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Sumitomo Samples Optical Thunderbolt Cables

Sumitomo Electric announced that it is now shipping samples of its optical Thunderbolt cable.

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Unedited press release follows:

Sumitomo Electric Launches Optical Thunderbolt Cable Samples
2012 NAB Show

TOKYO — Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (TOKYO: 5802) (ISIN: JP3407400005) has commenced sample product shipment of the optical Thunderbolt cable. These products will be used at the Thunderbolt demonstration test to be performed at Intel Corporation’s booth during the NAB Show 2012 held by the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas from April 16 to 19, 2012.

Thunderbolt is an innovative high-speed PC connection technology developed by Intel. It provides 10 Gbps data transmission, and is PCI Express and DisplayPort compatible with its dual-protocol solution.

Last September, Sumitomo Electric launched its electrical Thunderbolt cable based on Intel’s technical specifications. Following this success, the Company has recently developed the optical Thunderbolt cable drawing on its optical fiber and module technologies and has started shipment of the sample products.

“Thunderbolt technology is a groundbreaking new high-speed interconnect technology providing 10 Gbps connectivity to the PC,” said Jason Ziller, Intel’s Thunderbolt Marketing Director. “We are very excited to have Sumitomo optical Thunderbolt cable sampling in the market to provide much longer cable lengths to the users that need them, such as media creators.”

The features of this product include:

(1) Long-distance connection

The optical Thunderbolt cable is an active optical cable that enables long-distance transmission of optical signals with no signal degradation. Connectors at both ends of the cable convert electric signals into optical signals and vice versa. It employs the same interface as the electrical Thunderbolt cable and can be connected to Thunderbolt ports on PC and peripheral devices. This cable comes in lengths of up to 20 m.

(2) High flexural strength

The optical Thunderbolt cable is as thin in diameter as the conventional electrical Thunderbolt cable (4.2 mm), and therefore handles just as easily. Furthermore, Sumitomo Electric’s special optical fiber makes the cable robust and tough to be used in general consumer devices. This optical fiber will provide high bend performance even when pinched by up to 180 degrees or tangled in knots.

< Main specifications of optical Thunderbolt cable >
Number of channels: 2
Transmission speed per channel: 10 Gbps bi-directional
Transmission capacity: 20 Gbps bi-directional
Cable length: 10 m and 20 m