Sumitomo Electric receives world’s first Thunderbolt certification for optical cable

TOKYO —

Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd has become the first company to receive Thunderbolt certification from Intel Corporation for the optical Thunderbolt cable and has started the mass production. Based on Intel’s Thunderbolt technology, this new optical Thunderbolt cable enables long-distance data transmission.

Sumitomo Electric said it developed this cable through its expertise in optical fiber and module development.

All Thunderbolt products must undergo a certification process to ensure optimal operation and end-user experience. The officially certified products provide highly reliable data transmission at a high speed of 10Gbps.

“Thunderbolt technology continues to bring performance and versatility to Macs and PCs today,” said Jason Ziller, Director, Thunderbolt Planning and Marketing, Intel Corporation. “Sumitomo’s new optical Thunderbolt cables add another level of versatility to Thunderbolt, especially for media creators and enthusiasts.”

The optical Thunderbolt cable is an active optical cable that enables long-distance transmission up to 30 meters to connect Thunderbolt devices together. The optical Thunderbolt cable is the same diameter as the conventional metal Thunderbolt cable (4.2 mm), and handles just as easily. Sumitomo Electric’s special optical fiber makes the cable robust and durable for everyday use. This optical fiber offers high bending performance even when pinched up to 180 degrees or tangled in knots.

BusinessWire

  • -3

    basroil

    This doesn't explain it well, but here's a clarification: This type of thunderbolt is incompatible with the copper based one used in laptops and integrated motherboards. It requires an different chip set that will never be used by fruity companies.

  • 1

    Korlacan Khanthavilay

    Wait...30 meters. WTF kind of optical cable is that? Cat-6 can do 10 gbps and has a length of 55m (in favorable crosstalk environment) or 37m (in unfavorable crosstalk environment). That or just run it 100m and just not give a crap.

  • 0

    basroil

    Korlacan KhanthavilayDec. 24, 2012 - 05:15PM JST

    Wait...30 meters. WTF kind of optical cable is that? Cat-6 can do 10 gbps and has a length of 55m (in favorable crosstalk environment) or 37m (in unfavorable crosstalk environment). That or just run it 100m and just not give a crap.

    It's much more like infiniband than fibre channel or ethernet, and the specifications do allow for 100m even if this company's cables are much shorter. And it's not actually 10gbps, rather it's 40gbps in four 10gbps channels, one or more of which can be used to send displayport video (up to 2560x1600@60hz per channel). For the normal person though, gig-e is more than enough speed considering the range of lightpeak products, and businesses don't really have any reason to upgrade to a very similar technology for practically no improvement over their current methods. You're 100% right about this being non-news to anyone that actually would even think of using it.

  • 0

    Korlacan Khanthavilay

    All the benefits of Thunderbolt simply aren't being used today. The shortcomings of fiber really kill Thunderbolt, like lack of carrying power and combining the fiber/copper in one cable limits the fiber distances.

    Enteprises won't bother using it and Intel never was aiming at the enterprise market with it anyways.

    About the only thing I'd want from Thunderbolt is an external GPU for ultrabooks/laptops/tablets. http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpresschassis.html

    Pretty much the only option and it's limited, cause the case doesn't have power leads for higher graphics cards. It's also expensive and too slow for higher end graphics cards. $400 to $800 for the chassis, all to drop in a $200 or less graphics card. Anything higher and it can't make use of it.

  • -3

    basroil

    Korlacan KhanthavilayDec. 26, 2012 - 06:02PM JST

    Pretty much the only option and it's limited, cause the case doesn't have power leads for higher graphics cards. It's also expensive and too slow for higher end graphics cards. $400 to $800 for the chassis, all to drop in a $200 or less graphics card. Anything higher and it can't make use of it.

    Yup, only supports PCIe 2.0 with up to 16x theoretically (more likely 12x + 1 display port), but only 4x considering nobody in their right mind would ever make display drivers that use the three-four individual channels separately.

    As for laptops, i wish they would bring back the dock idea, but with full 8 lanes of PCIe3.0. Far better than lightpeak

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