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Siemon Suggests High-Speed DACs For O-RAN Applications

by Katy Plant on August 15, 2023

The world of telecommunications seems to be buzzing with excitement as Direct Attach Copper (DAC) cables make their mark. In his latest Tech Brief, Ryan Harris, Siemon Sales Engineer and Market Manager, eagerly explains the significance of high-speed cable assemblies in open edge environments.

With the evolution of deployment location flexibility, physical layer considerations, and the growing reliance on direct attach cables, Harris conveys the superior performance and reliability of DACs in the industry.


high speed dacs tech brief thumbnail

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First... What is O-RAN?

With the rapid evolution of proprietary radio networking, a groundbreaking standard known as Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) has emerged to meet the expectations of cellular service providers. In simple terms, O-RAN is a nonproprietary version of the Radio Access Network (RAN) system, ensuring greater compatibility and interoperability among different providers.

Enabling communication between various vendors' cellular network equipment, O-RAN has gained immense popularity. Due to its seamless integration, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, it has become an irresistible choice for businesses that are seeking to connect legacy radio systems and dive into the up-and-coming world of 5G.


Woman in Data Center Server Room-Aug-02-2023-02-16-00-4031-PM


To briefly review, O-RAN architecture includes:

  • Radio Units (RUs)

  • Distributed Units (DUs)

  • Centralized Units (CUs)

  • Cell Site Gateways

  • RAN Intelligent Controllers (RICs)


Chart 1


As service providers and private cellular networks continue to expand into the world of 5G and embrace the cost-saving benefits of O-RAN architecture, Harris urges customers to consider the advantages of direct attach copper cables.

In data centers, for example, high-speed DACs are widely trusted for their reliable performance in supporting mission-critical deployments. While not yet adopted in short-range radio access networks, DACs have the potential to revolutionize operations by significantly reducing costs, minimizing latency, and improving energy efficiency among high-speed telecommunications connections.


Chart 2 A


When selecting cable assemblies, it's important to consider things like connectivity, latency, bandwidth requirements, power limitations, and deployment cost.

Carefully evaluate the environment to ensure that the same level of quality is maintained with O-RAN's open hardware vendors. For short-reach connections within O-RAN, Harris recommends low-latency options like passive QSFP28 DACs (100 Gb/s) and SFP28 DACs (25 Gb/s) due to their lower power consumption compared to fiber cabling.

With all of these factors in mind, consider purchasing DACs from trusted manufacturers like Siemon to ensure ethernet compatibility across vendors.



If you've come this far, you may be interested in putting a Siemon DAC to the test with a sample. Fill out the Customer Questionnaire below to select the best high-speed cable option for your network equipment connection.


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Contact an Accu-Tech Representative to inquire about or purchase high-speed cable assemblies. Still browsing? Stop by the Siemon page to learn more about their trusted brand and solutions.

Topics: Siemon edge DACs O-RAN architecture O-RAN high speed cable assemblies

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