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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.

light_peak_thunderbolt_optical_neon.jpg



IDG News now reports that Intel as issued a statement indicating that it will be launching fiber optic Thunderbolt cables "later this year".
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
 

orangezorki

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2006
618
17
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!

David
 
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DrFu79

macrumors member
Apr 25, 2008
70
7
Norway
How about making the current cables - and accessories - more affordable first before making them even more expensive? :mad: /rant
 
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Supacon

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2011
90
175
Canada
How about making the current cables - and accessories - more affordable first before making them even more expensive? :mad: /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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nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
How about making the current cables - and accessories - more affordable first before making them even more expensive? :mad: /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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bb426

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2011
414
41
California
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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pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,158
1,090
Montreal, Canada
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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wikus

macrumors 68000
Jun 1, 2011
1,795
2
Planet earth.
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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Spectrum Abuser

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2011
1,377
48
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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DerekRod

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2012
820
0
NY
Make thunderbolt compatible with iPhones and iPads and I will pay the premium for the cable
 
Comment

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
-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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Laird Knox

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2010
1,881
1,177
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. ;)

----------

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. ;)
 
Comment

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
9,469
2,053
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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Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
2,471
2,326
Lincoln, UK
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.
 
Comment

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,961
121
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).
 
Comment

DerekRod

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2012
820
0
NY
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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Seppentoni

macrumors member
Jul 14, 2011
95
95
Europe
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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nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
5,502
314
Middle Earth
How about making the current cables - and accessories - more affordable first before making them even more expensive? :mad: /rant

Comparatively speaking Thunderbolt cables are cheap. If you were expecting UB pricing for cables with active chips embedded you were highly mistaken


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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diamond3

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2005
858
327
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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