Intel could soon bring to market a faster version of its Thunderbolt connector technology with a throughput of 50Gbps, but the company is biding its time until there is a need for faster connectors. Thunderbolt technology connects computers to peripherals like external hard drives at much faster speeds than USB 3.0. Thunderbolt ports are found in Macs and select Windows PCs, but are more expensive than USB technology, which is found in most PCs that ship today.
This cute little green cable may look innocuous, but it can carry data along its core at a breathtaking 800Gbps. Based on Intel’s Silicon Photonics technology, the cables uses 64 fibers—32 for transmitting and 32 for receiving—each capable of moving data at 25Gbps. Multiply that up, and it can shift 800Gbps in each direction, an aggregate of 1.6Tbps. Those fibers are brought together at the end by an MXC connector—which doesn’t stand for anything—which is significantly slimmer than a standard ethernet cable head. But don’t expect to swap your USB 3.0 or Cat 5 cable for MXC anytime soon. The cables are really designed to take the place of interconnect cables in data centers and supercomputers, where they’re intended to replace the 10Gbps cables commonly used to connect switches and the like. Maybe one day, though, you’ll have a super-fast green cable, too