Feeds

Pricey Apple Thunderbolt cable inner chippery exposed

40 quid for wires... and 12 chips

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Want to know why Apple is charging £39 - $50 in the US - for its Thunderbolt cable?

For once it's not entirely the company's price-high-for-fanboys policy - the cable is an active transmitter.

Apple's Thunderbolt cable

Apple's Thunderbolt cable: on the outside...

The kit disassemblers at iFixit.com have found that the cable, which connects Macs to peripherals using Intel's new high-speed - two independent channels of 10Gb/s each - bus, contains rather more chippery than you'd see in your average cord.

Inside Apple's Thunderbolt cable
Inside Apple's Thunderbolt cable

...and on the inside
Source: iFixit.com

There are six chips at either end of the cable, but the grunt work is done by two of chip-maker Gennum's cable-oriented GN2033 Thunderbolt transceivers.

Essentially, these boys and the supporting parts ensure the 2m of wiring - 3m is the max - in between don't attenuate the signal so far that the data transfer speed plunges.

All this means that the cable is also powered - for the chips, if not the external device. Thunderbolt muxes PCI Express bus data and DisplayPort traffic then separates them out at the other end. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.