to provide high speed data rates, but how do you decide between shielded or unshielded? Here, we compare them side by side so you can choose which will work best for your application. Read more.

 

 

2.      10 of the Worst Cabling Nightmares

 

We pride ourselves on our commitment to provide the best connectivity solutions for our customers, helping them to manage their data centers. So it always comes as a shock when we see cabling infrastructure that is a complete nightmare. This post has some of the worst offenders we’ve seen on the web. Read more.

 

 

3.      The Advantages and Disadvantages of Shielded Ethernet Cable

 

When it comes to shielded Ethernet cable, there are pros and cons. This post takes a look at both the good and the bad to help you weigh your options. For example, shielding can offer protection from EMI/RFI but its weight and limited flexibility means it’s not ideal for every application. To help decide if shielded Ethernet cable is right for your installation, read the post.

 

 

4.      75 Ohm vs. 50 Ohm – Coaxial Comparison

 

Ohm may sound like something you’d say while meditating, but when it comes to coaxial cables, it is actually a unit of resistance. Ohms measure the impedance within the cable. Impedance is resistance to the flow of electrical current through a circuit. To see how 75 Ohm and 50 Ohm compare, read our post.

 

 

5.      Good Vibrations: Vibration-Proof USB Connectors


Universal Serial Bus (USB) is one of the most widely used technologies to connect and power devices. One fundamental flaw of USB is its sensitivity to vibration, causing the connector to dislodge. In this post we show you some solutions to keeping your USB connected. Read more.

 

Case Study: HBM SoMat

March 8, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

For more than 65 years, our customer HBM has provided precise and reliable products for a variety of test and measurement applications across a wide range of industries. HBM’s SoMat product line is an innovative portfoloio of precision data acquisition systems for field and lab analysis. Across industries including aerospace, automotive, oil and gas and everything in between, SoMat products  have helped companies by delivering rugged and modular data acquisition systems able to perform a range of on-board data processing while enduring harsh environments.

 

This issue HBM was having was finding a durable, custom interface cable solution at a competitive price for its SoMat product line. Their current cable did not provide the strain relief that was required by its customers. SoMat products used cables that had assembled backshells and because of the non-uniform shape of the cable bundle, the cables were pulling out of the backshell. This flaw was costing the company in product returns and repairs, and leaving customers unhappy.

 

L-com provided HBM with several custom engineered D-subminiature cable assemblies with molded backshells (similar to the one shown here) that were able to replace the existing assemblies. L-com’s cables solved the strain relief problem and reduced overall system cost without compromising design requirements, which fully met HBM’s customers’ requirements.

 

To read the full case study, click here.

 

Case Study: Kinki Sharyo

November 30, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

In metropolitan areas, thousands of people depend on the rail system every day as a primary mode of transportation. Our customer, Kinki Sharyo, has designed and manufactured more than 10,000 railcars and is the leading supplier of low-floor light rail systems in North America. From manufacturing to maintenance, they design a full-range of customized products to meet the needs for each transit system to get people where they need to go safely and reliably.

 

After being awarded a $30 million contract from NJ Transit, Kinki Sharyo needed to make 60 new trains with DVI, Cat5e and USB cabling for onboard video and LED lighting systems. The problem they were having was finding a cable that could provide connectivity to articulated train cars that are connected to each other.  The existing connectivity method used heavy gauge cables bundled together that frequently wore out and had failure at friction points. They needed a robust cabling system that would not wear down and could withstand the movement of the train cars and constant flexing of the cables.

 

L-com provided Kinki Sharyo with crush-proof armored USB, right-angle Cat5e Ethernet and right-angle DVI cables all off-the-shelf and ready for installation. These cables met all the needs of the new rail car design. The USB cables were more than rugged enough, the right-angle DVI and Cat5e cables were the perfect fit for rail cars with limited space and they all provided the added benefit of low-smoke zero-halogen jackets to protect the new rail cars and passengers inside.

 

To read the full case study, click here.

 

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