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Old Jan 1, 2013, 04:31 AM   #126
jollino
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Looking at the pictures, it looks like some electronics within the connectors will convert from electrical to optical and vice versa, rather than the ports pushing light directly. Am I correct?
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 04:54 AM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmanalex1 View Post
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!
Makes me wonder if the next MacPro will arrive in modular form. Use fibre optic interconnects via the thunderbolt port and build your own supercomputer.

Might need an update to OSX but I think the groundwork has been done.

Might explain the delay in updating if there is going to be a whole new form factor.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 05:06 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by jayducharme View Post
I thought that the 10 gb limit was because of the copper wire, and that fiber optic TB would transfer at 100 gb. So if there's no difference in transfer speed between the two right now, why would anyone opt for the more expensive fiber optic version? Because of the length?
Just more channels, 40 max if I'm not mistaken, and the current die that Intel has is limited to 4 channels, some only two channels for peripherals, albeit the second generation TB is on smaller die and less expensive.

I don't recall if the 40 channel capability is specific to fiber cable, but the current 30m was probably chosen for practical reasons rather than technical, and as others have pointed out, has limited topology as compared to available network technology.

TB shines as a PCIe extender, Displayport connection, and dock, with limited attached storage capability, and complements USB 3.0 for workstations. Video and audio capture are obvious markets with its low latency advantage over USB 3.0.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 05:15 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by SteveW928 View Post
Is anyone else bothered by the length of those cable ends? That just seems like it would put a crazy amount of stress on the ports and circuit boards. I'm about to order my first TB device, but the cable kind of scares me... (anyone remember those square external SCSI cables?)
If these are indeed fibre optic based, then heat and stress should not be an issue. My current Apple T/Bolt cable which is about 3 ft...( it's the original stock one) get's hot at the ends, always has. The R4 unit doesn't even get warm though. In theory, FIOS cabling should not conduct heat, but the jury is out. I'm not going to jump right in, but when I do buy the R8 I will need to find someplace else for them to live. A longer cable would make this a breeze.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 05:59 AM   #130
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Another American invention made overseas.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 06:23 AM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baryon View Post
Fiber optic is just a transparent plastic cable with an LED and a photodiode at either end, right? Why not put the LED and photodiode in the computer and the device, instead of in the cable? That way, you only pay for the electronics once, no matter how many cables you buy…? That's exactly how optical audio works, isn't it?
Alignment and losses.

If the optics were in the port then everytime you plugged in a cable you would have to have micron precision alignment of the optical outputs and the cable light pathways - in 3 dimensions. There would also be a problem of losses at plastic/air/plastic interfaces and possible reflected signals etc etc. You avoid all of those headaches by simply building the light source into the cable and keeping the contacts electrical. Its clever.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 06:38 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by Michaelgtrusa View Post
Another American invention made overseas.
Last I checked, Fiber Optic technology was invented in Paris, in the 1840s. So no. Not really.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 06:43 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by ProVideo View Post
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.
worked in broadcast environments myself, basically money no object. So I can see this type of cable being used to pump several channels of uncompressed video around the suites and backend area. It's not for the likes of single users really.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 06:52 AM   #134
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I'm no expert, but the fact that the fiber-optic cables cannot transfer power and so the fact that the external devices cannot be bus-powered, it's kinda annoying...
Of course, if you use a 30m cable it probably won't be a problem finding a nearby power outlet, but on shorter cable (do they exist? short thunderbolt cables in fiber optic? Or are they just in copper?) it sucks..
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 06:55 AM   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard View Post
I do think you are a little narrow in your thinking there.
Would you care to share a reasonable, global usage for such technology that wouldn't be considered to be in the 'extremely niche' category?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo90 View Post
I'm no expert, but the fact that the fiber-optic cables cannot transfer power and so the fact that the external devices cannot be bus-powered, it's kinda annoying...
Of course, if you use a 30m cable it probably won't be a problem finding a nearby power outlet, but on shorter cable (do they exist? short thunderbolt cables in fiber optic? Or are they just in copper?) it sucks..
It's only going to be a problem if you are trying to plug a portable hard drive in. In which case you have zero need for Thunderbolt as USB 3.0 can do that just fine.

Seriously for a 'static' machine with 'static' peripherals, its not really a problem to have to plug stuff in.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 07:38 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by srxtr View Post
Must cost $1 million
Only if you buy it from apple, it'll be $300,000 from everybody else.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 09:33 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by SteveW928 View Post
In fact, I'm not really sure what Apple is going to do with this connector, seeing as they seem to be letting it go the way of the dodo (I mean FW 800).
ha I've always loved that phrase, and yes, I agree (sadly)
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 10:02 AM   #138
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Incorporating Fiber Optics Isn't Cheap or Easy

Quote:
Originally Posted by baryon View Post
Fiber optic is just a transparent plastic cable with an LED and a photodiode at either end, right? Why not put the LED and photodiode in the computer and the device, instead of in the cable? That way, you only pay for the electronics once, no matter how many cables you buy…? That's exactly how optical audio works, isn't it?
Not "just a transparent plastic cable with an LED and a photodiode at either end," but you're essentially correct. Doing so isn't practical because it would significantly increase the cost of the components (Macs and peripherals in this case) for everyone when only a small number of users are likely to need or want such functionality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baryon View Post
Also, why can't power be passed along an optical cable? Just have two wires running along it, no? Power won't carry precise data so it's fine if it loses a few millivolts on the way…
There are composite cables (i.e., cables with optical fibers + current carrying wires), but again, the increase in cost is prohibitive for most consumer applications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baryon View Post
Doesn't it seem like they're overcomplicating things just to make it a gazillion times more expensive than what it could be?
No, fiber optics is very expensive.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 10:15 AM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard View Post
Those LEDs don't last forever! It is also possible that they are using lasers. Further making up fiber optic connections, that are reliable, is an art.
Though they last longer than LEDs, Lasers don't last forever either. Even so, it's still highly unlikely that they're using lasers. Even at 30 meters, those runs are far too short to justify the expense of using lasers. They could, but the cables would be even more expensive. Additionally, for this application, it makes much more sense to use multimode fiber (MMF), which would employ LEDs, rather than single-mode fiber (SMF), which would employ lasers.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 10:31 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by TMay View Post
Just more channels, 40 max if I'm not mistaken, and the current die that Intel has is limited to 4 channels, some only two channels for peripherals, albeit the second generation TB is on smaller die and less expensive.

I don't recall if the 40 channel capability is specific to fiber cable, but the current 30m was probably chosen for practical reasons rather than technical, and as others have pointed out, has limited topology as compared to available network technology.
The 40-channel capability may be imposed by the TB technology. MMF is capable of handling up to 1700 or so channels simultaneously.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo90 View Post
I'm no expert, but the fact that the fiber-optic cables cannot transfer power and so the fact that the external devices cannot be bus-powered, it's kinda annoying...
Of course, if you use a 30m cable it probably won't be a problem finding a nearby power outlet, but on shorter cable (do they exist? short thunderbolt cables in fiber optic? Or are they just in copper?) it sucks..
If they don't already exist, they could certainly be manufactured. But they'd be expensive!
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 10:42 AM   #141
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think in chains

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garsun View Post
Apple will need to come up with a Female to female Thunderbolt adapter to make it possible to move their monitor-interface hub to the other room from the Mac Mini. Another small additional expense. Still it will be nice to move the monitor/Keyboard and mouse out of the cramped server room and onto the desk in my office
You would not need the adapter if you're inserting another TB device into the chain.

Computer > RAID/HD/SSD > Display

Computer > Audio/Video interface > Display(s)

Computer > Breakout box > Display

I'm sure there are more options...
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 10:45 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by Dwalls90 View Post
30m .. why? Lol

That's 100 feet.

Because of "noise"? #FirstWorldProblems.
... Because of reasons you can't imagine. Not everyone is you.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 10:56 AM   #143
The Deepness
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Can be pinched 180˚ seems a little hard to believe

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
The cables can […] provide full 10Gbps throughput with little performance degradation even when pinched by up to 180 degrees or tangled in knots.
When installing or using fiber optic cables, you always have to go by the cable manufacturer's specs as to how tightly you can bend a cable, but the general rules are:
  • During installation (stressed, dynamic, short-term, tensile load) - minimum bend radius is equal to 15 x D (diameter of cable) indoors and 20 x D (diameter of cable) outdoors.
  • After installation (unstressed, static, long-term (load), operating load) - minimum bend radius is equal to 10 x D (diameter of cable) indoors and 10 x D (diameter of cable) outdoors.
That applies to all for types of fiber optic cables:
  • Glass Fiber: glass core, glass cladding (best performance, but is expensive)
  • Plastic-clad Silica: glass core, plastic cladding (good performance, less expensive)
  • Hard-clad Silica: glass core, hard plastic cladding (good performance, more rugged)
  • Plastic Fiber: plastic core, plastic cladding (good for short distances like 10s of feet, very cheap, and probably what is used in these cables)
It'd be interesting to learn if Sumitomo Electric Industries has developed a more durable fiber material, or new method of grading or stepping the refractive indices of the core and cladding, such that the cable can withstand such macrobending without significant attenuation due to dispersion.
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Last edited by The Deepness; Jan 1, 2013 at 11:05 AM. Reason: specificity
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 10:57 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by GregAndonian View Post
This sounds cool. Of course, since this is an OPTICAL cable, Apple will refuse to support it on their computers, and refer to it as a "bag of hurt".
winkey or no, your statement makes no sense. apple didn't choose not to implement bluray because it's optical.

Last edited by mdelvecchio; Jan 1, 2013 at 11:28 AM.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 11:00 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by woodbine View Post
worked in broadcast environments myself, basically money no object. So I can see this type of cable being used to pump several channels of uncompressed video around the suites and backend area. It's not for the likes of single users really.
TB is a host based technology, not a network type topology, so yes, that 30m of Fiber optics is for a single user.

In the environnements you're talking about, you're much better of with 10 GbE, using Etherchannels/bonding for more performance or using a FC based SAN.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 11:11 AM   #146
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Seems the only niche where this is useful is studios that require very quiet operation (not necessarily video production, really audio production) and frankly that's a small niche.
...yeah, you should probably send a memo to Intel and Apple, letting them know you've thought about it and couldn't find any seemingly useful scenarios for the tech. they'd surely appreciate your insight and willingness to save them R&D costs for a potentially small niche product space.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 11:53 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by torana355 View Post
This is an issue that is easily fixed if you actully google it.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5172

Just use properly shielded usb3 cables and don't place the HDD behind the screen on hear the hinge on laptops.
Keep reading, starting with the white paper. Putting your head in the sand may be comforting, but ignores reality. This is not an Apple specific problem. It is a problem across the board.

As to Apple products, different ones exhibit problems to varying degrees with a variety of products.

Which USB 3 manufacturer whose products are a problem do you work for. You certainly are behaving like a shill.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 11:56 AM   #148
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So the Thunderbolt glacier has moved another inch....yawn.

I'll be fossilized by the time this "new" technology is actually mainstream and affordable.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:15 PM   #149
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So the Thunderbolt glacier has moved another inch....yawn.

I'll be fossilized by the time this "new" technology is actually mainstream and affordable.
For cryin' out loud, it's barely been two years!

These discussions sound so much like USB discussions when the USB-only iMac came out years ago. Well, USB turned out pretty good didn't it? It was revolutionary in many ways, just like thunderbolt, which means it's going to take time to be fully adopted. Took several years for USB.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveW928 View Post
While I'm not sure dumping the XServe was a good idea, the problem is more on the software side of things. Yes, with something like TB, a mini makes a decent server hardware wise (we used to have a whole rack of minis in the server room where I used to work ).

Lion and Mt Lion Server dumped way too many features. Who cares if it is cheap if it isn't competent. And, OSX has become quite problematic for the Pro market as well. One great example is the whole 'save-as' mess Apple has created. Sure, that might save a newbie who forgets to save, now and then... but it really messes up entire workflows for Pro and business users. Imagine 50 users sharing documents on a server. Nightmare!

Apple keeps making one silly move after another as they chase the consumer market. It's kind of ironic actually. Apple was a company known for attention to detail. This was the reason many of us spent the extra bucks to use their stuff. Now, it's starting to look like that lack of attention to detail may be the chink in their armor.

I'm really hoping they get their act together soon. I've been an Apple fan and consultant for over 2 decades. But, I think they are starting to make crucial mistakes in very core areas. That does have me worried.



Yea, I hope you are correct. I was a bit joking, though I really wish Apple was putting a bit more effort into this. They could not gouge so much on the cables. They could push for some more devices to be developed. Heck, they could make a device or two if others aren't stepping up to the plate.

All good points. I can remember being a Mac user in the 90's, and back then Mac users weren't the 'hip cool' crowd, they were the nerd/geek crowd, and the crowd who had work to do. Ironically, the tides have sort of turned. Mac OS was always, and I think still is, a very powerful operating system, but I agree, some things are wrinkles Apple is going to have to iron out.

Some things I like. Some are concerned about how Apple is sort of making OSX resemble iOS, but I think they are doing a beautiful job of it. Unlike Windows who is making a botched together OS to resemble Windows phone in such a way that it's clunky and unwieldy, especially on non touch machines (in my opinion anyway), Apple is leaving the interface the same but taking features from iOS and incorporating. I love launchpad and the new notification menu, even as an old Mac user who was using Mac OS way before OS X!

We shall see, I have confidence that Apple will iron out the wrinkles in the Pro market. Years ago, Windows just couldn't handle professional level creative and design tasks. Apart from being unreliable and inefficient, much of the software was not available. That's not the case anymore. Windows is a much better OS than it used to be (sans 8), and the vast majority of the software used by creative professionals is now available on Windows, and there are plenty of alternatives to applications like Final Cut Pro. I think Apple knows that, and I think they know they have to compete to keep their large, and long-time loyal creative professional crowd.

However, I think they are also balancing that with the fact that, for the second time really (was a surge when the iMac first came out but then it waned), Macs are 'cool', and there is a huge group of college students and the like who are owning Macs for the 'cool' factor, and they represent a huge market. They don't do anything more than Facebook and word processing, but, you just aren't cool if your laptop doesn't have a glowing piece of fruit on it!

We'll see where it goes. I just think Apple has been synonymous with professional, reliable, high performance machines for too long to abandon it. They've waxed and waned in the 'cool' market before, and I think they realize that their bread and butter (for the Mac at least, which probably is a drop in the bucket compared to their massive mobile market) is always going to be the pro market. They'll figure it out.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:21 PM   #150
apple-win
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Originally Posted by rmwebs View Post
Last I checked, Fiber Optic technology was invented in Paris, in the 1840s. So no. Not really.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_K._Kao


Charles K. Kao
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles Kuen Kao
高錕
Born 4 November 1933 (age 79)
Shanghai, China[1]
Residence China (1933–1948)
Hong Kong
United Kingdom (1952–1970)
United States
Citizenship United States
United Kingdom[1]
Hong Kong[2]
Fields Physics
Institutions Chinese University of Hong Kong
...

Known for Fiber optics
Fiber-optic communication
Notable awards IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award (1978)
IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal (1985)
....

Nobel Prize in Physics (2009)
....

This is a Chinese name; the family name is Kao.
Charles K. Kao
Traditional Chinese 高錕
Simplified Chinese 高锟
[show]Transcriptions

The Honorable Sir Charles Kuen Kao, GBM,[3] KBE,[4] FRS,[5] FREng[6] (born 4 November 1933) is a Chinese-born Hong Kong, American and British electrical engineer and physicist who pioneered in the development and use of fiber optics in telecommunications. Kao, known as the "Godfather of Broadband",[7] "Father of Fiber Optics"[8][9][10][11][12] or "Father of Fiber Optic Communications",[13][14] was awarded half of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for "groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication".[15] Kao holds dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and the United States.[7]
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