W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. has introduced a low-profile SFP+ direct attach copper cable assembly that is “fiber-like” in size and even more flexible than optical fiber. GORE™ Low-Profile Copper Cable fulfills the needs of dense, higher-port-count switch installations while providing an even more reliable interconnect for high performance computing (HPC) and networking environments using 10 GbE (10 Gigabit Ethernet), FCoE or 8 Gigabit Fiber Channel.

Gore’s new cable is ideal for 0.5 meter to 3 meter assemblies, while using a 2.10 mm round profile cable up to 2 meters and a 2.80 mm round profile cable for 3 meters. This low-profile cable is targeted at data center applications, where a large percentage of high-density port-count interconnects are 3 meters or less (e.g., in top-of-the-rack switching installations).

The smaller, low-profile cable is half the cross-sectional area of OM3 fiber optic cable and one-third the size of 62.5/125 optical cable, with a significantly reduced bend radius. By comparison, standard SFP+ copper cable assemblies in these lengths utilize cables that are roughly 4.40 mm in diameter and have a typical 30 mm bend radius. The reduced bend radius and smaller diameter of Gore’s low-profile cable allow for more aggressive routing as well as cleaner dressing of the cables in networking and computing environments. This new cable is also less prone to interfere with the closing of cabinet doors in dense environments.

Gore has taken advantage of the low dielectric constant insulation and consistent electrical performance of their proprietary low-loss expanded PTFE, known by the GORE-TEX® brand in the fabrics market. Through the use of this material, Gore can make smaller cables that still provide consistent and stringent electrical performance at 10 Gbps.

Russ Hornung, product manager at Gore, said, “We have been extremely pleased with the market response. This development was in direct response to customer feedback. One of the deficiencies of SFP+ copper cable interconnects is the size and flexibility of the standard copper cable. Customers have told us that if we could provide a cable that is ‘fiber-like’ in appearance and mechanical performance, they would buy it. In dense environments, the size and flexibility in routing has become an issue for dressing cables in an installation.”