Thanks to the new Corning’s optical cables, USB 3.0 connections are advancing to light speed transfers and, none the less, longer distances.
With stretches of up to 10 meters, the USB 3.0 optical cable has transfer data speeds much higher than the standard copper ones. Plus, unlike the standard cable, which could only run for just a few meters, the Corning’s USB 3.0 optical cables will be able to stretch around in the user’s home or office for up to 30 meters, in the near future, according to a Corning representative.
Corning optical cable
The optical cable available now, is fully compatible with 3.0 and 2.0 USB ports used by digital cameras, storage devices, displays, printers and other USB peripherals. They are 80% lighter and 50% thinner than the regular copper cables and can maintain digital data transfers of 5 Gbps, unlike the standard USB copper cables, which slow down over long distances. To achieve the 10 meter distance, a copper USB cable needs different connectors and signal repeaters that extend the data transfer.
Optical cables can also be used for Thunderbolt connectors used by Macs and PCs and Corning announced its optical wires with a length of up 100 meters for Thunderbolt 2, cables with 20 Gbps data transfer rates.
But, just like for Thunderbolt, Corning’s USB 3.0 cables are not able to carry power to the connected device, so any peripherals connected by them will need an independent power source.
The 10 meter USB 3.0
At the moment, the 10 meter USB 3.0 optical cable, with A-to-A connectivity, can be found on Amazon.com for $109.99, while the standard A-to-A USB 3.0 cables, with lengths of up to 3 meters, are under $10, on the same shopping portal. The adoption of optical wire has been poor since they were released, mostly because their high prices, but with the growth in need of speed, things will change according to Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research.
Also, with the release of 3.1 USB technologies at the end of this year, which will provide 10 Gbps transfer rates, it is unclear yet if the new optical cables from Corning will be compatible or not.