After posting a teaser of their Gorilla Glass 3 and “optical cables” set to be unveiled during the International CES 2013, Corning has finally announced their Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 Optical Cables. As posted on the company’s official website:
Optical Cables by Corning unleash the brilliance of light to connect computers and peripherals at speeds up to 5 Gb/s through USB or up to 10 Gb/s through Thunderbolt technology. Utilizing cutting-edge optical fiber technology, they can maintain that speed over much longer distances than traditional copper cable. Optical Cables by Corning are thin, light, and remarkably tough. They can be bent, squeezed and tangled.
Introducing Corning’s Thunderbolt Optical Cables and USB 3.0 Optical Cables
Corning’s new Thunderbolt Optical Cables and USB 3.0 Optical Cables both use the company’s ClearCurve VSDN optical fiber technology. It significantly extends the range of data transmission compared to traditional copper-based products.
Although it is 50 percent smaller and 80 percent lighter than traditional products, the company also added that the new cables are stronger than copper cables. However, its optical fiber technology won’t boost data speeds.
Still, enterprise or professional users may be interested in the product, as it supports ultra-long cable runs. According to Corning, the USB 3.0 Optical Cables runs at 100 feet or 30 meters, while the Thunderbolt Optical Cables max out at 330 feet or 100 meters without the need to daisy chain the devices. Mike Bell, Corning’s SVP and general manager of Optical Connectivity Solutions, stated:
Users can create, move and manage their data in a much more flexible, efficient and durable manner with this new technology. Video can be live edited from across a football field; a music library can be downloaded 40 percent faster; and devices can be quickly accessed and connected with this much smaller and lighter cable when the capabilities of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth just aren’t enough.
Aside from that, the Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 cables feature an “ultra-slim, zero-bend” radius cable with a noise-reducing design. The Thunderbolt version enables full bi-directional 10 Gbps data rates, while the USB 3.0 has 5 Gbps data rates and is backward-compatible with USB 2.0.
So far, the optical cables are not yet available for sale, although the company expects it to hit the market sometime in the first quarter of the year. Its price, however, has not been announced yet.