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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:26 PM   #1
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Fiber Optic Thunderbolt Cables Begin Mass Production, Available Up to 30m in Length




Intel has signed off on active fiber optic cables made by Sumitomo Electric Industries, the first of their kind to go into mass production.

The cables can be up to 30 meters (just under 100 feet) long, and provide full 10Gbps throughput with little performance degradation even when pinched by up to 180 degrees or tangled in knots. The cord is the same thickness as current standard Thunderbolt cables, but the connector size is slightly longer.

As ZDNet points out, these currently unpriced cables could be used to put Thunderbolt data storage devices like the Drobo 5D in a soundproofed closet, away from the host Mac.

There have been a number of reports about the development of fiber optic Thunderbolt cables over the past year, with no official timeline laid out for their availability. Pricing is also unknown, but given the more advanced active fiber technology in the cables, it's possible they could be significantly more expensive than current cables.

One significant difference between the optical cable and the metal is that the new optical Thunderbolt cables do not carry on-board power. Any devices connected with them, like smaller portable hard drives, need external power supplies to work. They cannot be bus-powered.

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.

Article Link: Fiber Optic Thunderbolt Cables Begin Mass Production, Available Up to 30m in Length
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:29 PM   #2
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Must cost $1 million
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:30 PM   #3
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30m .. why? Lol

That's 100 feet.

Because of "noise"? #FirstWorldProblems ... mechanical HDD's are hardly annoying, and SSD is the future especially for thunderbolt.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:30 PM   #4
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Intel has also announced that the optic technology has increased bandwidth and price, to a full $100 per cable, at each end.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:31 PM   #5
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And Intel said: Let there be light!
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:33 PM   #6
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Lightpeak finally realized.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:33 PM   #7
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Its coming in March

I wouldn't be surprised if they added this little invention to the next Apple Announcement coming in early 2013. Chances are it will be in March or it might be June. Who knows for sure!
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:34 PM   #8
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perfect for connecting to that thunderbolt display in the next room
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:35 PM   #9
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwalls90 View Post
30m .. why? Lol

That's 100 feet.

Because of "noise"? #FirstWorldProblems ... mechanical HDD's are hardly annoying, and SSD is the future especially for thunderbolt.
I imagine it would be best suited for server based systems. Follow my train of thought.

Imagine a new Mac Pro (or even Mac Mini server), a smaller form factor akin to the ill-fated G4 Cube. Perhaps it has 2 PCIe slots, 2-3 internal SATA III bays, 1-2 Xeon (or Core i7) processors, RAM, Thunderbolt, USB 3.0 connections (Ethernet, et al). Place the unit in a closet, and run a fiber optic Thunderbolt cable to a workstation for display(s) and HIDs. A graphics box and more devices can be attached via copper Thunderbolt cables for bus support.

You have a nice, small yet powerful system tucked away and out of sight.

...and it'll cost

$100 BILLION DOLLARS

(apologies, couldn't resist)
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:39 PM   #11
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Now you can leave the end of your Thunderbolt cable in another room, so you don't have to be reminded that nothing is connected to it.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:41 PM   #12
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Def add some flexibility to setup options. Great news as far as I can see, price permitting.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
Pricing is also unknown, but given the more advanced active fiber technology in the cables, it's possible they could be significantly more expensive than current cables.
Great, because current Thunderbolt cables are so cheap
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:45 PM   #14
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Step 2 is now complete. Now that fibre is available, it's time to bump up the speeds.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:48 PM   #15
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streaming

Its good for conecting cameras for live streaming event for exemple...
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:49 PM   #16
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I am a proud owner of 5 thunderbolt slots in different devices. Never have used them and never will used them.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:49 PM   #17
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This would be nice for putting a Mac Mini in the basement and having just the TB display on the desk. Completely quiet all the time
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:50 PM   #18
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I imagine these could also be used in instances where you are feeding HD projectors with your mac, reducing the need for adapters.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:50 PM   #19
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hmmm. I like the sound of fiber optic cables.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:00 PM   #20
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Rack-mounted workstations would work perfectly for this too. A whole entire room of workstations with all of the towers located in one closet. Only things that would be on the desk is a docking stations with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Can imagine this with Mac Minis, since then if the computer needed to be replaced or fixed, all you'd have to do is disconnect the power and TB cable and install the new one. Would mean no more climbing underneath a desk to get a tower out. Also would be way more secure too since the workstations can be locked away then too.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:00 PM   #21
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i think this is a good thing. hopefully the price will start going down now
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
Image


Intel has signed off on active fiber optic cables made by Sumitomo Electric Industries, the first of their kind to go into mass production.

..

Article Link: Fiber Optic Thunderbolt Cables Begin Mass Production, Available Up to 30m in Length
http://global-sei.com/news/press/12/prs045_s.html
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:02 PM   #23
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I imagine it would be best suited for server based systems. Follow my train of thought...
video and audio studios, when the whirl of a single fan in a hotter than hell RAID enclosure effects playback/monitoring performance. you get to keep the physical studio interfaces and connections (i.e. to ProTools interfaces) in the control room, and the computer, hard drives, etc. in a sound proofed remote room.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:04 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dwalls90 View Post
30m .. why? Lol

That's 100 feet.

Because of "noise"? #FirstWorldProblems ... mechanical HDD's are hardly annoying, and SSD is the future especially for thunderbolt.
If multiple machines/people need to use the same piece of equipment, they could put the equipment in a central control room and have them all connected to it from separate rooms. I've seen edit suites do this with decks and firewire. Firewire has a length limit though, so it had to be converted to cat5 and then go through a patch bay.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:10 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herocero View Post
video and audio studios, when the whirl of a single fan in a hotter than hell RAID enclosure effects playback/monitoring performance. you get to keep the physical studio interfaces and connections (i.e. to ProTools interfaces) in the control room, and the computer, hard drives, etc. in a sound proofed remote room.
Excellent example, makes perfect sense
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