Corning USB 3.Optical Cables Now Available

Subject: General Tech | April 20, 2014 - 12:59 AM |
Tagged: usb 3.0, optical cable, corning

USB 3.Optical is a cable technology by Corning to extend the range of USB 3.0 while maintaining high bandwidth. Like the eventually realized promise of Thunderbolt, the cable is a stretch of fiber-optics between the two end points. The currently available SKU is a 10m male-to-female USB 3.0 A to A cable (a ten meter USB 3.0 extension cord). The idea is that users will plug their intended cable to the female end, as if it were the actual socket on the computer.

View Full Size

The cable is actually currently available, right now, on Amazon. The catch? A 10m cable is $110 USD. This is around three-to-four dollars per foot. Needless to say that it is probably a bit too expensive for a "just in case" purchase. However, if you have a significant need for it, a cable now exists. The company also expects to ship 20M and 30M cables at some point this year.

One thing that is not clear is whether these cables are powered. I do not see anywhere which claims that it can transmit power. There is little reason why not, you could fit two extra little wires and put a 5V drop between them pretty easily over those ranges, but I expect that they did not.

Corning USB 3.Optical cables are available now on Amazon although eAccutech seems to be cheaper (I have not heard of the latter but they are mentioned in the Corning press release).

Source: Corning
April 20, 2014 | 05:41 AM - Posted by NanoTec (not verified)

"In general, you can expect USB 3.Optical Cables by Corning to work with any powered and USB 3.0 compliant device."

"2. Connect cable to self-powered hub."

April 20, 2014 | 05:49 AM - Posted by NanoTec (not verified)

"You can expect USB 3.Optical™ Cables by Corning to work with USB 3.0 compliant devices requiring 2.25 W of power. Should you choose not to use such a device, the best way to ensure operation is to connect the drive and verify operation by transferring files. Another option is to connect the USB 3.Optical Cables by Corning to a power hub and use a short copper cable to power the bus-powered peripheral."

April 20, 2014 | 06:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There is a 10m Thunderbolt cable as well, but it is $325. http://www.amazon.com/Active-Optical-Cable-33ft-10m/dp/B00FATQ83E/ref=pd...

April 21, 2014 | 09:10 AM - Posted by collie (not verified)

I'm wondering, please enlighten me, what is the use case for this cable? is it simply the length or is there some speed advantage.

April 21, 2014 | 03:18 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

A short-ish (Corning says ~ < 10 ft) USB 3.0 cable is designed to get maximum speed. In fact, you will still need to use your old cable to plug into this cable's female jack.

If your regular USB 3.0 cable is too long, probably in the 15-30ft range, your bandwidth could reduce. Attaching a, like, regular three-foot or six-foot USB 3.0 cable to this (fibre optic) extension cable should recover any speed or reliability that you would lose with a long copper cable.

I expect that the main use cases are along the lines of, "Have an out-of-the-way workstation connected to a USB 3.0 hub somewhere on your desk to prevent a double-hit to speed and reliability".

This will not be faster than a short USB 3.0 cable. In fact, one of those will be required.

April 27, 2014 | 03:47 PM - Posted by PhoneyVirus

Interesting needless to say, wow the hell is going to pay that much for a cable. Hell I just got on the USB 3.0 last year, not alone jumping on this because of a cable, plus with the New USB3.1-IF WiFi coming.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.