How hard would it be to use SPDIF

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
As a short range (6' or less) high speed interconnect between computers?

I know it's used now for digital music 5.1 digital surround.

Can it be used for Video? (using some other hardware/software)

Can it be used in near future as faster short range xserve interconnect?

I am not totally techie on this but it seems that you have a fiber optic link here why can't it be exploited for more bandwidth intensive functions.



  • Reply 1 of 2
    beigeuserbeigeuser Posts: 371member
    SPDIF is the name for the signal-type used to transfer digital audio. It's not the name of the actual connection. SPDIF can be transferred by TOSLINK (optical) or Coaxial (RCA). In this case, it seems you are referring to the use of TOSLINK as a network cable.

    First of all, I don't think anybody has implemented any network protocols into the TOSLINK architecture. Second it would be pointless to do so because the TOSLINK maxes out at 13.2Mbps (compared to the 800Mbps of Firewire 800 and 1,000 Mbps of Gigabit ethernet.) And the maximum cable length is apparently 30 feet.

    It took a while but I finally found the connection speed on page 3 of this PDF.

    Not all fiber optic connections are fast. TOSLINK was designed for digital audio which doesn't require much bandwidth.

    From this point, it's just from hazy memory so take it with a bag of salt(Corrections are welcome.) The speed of optical cables are directly related to the quality of the cable construction and the speed of the optical to electronic signal conversion which must take place on both ends. If the cable construction is poor then there will be a lot of errors due to refraction. The optical cable can only transfer as fast as the electric to optical signal converter.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    tednditedndi Posts: 1,921member
    Thanks that's what I was looking for. I was trying to see if Apple might have had something up their sleeve with the optical out on Airport.

    guess not
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