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  • USB 3 optical

    Does anyone know of devices, host interfaces (including motherboards), or chipsets that implement USB 3's optical transport? I develop automation systems (AKA industrial robotics) which don't like hard electrical connections because it's a vulnerable path to get zapped by ill-designed hardware. So the optical interface would be ideal. (Right now I'm using transformer-coupled Firewire, using the S100 CAT5 standard. But it's hard to find cards to support that.)
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

  • #2
    Re: USB 3 optical

    I've been googling around and just can't find any mention of the optical option since it was presaged in 2007: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9780794-1.html

    This article gives me the impression that Intel dropped the optical option in favor of yet another optical cabling option in the future:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/19422...cceed_usb.html

    Ah, and it looks like Apple is using it instead of USB 3:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_(interface)

    ...

    Crap, now it looks like Intel is pushing the optical option back for years:

    http://www.pcworld.com/businesscente...ears_away.html
    Last edited by ScratchMonkey; 10-08-2011, 07:35 AM.
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: USB 3 optical

      My MacBook Pro has Thunderbolt. But yes, right now Thunderbolt (formerly known as LightPeak) is copper-only. They will have copper to optical solutions once the optical carrier is ready to go.

      Are there really no media converters to carry USB over optical fiber? It's not something I've ever had to specifically look for, but I figure someone must have a solution.
      Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: USB 3 optical

        There are bulky converters, yes, but I'd also need chip-scale ones to isolate subsystems. Right now I have 3 3"x3" devices in close proximity connected by transformer-coupled Firewire. (The automation I work on is in a cleanroom where space is at a premium, so extremely tight packaging is favored. And imagine your equipment takes zaps from ion beams.) The only company I know that makes Firewire CAT5 host cards is IOI, and they're full-height, which introduces its own packaging issue: I can't use a thin PC.
        Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

        snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

        Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: USB 3 optical

          Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
          There are bulky converters, yes, but I'd also need chip-scale ones to isolate subsystems. Right now I have 3 3"x3" devices in close proximity connected by transformer-coupled Firewire. (The automation I work on is in a cleanroom where space is at a premium, so extremely tight packaging is favored. And imagine your equipment takes zaps from ion beams.) The only company I know that makes Firewire CAT5 host cards is IOI, and they're full-height, which introduces its own packaging issue: I can't use a thin PC.
          There are some guys at work that deal with a similar situation so I'll run this by them on Tuesday and see if they have any ideas.

          For amusement, I just started looking at arduino gear as a solution, but nothing there either!
          Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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