Move over, eSATA. Corning’s new optical USB 3.0 cables are finally on sale as discussed on popular newsgroups, and they can move data faster than you could ever hope to. Almost twice as fast, as a matter of fact. eSATA peaks at about 3Gbps, while Corning’s USB3.Optical cables can achieve throughput of up to 5Gbps.
Better still, they’re capable of doing it over distances of 30 meters. That’s not quite as good as Corning’s Thunderbolt 2 version, which can handle runs of 100 meters, but USB 3.0 ports are a whole lot more common. The big downside here is that retail pricing for the USB3.Optical cables starts at about $109.99.
Price is one major reason optical cables haven’t taken off with consumers, but it certainly won’t deter professionals who work with massive files that are stored on external devices. Things like raw 1080p video and massive data sets can move at an absolutely blistering pace over Corning’s cables.
At 5Gbps, USB3.Optical cables max out the USB 3.0 spec. USB 3.1 was finalized last August, however, and it raises the speed limit to a whopping 10Gbps. Corning hasn’t commented on whether the current batch of cables will be able to keep up with USB 3.1 controllers, but they’ll at least be compatible — and it’s not like 5Gbps is slow or anything.
Still, the additional 5Gbps would provide the kind of speed necessary for USENET users working with uncompressed 4K video stored on enterprise-grade RAID devices. It seems unlikely that Corning — who first showed off the 5Gbps cables more than a year ago — won’t be ready for the big debut of SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps.