Sonnet, the company in charge of developing software for the Mac ecosystem, of Manzana, has been showing the capabilities of the new optical cables compatible with the standard Thunderbolt 3. The new optical cables for Thunderbolt 3 are manufactured by the famous Corning company, which is famous throughout the world for its best-known product, Corning Gorilla Glass, with which the touch screens of our mobile phones are usually manufactured.
Optical cables to be used with Thunderbolt data jacks have been around for many years. There have been models of these cables for the Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 standard. But, until now, they had not started to be manufactured for Thunderbolt 3. The big “problem” that the new standard brings to the table is that the type of data connector has changed. It has gone from the mini DisplayPort that was used in the previous versions of this standard, to the type C connector that we all know by being used in the USB type C.
Although this change in connector is very positive for users, within the PC and Android ecosystem, it is not so positive for Apple users. Having changed the connector type, they are now unable to use their old optical cables to transmit data over long distances. And this is because the cables Copper Thunderbolt 3 They admit a maximum of 2 meters in length between the emitter and the receiver. Which is considerably less than the 60 meters or so that the existing optical cables allowed.
Corning will manufacture the new optical cables for Thunderbolt 3
Corning You already have quite a bit of experience developing the optical cables that have been used in earlier versions of the Thunderbolt standard. This experience makes them the first producers to launch the first models of these cables on the market. Of course, do not expect that they will be cheap. Although prices sales are unknown so far, we do know that the price of optical cables currently sold for the above standards are quite high. For example, a 10 meter roll can cost around 470 euros.
Regarding the improvements What are these new ones? cables Optical for Thunderbolt 3, the most evident is the substantial increase in the signal transmission distance. As we have said, copper Thunderbolt 3 cables cannot send data beyond 2 meters, otherwise the signal will deteriorate so much that it is unreadable by the receiver. Optical cables can send this signal much further: up to 60 meters. And without deteriorating the integrity of the signal during the route, as it happens with copper cables.
Therefore, for users who cannot use WiFi transmission where they are, and need a high rate of transfer of files, an optical cable is your best option. Just remember that the Thunderbolt 3 standard allows a maximum data transfer rate of 40 Gbps (5 GB / s). Now, and naturally, this type of cable cannot be used to power any device with it.