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Corning's Optical Thunderbolt 3 Cables Now Available in Lengths From 5 to 50 Meters

lynix

macrumors newbie
Apr 8, 2019
2
1
This cable is design for studio, not for average user. Consider if you are using it in your home, 20m cable to link two computers in different room, there is no way to hide the wire in wall, even if you can, you have to let usb-c interface hanging on the wall, lol.
 
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JeffPerrin

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2014
434
421
Cha-CHING! Lol 1st gen cables have a poor rating with Amazon reviewers, last I checked, due to (suspected) chip failure due to long-term heat build-up. Hope they addressed this issue...
 
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MRisberg

macrumors newbie
Feb 6, 2019
23
8
Stockholm, Sweden
Intriguing technology, but undoubtedly a niche product. Few users will see the need to spend $360 for a 5 meter cable.
It's not that I feel the need to spend money randomly 😅 but I'm finally able to move my relatively noisy computer and peripherals from where I sit and do my work to a locked down and noise trapping 19"-rack a few meters away, which also makes the equipment safe from getting drained by any beverages accidentally being hit.
 
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dazey

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2005
292
23
Like others here, I also had two of the original versions fail on me (USB3 version). Replaced it with a £40 (10m) copper active USB3 cable which has been much more reliable.
I won't be queing up to give them any more money.
 
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Kabeyun

macrumors 68030
Mar 27, 2004
2,820
5,288
Eastern USA
Like others here, I also had two of the original versions fail on me (USB3 version). Replaced it with a £40 (10m) copper active USB3 cable which has been much more reliable.
I won't be queing up to give them any more money.
Yeah, Corning does glass well, but the terminators have a terrible track record.
 
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jimthing

macrumors 68000
Apr 6, 2011
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London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
The heat issues are apparently directly a requirement part of the spec for these newer TB3 optical cables, thus heat shouldn't be an issue.

But the questions remain:

1. 6K display won't work with it, can it be updated to do so in future?
2. TB4 compatibility, will it support full TB4 functionality that's around the corner?
3. If TB4 is supported, what alternate modes will be supported?

Given the (even higher than the TB2!) prices for these, until some evidence of their future potential is provided, I doubt they'll garner much sales success. Corning are absolutely abysmal in marketing these things. 🙄
 
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glindon

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2014
340
615
Phoenix
The heat issues are apparently directly a requirement part of the spec for these newer TB3 optical cables, thus heat shouldn't be an issue.

But the questions remain:

1. 6K display won't work with it, can it be updated to do so in future?
2. TB4 compatibility, will it support full TB4 functionality that's around the corner?
3. If TB4 is supported, what alternate modes will be supported?

Given the (even higher than the TB2!) prices for these, until some evidence of their future potential is provided, I doubt they'll garner much sales success. Corning are absolutely abysmal in marketing these things. 🙄
I don’t think they need to market these cables, not in the traditional sense. They announced them at NAB and industry word of mouth will do the rest of the marketing for them. The doesn’t work for 6k isn’t really a problem for the type of person who would buy this cable. So who exactly buys this type of cable? Production studios, sound stages, recording studios, broadcast studios. Any place where noise is your primary enemy or where people running the equipment need to be in a separate room.
 
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jimthing

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Apr 6, 2011
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I don’t think they need to market these cables, not in the traditional sense. They announced them at NAB and industry word of mouth will do the rest of the marketing for them. The doesn’t work for 6k isn’t really a problem for the type of person who would buy this cable. So who exactly buys this type of cable? Production studios, sound stages, recording studios, broadcast studios. Any place where noise is your primary enemy or where people running the equipment need to be in a separate room.
Yeah we know all that (owned several of the previous gen for NOISE issues).
The TB4 questions remain unanswered, hence the lack of foresight in their marketing future compatibility.
 
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glindon

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2014
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Yeah we know all that (owned several of the previous gen for NOISE issues).
The TB4 questions remain unanswered, hence the lack of foresight in their marketing future compatibility.
I get that, but are there any TB4 devices for sale? We have a spec sheet but that’s about all, and according to them TB4 cables will have to be certified and support Intel Vt-d (which in my best guess means that the cable has some rom on it that says what version cable it is). Unless everyone in the chain (computer, cable, end device) says “I’m TB4” your going to get a TB3 connection. Also new to the TB4 spec is 2m cables (and future 5 - 50m) so I think shielding and wire gauge are possibly different which will probably mean that the Corning cables can never be TB4 cables. Also of note in the TB3 spec is that it only supports one 5k display (hence why Corning says they are only good for 5k) so Apple is using lossless compression to get their monitors to do 6k. It might very well be possible that they work as intended.
 
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rkuo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2010
884
429
Glad these are now shorter. Hope they’re not plagued with reliability issues as other Corning optical TB cables have been. Was going to pick up an Areca one to drive my wall monitor from the Mac mini in the closet, but opted for a USB 3.1 cable instead. Drives 4K video beautifully. Doesn’t carry audio but a BT speaker addressed that, for a total still far less than an optical TB3 cable!
Uh yeah, this is the real issue with these optical cables. They’ve never been reliable.
 
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jimthing

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Apr 6, 2011
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I get that, but are there any TB4 devices for sale? We have a spec sheet but that’s about all, and according to them TB4 cables will have to be certified and support Intel Vt-d (which in my best guess means that the cable has some rom on it that says what version cable it is). Unless everyone in the chain (computer, cable, end device) says “I’m TB4” your going to get a TB3 connection. Also new to the TB4 spec is 2m cables (and future 5 - 50m) so I think shielding and wire gauge are possibly different which will probably mean that the Corning cables can never be TB4 cables. Also of note in the TB3 spec is that it only supports one 5k display (hence why Corning says they are only good for 5k) so Apple is using lossless compression to get their monitors to do 6k. It might very well be possible that they work as intended.
So the TB4 spec already has (presumably non-optical, if I understand you correctly?) 5 to 50m lengths in the planning? Interesting, if so – any link to that you have would be great.
 
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MHenr

macrumors member
Dec 22, 2008
98
99
Intriguing technology, but undoubtedly a niche product. Few users will see the need to spend $360 for a 5 meter cable.

Over the years I've learned that more users than what I typically refer to as "few", actually exist.
So many niche uses exist in so many specialisations that it's sometimes difficult to think of use cases for certain things/items. But they do in fact exist.
 
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jimthing

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Apr 6, 2011
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London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
Intel Press Deck
See page 17 of intel’s press release. It does not say optical or electrical so who knows?
Thanks for the link. Yeah, it says on that graphic "Targeting ~5-50m [Future]", which almost certainly means the universal TB4 2m standard ones will be copper (i.e. they will universally support both data and power over copper), while these 'future' TB4 ~5-50m ones will be optical (i.e. not universally offering both data and power; data only).

Hence my original point regarding these optical TB3 cables being superseded rather soon by their TB4 variant, thus rather late to buy into.

Especially given their pricing at ~$400-500 (compared to optical TB2, where 10m was 'only' ~$250 – although the longer lengths did double in price per ~doubling length). So for average lengths at the bottom, you're already paying a 60% higher price for TB3 optical, only for TB4 optical to come sooner rather than later, as per the actual specs guidance itself.
 
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jimthing

macrumors 68000
Apr 6, 2011
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London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
PSA: the Areca (10/20/30m) ones appear to have been discontinued.

I wouldn't be surprised if Corning made the Areca ones for them, and then stopped distribution when the main Corning branded ones could be mass produced more effectively. But I could be wrong?
 
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