Via Labs Adds Optical Interconnection to USB 3.0

Via Labs' Optical USB 3.0 Extends Reach to 100 Meters

by Anton Shilov
01/12/2012 | 11:50 PM

Via Labs, a designer of chips that belongs to Via Technologies, decided to improve the USB 3.0 interconnection by adding optical cables to it. Using a number of chips along with optic fibre cables, it created a USB 3.0-compatible optical transceiver card that greatly enhances the reach of the SuperSpeed USB.


Via Labs has announced the Via Labs VO510 5Gb optical transceiver card which is being showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012. The Via Labs V0510 optical transceiver is used in USB 3.0 active optical cables (AOC) which enables rapid data transfers and high-definition multimedia across distances of over 100 meters.

"We are very grateful to our partners, who worked closely with Via Labs to bring the USB 3.0 AOC from concept to reality. With the VO510 and our partner's AOC products at mass production readiness, we are looking to expand our coverage of other interconnects such as PCI Express," said Jiin Lai, chief technical officer at Via Labs.

Via Labs VO510 was developed in collaboration with Fiber Optic Communications (FOCI), which provided passive components; PCL, which provided fiber optic cables and transeivers; OpTarget and Universal Microelectronics Company (UMEC). The solution can be used for digital signage and zero client solutions for commercial, education, medical and industrial applications.

"The UMEC Thumb OneUSB 3.0 AOC can extend gigabit-speed USB 3.0 transmission distance up to 100m (330ft) with optical fibers. Since optical fibers carry light instead of electric impulses, they are highly resistant to electromagnetic interference and they do not radiate any of their own, making the USB 3.0 AOC an excellent solution for applications in medical imaging equipment, broadcast TV, and others where high-tolerance to interference is desirable" said K.T. Chao, vice president of UMEC.