Data transmission Stories January 3, 2013

Corning and Sumitomo unveil 100-ft optical Thunderbolt cables ahead of CES

Corning Thunderbolt Cable

Ahead of CES 2013 taking place in Las Vegas next week, Corning has unveiled a new optical Thunderbolt cable for folks who need extra long-reaching Thunderbolt access (perhaps to storage closets or for dummy terminals). Corning’s new cable, perfect for plugging peripherals into supported Macs and moving away from copper core cables, will ship in lengths of 10, 20, and 30 meters and boast the same data transfer speeds of up to 10GBbps. Corning plans to unveil a USB 3 cable as well. No launch date or pricing has been provided for the cables—only that they will be available sometime during the first quarter of this year. At any rate, you bet we’ll stop by Corning’s booth for a closer look next week’s CES.

Just last week, Sumitomo Electric got the “world’s first” Thunderbolt optical cable certification and announced it would mass-produce the cables immediately. The cables are as thick as current copper cables (4.2 mm), can be bent 180 degrees or tangled in knots, and they still perform just like shorter copper cables.

A 100-foot Thunderbolt cable could let Mac users put their whole rig in a closet, run just a Thunderbolt cable to the desktop, and connect to peripherals via the Thunderbolt display. If only there were a Thunderbolt-enabled Mac Pro…

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Data transmission Stories June 29, 2011

As with just about any new Apple product release, iFixit has torn apart the Thunderbolt cable. Why a boring cable?  iFixit has revealed that the new Thunderbolt cable actually has active chips inside, making transfers  faster.

We found two Gennum GN2033 chips in the connector, one on each side. They were flanked by other, much smaller chips that surely added to the cable’s cost: two chips labeled S6A 1JG on one side, and chips labeled 1102F SS8370 and 131 3S on the other. Of course, there were tons of little resistors (providing impedance as needed) all around the larger chips.

Thunderbolt’s release on MacBook Pros and iMacs should be followed by new Macs coming soon. Inside the cable chip housing below expand full story

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