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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?