Price of Thunderbolt Cables to Likely Drop by End of 2012
Thunderbolt connectivity has been met with many criticisms since its release, mainly due to the cost as it adds a considerable premium to the prices of compatible peripherals. Even the Thunderbolt cables are expensive with Appleís 2-meter cable being priced at a whopping $49. In a recent report, the folks over at Ars Technica
took a look at why the cables are currently so expensive and how some of the upcoming technology may help bring prices down towards the end of this year and the beginning of the next year.
The main reason Thunderbolt cables are expensive is because they contain a significant number of chips and other circuitry, starting with the transceiver. In addition to the transceiver, the current design also requires a separate microcontroller, power management and voltage regulation chips, and an optional power supply for bus-powered devices. Another company named Intersil is in the process of trying to simplify the design for Thunderbolt circuitry later this year with its own products that will reduce the number of chips and allow for cheaper cables to be used.
Intersilís strategy is to combine the microcontroller and transceiver into a single processing chip along with combing the power management and voltage regulators into a single power management chip. This option allows one to cut the required number of integrated circuits from four to two, improving the cost efficiency and decreasing heat generation. Combined with other improvementís Intersilís solution will bring substantial improvements in component costs, size, and power usage, all of which when combined improve cost savings for consumers.
Source: Ars Technica