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Old Mar 12, 2012, 03:58 PM   #1
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Intel Says Fiber Optic Thunderbolt Cables Coming Later This Year




One of the promises of Intel's Thunderbolt technology was the possibility for fiber optic cables, offering greater cable lengths and setting the stage for faster connectivity once the standard matures. But Thunderbolt launched using only traditional copper wire cables, and there has been some dispute about just how soon fiber optic cables will become available.




IDG News now reports that Intel as issued a statement indicating that it will be launching fiber optic Thunderbolt cables "later this year".
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Intel has said copper cables are adequate for data transfers over short distances of up to six meters. Optical cables will be good for data transfers over longer distances of tens of meters.

The upside to optical is that it allows for longer cable runs, and as the technology develops, more bandwidth, [Intel spokesman Dave] Salvator said in email.
The downside to fiber optic cables, however, is that devices connected using the longer fiber optic cables will require separate power cables, as running power over the cables at those distances is not currently practical. Fiber optic cables are also likely to be significantly more expensive than their copper counterparts, although Intel has not offered any guidance on pricing.

For those who already own a Thunderbolt-enabled Mac, Intel notes that the existing Thunderbolt ports will be compatible with both copper and fiber optic cables, ensuring cross-compatibility once the new cables arrive.

Just last week, Intel announced that it was working on moving Thunderbolt to the PCI Express 3.0 standard, a move that could see the company double the effective bandwidth for data transfers. The company has not, however, provided a projected timeframe for a public launch of the enhanced Thunderbolt speeds.

Article Link: Intel Says Fiber Optic Thunderbolt Cables Coming Later This Year
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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A longer Thunderbolt cable, exactly what I needed!

Oh wait.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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Awesome. I can't wait to start paying $150 each for optical Thunderbolt cables.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:02 PM   #4
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Flippin heck! I hope that's not the final design of the connector - looks like a cross between an ECG lead and a crystal model of a daddy long-legs!

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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:03 PM   #5
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How about making the current cables - and accessories - more affordable first before making them even more expensive? /rant
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DrFu79 View Post
How about making the current cables - and accessories - more affordable first before making them even more expensive? /rant
That's bound to happen once PC manufacturers start putting them into their products, which should rapidly ramp up the scale and adoption of Thunderbolt. Hopefully that happens sooner than later, or it will end up like Firewire, if not worse off.

As for Firewire, I don't expect any new Macs coming out (except for a potential Mac Pro refresh) to support it natively any more. Most likely it will be done through a Thunderbolt->Firewire adapter. (And I suspect it won't be cheap).
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:07 PM   #7
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So it will cost more and not support power...seems directly aimed at large businesses/corps.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DrFu79 View Post
How about making the current cables - and accessories - more affordable first before making them even more expensive? /rant
Existing copper cables won’t be made more expensive. This is a different kind of cable.

Only the gradually-increasing adoption of Thunderbolt will bring prices down—and if anything, fiber optic support helps that general trend. Canceling already-promised Thunderbolt enhancements won’t actually help the Thunderbolt market.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:11 PM   #9
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Great....Hardly anything uses the existing t/bolt cables...The display and a handful of stuff....Still have a T/bolt cable in it's pack...Never used it yet.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:11 PM   #10
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Well, it's great to see Intel moving along with the technology.

On the other hand, Thunderbolt still means nothing to me, the average consumer. Not only is it unique to only Macs at the moment, but there is very little support for it unless you pay triple digits, at the least.

Still waiting for that clever Thunderbolt solution from Apple.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Supacon View Post
As for Firewire, I don't expect any new Macs coming out (except for a potential Mac Pro refresh) to support it natively any more. Most likely it will be done through a Thunderbolt->Firewire adapter. (And I suspect it won't be cheap).
Sonnet announced one a year ago but they keep pushing its release. They may have cancelled it altogether since they removed it from their website. I bought a MBA thinking this adapter would be released (I need FireWire) and got screwed hard. At least if the new MBP doesn't have one, some other brand will feel the need to release such an adapter.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:16 PM   #12
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LOL, what a failure thunderbolt is becoming. All this hype and time.... where are devices for consumers?

Have any of you;

- seen anyone having a thunderbolt device?
- seen a thunderbolt device on a store shelf?
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:16 PM   #13
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Do we have numbers on the adoption rate of thunderbolt? Have other venders signed on to support it?
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wikus View Post
LOL, what a failure thunderbolt is becoming. All this hype and time.... where are devices for consumers?

Have any of you;

- seen anyone having a thunderbolt device?

- seen a thunderbolt device on a store shelf?
-No. The technology is also not even a year old yet. (Edited to make 'Wikus' happy. Thunderbolt actually turned a year old seventeen days ago.)

-Yes.

Seriously you need to get over yourself. Of course it won't have the support of USB 2.0 at the present. And no one in their right mind should expect it to.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:30 PM   #15
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Make thunderbolt compatible with iPhones and iPads and I will pay the premium for the cable
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Spectrum Abuser View Post
-No. The technology is also not even a year old yet.
-Yes.

Seriously you need to get over yourself. Of course it won't have the support of USB 2.0 at the present. And no one in their right mind should expect it to.
Do you own a thunderbolt device??

I frankly cannot afford them, whilst I have plenty of USB 3 devices for my PC.

With the "pro" macbooks having less and less interfaces these days TB is a waste for 95% of users.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by pgiguere1 View Post
Sonnet announced one a year ago but they keep pushing its release. They may have cancelled it altogether since they removed it from their website. I bought a MBA thinking this adapter would be released (I need FireWire) and got screwed hard. At least if the new MBP doesn't have one, some other brand will feel the need to release such an adapter.
While it is a bit of a kludge solution Sonnet does offer a TB to ExpressCard adapter. It might be a workaround if you already have a Firewire ExpressCard or absolutely need to have that functionality.

ThunderBolt -> ExpressCard

Apple does sell a TB->FW adapter, unfortunately it is bundled into a display.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by MH01 View Post
Do you own a thunderbolt device??

I frankly cannot afford them, whilst I have plenty of USB 3 devices for my PC.

With the "pro" macbooks having less and less interfaces these days TB is a waste for 95% of users.
I believe the same thing was said of the transition from serial to USB.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by wikus View Post

Have any of you;

....

- seen a thunderbolt device on a store shelf?

Given the Apple Stores saw around 100M visitors last quarter and the Thunderbolt Displays have been rolled out to most of those stores ...... pretending no one saw one is out on awfully thin ice.

Did they obsessively examine the cable to check it was TB? No. Does that really make a difference? No.

You can knock the variety of devices still being relatively low. But can't go see one.... in many places they are at the local Mall.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:38 PM   #19
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Thunderbolt feels like a standard that came to market too quickly. It is still establishing itself while looking to change 2 major aspects with optical and PCI Express 3.0.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:38 PM   #20
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Make thunderbolt compatible with iPhones and iPads and I will pay the premium for the cable
Why? Do you have any evidence that the memory used in iPhones and/or iPads would utilize the additional bandwidth that Thunderbolt provides? I would bet that the memory in the iPhone is slower than USB 2.0 thus moving to Thunderbolt completely unnecessary (for now).
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:42 PM   #21
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Why? Do you have any evidence that the memory used in iPhones and/or iPads would utilize the additional bandwidth that Thunderbolt provides? I would bet that the memory in the iPhone is slower than USB 2.0 thus moving to Thunderbolt completely unnecessary (for now).
Thats why I said make it compatible.The current iOS lineup doesn't have the proper hardware to support it but newer devices can include thunderbolt support.But your point is valid would the Nand flash in the iPhone support the higher write speeds?
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:43 PM   #22
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I don't have a single device or computer that supports USB 3.0 either.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:44 PM   #23
Seppentoni
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Great News.

Now I can connect all my many affordable thunderbolt harddrives and other devices connect to each other.

Oh wait…
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:45 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by DrFu79 View Post
How about making the current cables - and accessories - more affordable first before making them even more expensive? /rant
Comparatively speaking Thunderbolt cables are cheap. If you were expecting UB pricing for cables with active chips embedded you were highly mistaken


Quote:
Originally Posted by wikus View Post
LOL, what a failure thunderbolt is becoming. All this hype and time.... where are devices for consumers?

Have any of you;

- seen anyone having a thunderbolt device?
- seen a thunderbolt device on a store shelf?
Ahhh Wikus trolling the Thunderbolt threads again to provide nuggets of misinformation.

There are plenty of Thunderbolt devices available or in the pipeline for people that actually need the drive speed.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:50 PM   #25
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Sure it would be nice to have affordable thunderbolt accessories right now, but when I upgraded from a 2010 --> 2011 macbook pro, the only thing it did was add additional functionality to the existing display port. It didn't hurt me any, and I'm glad I have that option if I need it.

If apple waited and released the 2011 mbp without thunderbolt built in, everyone would have complained in 2012/2013 about how apple could have included thunderbolt in their computer but chose not to. Apple is late to adopt USB 3, people complain. Apple is early in adopting thunderbolt, people complain.
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