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Press Release 2012

Home > Press Release > 2012 > December 18

Sumitomo Electric Receives the World’s First Thunderbolt Certification for the Optical Thunderbolt Cable, and Starts Mass Production


December 18, 2012
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. has become the first company to receive Thunderbolt certification from Intel Corporation for the optical Thunderbolt cable and has started the mass production. Based on Intel’s Thunderbolt technology, this new optical Thunderbolt cable enables long-distance data transmission. Sumitomo Electric developed this cable through its expertise in optical fiber and module development and, in April 2012, began shipment of the sample products.

Optical Thunderbolt cableAll Thunderbolt products must undergo a certification process to ensure optimal operation and end-user experience. The officially certified products provide highly reliable data transmission at a high speed of 10Gbps.

“Thunderbolt technology continues to bring performance and versatility to Macs and PCs today,” said Jason Ziller, Director, Thunderbolt Planning and Marketing, Intel Corporation. “Sumitomo’s new optical Thunderbolt cables add another level of versatility to Thunderbolt, especially for media creators and enthusiasts.”

The optical Thunderbolt cable is an active optical cable that enables long-distance transmission up to 30 meters to connect Thunderbolt devices together. The optical Thunderbolt cable is the same diameter as the conventional metal Thunderbolt cable (4.2 mm), and handles just as easily. Sumitomo Electric’s special optical fiber makes the cable robust and durable for everyday use. This optical fiber offers high bending performance even when pinched up to 180 degrees or tangled in knots.


【Lineup of the Thunderbolt cables】

Transmission media Metal cable Optical cable
Number of channels 2
Transmission rate per channel 10Gbps
Transmission capacity 20Gbps
Outside diameter 4.2mm
Cable length 0.3m, 0.5m, 1.0m
1.5m, 2.0m, 3.0m
10m, 20m, 30m
Connector size 28mm 38mm
Bus power supply 10 W None
Others A host computer and up to six devices
can be daisy-chained

*Thunderbolt technology is the fastest way to transfer data between a PC and peripheral and display devices.¹ At 10 Gbps, Thunderbolt™ technology delivers great responsiveness with data and display transfers – in each direction, at the same time – using a single cable to connect devices in a daisy chain.


【Reference】 (Added: 31 Jan, 2013)


Optical Thunderbolt cable

World's first Thunderbolt certification for the Optical Thunderbolt cable by Intel 


  • Intel, the Intel logo, and Thunderbolt are registered trademarks of the Intel Corporation in the US and other countries.
  • PCI Express is a trademark or registered trademark of PCI-SIG in the US and other countries.
  • Other company names and product names contained in this news release are basically trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective company concerned.
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