Intel has revealed that Mac computers with Thunderbolt ports will work with upcoming fibre-optic versions of the interconnect technology.
Back when it was code-named Light Peak, the interconnect system was initially expected to be based on fibre optics, but it was downgraded to slower copper cabling for Thunderbolt's debut on the MacBook Pro in February.
Those Thunderbolt ports will work with an upcoming fibre-optic version of the interconnect, Intel spokesman Dave Salvator told MacWorld.
The copper version offers speeds of 10Gbits/sec over distances of 6m, but the fibre edition should extend that to 10m, Salvator said, although he didn't mention any potential speed boost.
Despite Intel executives repeatedly saying the cost of the fibre version means it's likely years away from arriving commercially, Salvator suggested it could land next year.
Sony has used its own version of the technology in its VAIO Z Series, but Salvator didn't say if the fibre version would also work for that variation. The Thunderbolt interconnect is expected to appear on more computers next year, with Acer and Asus already promising the technology on their own laptops.
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk