Intel has confirmed that Apple's current lineup of Thunderbolt-equipped Macs will support fibre optic Thunderbolt cables next year. According to Macworld Intel spokesman Dave Salvator has confirmed that the current generation of MacBook Pros, iMacs, MacBook Airs and Mac Minis will be compatible with the upcoming cables.
When Thunderbolt was originally talked about it was to use optical cables to reach speeds of 100 Gbps. However when Thunderbolt hit the shops it was copper and could only manage a disappointing 10 Gbps.
Salvator said that circuitry will ensure compatibility of next-generation Thunderbolt cables with existing ports. Current Thunderbolt cables feature internal firmware and transceiver chips on each end. Optical cables could be longer, up to tens of meters instead of the three-meter limit currently forced on users.
So far Jobs' Mob is the only manufacturer to sign up to the Thunderbolt dream. Acer and Asus have promised to ship Thunderbolt-capable PCs next year.