Feeds

Pricey Apple Thunderbolt cable inner chippery exposed

40 quid for wires... and 12 chips

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.