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Current Thunderbolt ports will support optical cabling next year Current Thunderbolt ports will support optical cabling next year
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Current Thunderbolt ports will support optical cabling next year
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Old 30th September 2011, 07:44   #1
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Default Current Thunderbolt ports will support optical cabling next year

Thunderbolt ports on the latest Macs already support optical cabling, according to Intel. New fiber optic cables, which will allow connections as long as "tens of meters" instead of the current three meter limit for copper cable, should be available in 2012.

Thunderbolt started life as an optical interconnect codenamed LightPeak. Developed by Intel with input from Apple, it was designed to ramp from 10Gbps to as high as 100Gbps using silicon photonics. Several factorsóin particular, costs associated with fiber optic cablingóresulted in the initial version using electrical-only copper cabling.

When Intel introduced Thunderbolt as part of the launch of Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Pros from Apple, the company indicated that the standard could use either electrical or optical cabling. Intel spokesperson Dave Salvatore confirmed to IDG News this week the compatibility between existing Thunderbolt ports and the upcoming optical cabling.
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