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Intel

Intel's Thunderbolt With Fiber Optics Years Away 69

Posted by samzenpus
from the sometime-down-the-road dept.
CWmike writes "Intel's Thunderbolt high-speed interconnect technology could be years away from getting optical technology, an Intel executive said this week at IDF. Originally introduced in February on Macs, Thunderbolt was pitched as being optical technology but currently uses copper wires. Dadi Perlmutter of Intel's Architecture Group said copper wires are working much better than expected, and that fiber was expensive. 'It's going to be way out,' Perlmutter said. 'At the end of the day it's all about how much speed people need versus how much they would be willing to pay.'"
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Intel's Thunderbolt With Fiber Optics Years Away

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  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Friday September 16, 2011 @01:39PM (#37422430)
    Toslink (optical SPDIF) is very low in bandwidth compared to modern technologies. Most implementations don't go above ~1.5 mbps, which is enough for uncompressed redbook CD audio or DTS (and more than enough for Dolby Digital / AC-3). Just because this can be done cheaply doesn't mean that the same is true of optical connections that need to handle several orders of magnitude more bandwidth. And Toslink never made much sense in the first place. Coaxial SPDIF transmits exactly the same data, the cables are cheaper, you can make the cables yourself with the proper tooling, and they are far more robust. (You can easily break a Toslink cable just by bending it too tightly - that doesn't happen with coax.)

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