Google Undersea Cable

After two years of construction, Google Undersea Cable between the West Coast of the United States and Japan is now complete. Located between Oregon and in Chiba and Mei prefectures in Japan, the 5600 mile connection has a bandwidth of 60 terabytes per second. One terabyte is 1000 gigabytes. Read from PCMag.

Thunderbolt Cables Are Still Expensive

Ever wonder why Thunderbolt cables are expensive. It’s not because Apple sells it exclusively for $49. Not anymore. Now, a few companies are selling Thunderbolt cables at roughly the same price. Even worse, some manufacturers are charging for $10-$20 more.

So, what gives? Ars Technica explains why the Thunderbolt cable will stay costly for a couple more years. The Thunderbolt cable uses a Genum transceiver, which is made from silicon germanium, an expensive semiconductor process, typically found on telecom equipment.

The cost of making the transceiver is high, coupled with other chips found in the Thunderbolt design. The cable also contains a separate microcontroller, power management and voltage regulation chips, which provide 3 volts power internally and 15 volt to power other bus devices.

Currently, there are 4 chips found inside a Thunderbolt cable. Plans are underway to combine the transceiver and microcontroller chip, as well as combine the power management and voltage regulator chip into one. It will cut the number of chips from 4 to 2.

In addition, the cable also uses high quality copper cable to meet the 10Gbps bi-directional data rate requirement. As most know, copper is expensive, which explains why it is a favorite for thieves to steal nowadays.

Nevertheless, consumers are stuck with the current Thunderbolt cable cost, a cable that’s still considered first generation. Costs will go down later as manufacturers find way to cut manufacturing costs, at the same time without sacrificing performance.