Intel: current Thunderbolt ports will support optical cables

By Jos · 4 replies
Sep 27, 2011
Post New Reply
  1. Thunderbolt ports on current Macs will support optical cabling, according to Intel. If you recall, the company's original specification for the technology (codenamed Light Peak at the time) was to…

    Read the whole story
  2. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,957   +214

    So if I'm reading this right there will always be a copper part in the devices connector, which the tranciever then changes into optical?
  3. Sounds like Intel should have supported USB 3 to begin with and then once they figured all these other things out and got the costs down, come out with LightPeak (opps were actually using copper better call it, um, er, Thunderbolt). But no, screw the consumer and hold up USB 3 as long as possible. Thanks Intel.
  4. Jos

    Jos TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 3,073   +97

    Not sure if that will always be the case. The example quoted from Ars only describes how 'current' ports can support optical Thunderbolt by upgrading to a fiber optic cable with an electrical-to-optical transceiver at each end of the cable. In future implementations, for example, I suppose Thunderbolt ports could support optical cables by default while cheaper, slower copper cables would use an optical-to-electrical transceiver at each end.
  5. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    As I understood it (back when it was still LightPeak and about to be officially launched), the intent was to always have some copper in the lines. But, in the case of optical cables, I believe this was intended solely as a power system, to accommodate non-powered peripherals that might be attached.

    Info is really pretty vague on the specifics of how the interface works, for the most part. But, it does rely on active cables, with interfacing hardware built into each end. By all accounts, it's copper interface connections in the device, with the cable ends doing any required conversions (like optical signal generation on the future cables). Makes you wonder just how much those optical cables are going to end up costing, and how durable or bulky the end connectors will be.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...