Intel: Optical Thunderbolt cables arriving this year

Intel's Dave Salvator has been talking about Thunderbolt's future, promising that optical versions of the high-speed interconnect will arrive this year. The copper version currently available is cheaper and can carry 10 watts of power, but it can only be run a maximum distance of six meters. While the fiber version loses the ability to power devices, it's reportedly far faster and capable of running to the "tens of meters." Dave Mr. Salvator wouldn't commit to a release date, or how much more we'll be expected to pay for the cables, but given that we're also expecting to see PCI-Express 3.0 bolted on to the standard soon, we'll start saving today.