As it stands, all Thunderbolt cables shipped thus far have been using copper. That’s fine and dandy, really. It’s very fast and it has the benefit of carrying 10 watts of power over the cable. Unfortunately, copper degrades in quality quickly at longer distances. That’s where optical cables come in.
Agam Shah, Macworld:
[quote]Optical cables for Thunderbolt ports that enable faster data transfers over longer distances on computers such as Apple’s Macintosh will be available later this year, Intel said Monday.[/quote]
It’s great news that we’ll have the option of optical Thunderbolt cables available to us, but it will cause some confusion about which cables carry power and which don’t. Your devices won’t know the difference between the two, but products like Elgato’s sleek 120 GB SSD drive won’t work without external power.
In either case, copper or fiber optics, let’s just hope the price starts dropping hard for these cables. Paying $49.99 for a cable is just plain ridiculous for anyone who is used to ordering $1.99 cables from Newegg and Amazon.
Are you going to start running fiber all over your house for super-fast transfers? Let us know what your plans are by sounding off in the comment section below this post.