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Data Storage Networking Apple

First Thunderbolt Peripherals Arrive To Market 259

MojoKid writes "Promise Technology recently launched the first Thunderbolt-compatible devices; the company's Pegasus RAID R4 and R6 storage solutions can now be ordered from the Apple Store. There's a catch, however. In order to use either storage array, one must first purchase a cable directly from Apple. The company has priced the two-meter cable at $50. As it turns out, Thunderbolt uses what's called an active cable. Inside the cable there's a pair of Gunnum GN2033 transceivers. The GN2033 is a tiny, low power transceiver chip designed to be placed inside the connectors at either end of a Thunderbolt cable, enabling dual bidirectional 10Gb/s concurrent links over narrow-gauge copper wires. The cable's $50 price may be justified, but it's also a further reminder of why Thunderbolt may follow FireWire's path into obsolescence. Apple is the only company currently selling Thunderbolt cables."
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First Thunderbolt Peripherals Arrive To Market

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  • or maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 01, 2011 @01:47AM (#36630836)

    or maybe, once production is ramped up, prices will go down. Since that's what generally happens with new technology.

  • Re:or maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Serenissima ( 1210562 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @01:52AM (#36630848)
    That's crazy talk. This is Slashdot. Where anything remotely related to Apple or Microsoft must be met with derision! There's no need to bring logic or common sense into the discussion!
  • Re:Reason? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @02:30AM (#36631000) Homepage Journal
    Here is the teardown [ifixit.com]. The claim is that significant circuitry is required to insure that the data transmission remains fast and reliable. It sounds like a kludge to provide a cheaper copper connection rather than paying for fiber inputs and outputs in peripheral and host devices.

    We will see how this works. The Apple method has been to provide a reliable and high speed external bus so users could hook anything up essentially plug and play. This was back to the SCSI days. Those cable were more reliable than these. Though the move to USB certainly reduced costs, it was not as elegant as the FIrewire. It will be a while for current users to upgrade to thunderbolt. Hopefully by that time we will see other manufacturers.

  • Doomed to fail? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by falconcy ( 1082517 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @02:37AM (#36631014)
    Is this going to be yet another of those technologies like Firewire which will end up being a toy for Mac Fanboys and ignored by the majority of the userbase?
  • Re:Point? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by toQDuj ( 806112 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @02:43AM (#36631034) Homepage Journal

    This way you can daisy-chain a couple of devices without losing speed.

  • by EdZ ( 755139 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @04:21AM (#36631382)
    If so, then put your expensive chips at each connector, and put a single cheap memory ship in the cable. Perform whatever tuning is required, then store the coefficients on the memory. When you plug in the cable, the memory is interrogated and the coefficients sent to the fancy chips at either end.
    Of course, this assumes that actual chip cost is a factor, rather than just a massive markup because of a pair of chips costing tens of pennies each.
  • It's still better (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dugeen ( 1224138 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @05:06AM (#36631514) Journal
    Being ripped off by Steve Jobs is still better than being ripped off by Bill Gates because - er - I can't recall the exact reason but I'm sure the Applefan zombies will be along to explain it soon.
  • Re:Doomed to fail? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @05:13AM (#36631540)

    Is this going to be yet another of those technologies like Firewire which will end up being a toy for Mac Fanboys

    ...would this be the "toy" which became the standard interface for a generation of DV camcorders and decks? It wasn't too shabby for hooking up external hard drives until USB3 came along.

  • by toQDuj ( 806112 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @05:46AM (#36631662) Homepage Journal

    Well, as they say in the linux help forums: If you can think of a better way to do it, feel free to make and implement your own.. I am of the opinion that thunderbolt has potential and will wait a while before making opinions. I also think that there are a slew of engineers who have worked on this, and it seems to me a bit insulting to them to hear people here go "why did you not just do A or B". Do you really think they did not think of this thing you just thought up in 5 minutes? The hubris of the unwashed masses..

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall