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  • Current Thunderbolt Ports Compatible With Fiber Optic Cables to be Released Next Year


    Thunderbolt ports installed in Apple’s current batch of Mac products will be compatible with fiber optic versions of Thunderbolt cables slated for release next year according to Intel.

    Thunderbolt—originally called Lightpeak—relied solely on fiber optics to transfer data. While this process provided amazing speeds, it was also extremely expensive and couldn’t provide enough power to external devices. Apple then stepped in and helped Intel develop the copper-based variant known as Thunderbolt. However, Intel promised today that current copper based Thunderbolt ports will be compatible with fiber-optic versions of the same cables.

    Fiber optic versions of Thunderbolt cables will increase the distance data can transfer from up to six meters via copper to “tens of meters,” according to Intel spokesman Dave Salvator. These new Thunderbolt cables could vastly increase the already blazing fast Thunderbolt transfer speeds of 10Gbps. However, this technology is still extremely expensive to implement on the controller side of the equation. Dadi Perimutter—general manager of the Intel Architecture Group—mentioned during an IDF interview the technology could be years away from mass adoption mainly because of its high cost.

    The blazing fast future of fiber-optic based I/O’s may be a ways off, but Thunderbolt is likely more than enough for most users. Unless you’re me and wish there was a faster way to dump 100GB+ of high-def video footage off a NAND Flash drive. Gripes aside, the minor shortcomings of Thunderbolt (slow adoption, short cable distance) appear to be waning as more manufacturers (Acer, Asustek) adopt the I/O interface. Someday all physical media will be obsolete and everything will be in the cloud. The only thing preventing this storage utopia are the ISP's and telecoms (at least in the U.S.).

    Source: PC World
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Current Thunderbolt Cables Compatible With Fiber Optic Cables to be Released Next Year started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. Gman Smartboy's Avatar
      Gman Smartboy -
      And then when the cloud servers go out, you would have wished you bought that 5 terabyte hard drive on sale...
      Or we could have another virus hit that server. PSN network all over again.
    1. rabbit_'s Avatar
      rabbit_ -
      You so spot on there buddy ^^
    1. spazturtle's Avatar
      spazturtle -
      Intel did mension that the thunderbolt ports in macs at the moment will be the same ports used for the next 20 years, after that they will be replaced will fiber optic ports.

      Intel roadmap:
      2011:Copper Thunderbolt introduced
      Copper Ports
      10Gbps Copper Cable

      2021:
      100Gbps Coper Cable
      1000Gbps Fiber Cable (Using copper connector)

      2031:
      Fiber Thunderbolt introduced
      Fiber Port
      10,000Gbps Fiber Cable (With fiber going directly to the port)
    1. PatrickGSR94's Avatar
      PatrickGSR94 -
      Quote Originally Posted by spazturtle View Post
      Intel did mension that the thunderbolt ports in macs at the moment will be the same ports used for the next 20 years, after that they will be replaced will fiber optic ports.

      Intel roadmap:
      2011:Copper Thunderbolt introduced
      Copper Ports
      10Gbps Copper Cable

      2021:
      100Gbps Coper Cable
      1000Gbps Fiber Cable (Using copper connector)

      2031:
      Fiber Thunderbolt introduced
      Fiber Port
      10,000Gbps Fiber Cable (With fiber going directly to the port)
      Heh I doubt it will take 10 years even to reach 1 Tbps data transfer.

      And come on, NOTHING in the computer world lasts 20 years. Never gonna happen.
    1. prestone683's Avatar
      prestone683 -
      Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
      Heh I doubt it will take 10 years even to reach 1 Tbps data transfer.

      And come on, NOTHING in the computer world lasts 20 years. Never gonna happen.
      Do we forget PS/2 and serial bus?


      SCSI?
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      This is great and all, but we still need more than a handful of items with Thunderbolt support.
    1. spazturtle's Avatar
      spazturtle -
      Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
      Heh I doubt it will take 10 years even to reach 1 Tbps data transfer.

      And come on, NOTHING in the computer world lasts 20 years. Never gonna happen.
      That was their original roadmap, they have probably updated it by now.