These Optical USB and Thunderbolt Cables Are Up to 330 Feet Long

Illustration for article titled These Optical USB and Thunderbolt Cables Are Up to 330 Feet Long

If you thought screens were where glass started and finished in gadgets, think again. Corning, the company behind Gorilla Glass, has also started making optical USB and Thunderbolt cables—and they're super, super long.


The cables are optical instead of your typical wired connection. There's no speed advantage, but because there's less signal attenuation in optical cables than in wire, they can be made extremely long. Corning's USB 3.0 cables will come in lengths of up to 100 feet. But its Thunderbolt cables will be up to 330 feet long. Think about that for a second: it would take the fastest man in the world about ten seconds to run that distance. That is insane.

Apparently the cables can also be daisy changed together, too, so 330 feet isn't the longest distance these cables could span. Sadly the cables are currently being certified by the powers that be, but Corning hopes they'll be on sale some time in the first quarter of 2013. In terms of price, Verge reports that they will "comparable" to copper-wired cables—but given that there is no 330 foot copper counterpart, it's tricky to determine exactly what that means. [Corning, Verge]


How exactly do you power the USB devices with these cables? I'm guessing these will only work with devices that have a separate power source... Or is there some fancy sorcery to these cables?