Intel's new 1.6Tbps optical cabling leave copper in the dust

The new MXC cables combine up to 64 optical fibers, each capable of a transfer rate of 25Gbps, into a single cable offering a total of 1.6Tbps total data transfer rate.

Later on this year you'll be able to get your hands on cabling capable of carrying data at a staggering 800Gbps. But you're not going to be using these to connect your external hard drive up to your PC. Instead, these cables are headed for use in supercomputers and datacenters.

MXC fiber cabling
(Source: Intel)

By combining up to 64 optical fibers, each capable of a transfer rate of 25Gbps, the cable is capable of a total transfer rate of 1.6Tbps. But because the MXC cable (in case you're wondering, MXC doesn't stand for anything) uses half the fibers for up and the other half for down, the transfer rate is cut to only 800Gbps.

This is an enormous increase compared to the paltry 10Gbps that the standard cables-connecting equipment is capable of transmitting.

Not only are the MXC cables fast, but they are ruggedized, have more density, have fewer parts which makes them cheaper, and are also ten times more resistant to dust than current optical offerings.

"One MXC cable can transmit data at 1.6Tera-bits per second (64 fibers at 25Gbps). That’s 1,600,000,000,000 bits per second. If you could transmit data at that speed, you could download a two-hour HD movie from iTunes (4GB) in less than two seconds. With 2.5 quintillion bytes of data (1 followed by 18 zeroes) created every day, I doubt anyone questions that we are going to need the higher bandwidth that MXC cables provides in our 21st century data centers," explains a post on Intel’s blog.

Intel, Corning, and US Conec have partnered together to develop these fibers in which they announced on Monday that they intend to sell the MXC cables.

"MXC cable assemblies have been sampled by Corning to customers and will be in production in Q3 2014," said Intel. "US Conec announced that it will sell MXC connector parts to Corning and other connector companies."

Tyco Electronics and Molex, along with Corning, are the first to announce that they will build and sell MXC cable assemblies, and customers will be able to order connectors with 8, 16, 32, or 64 fibers to fit their requirements.