What’s inside Apple’s $129 Thunderbolt cable #Apple #ReverseEngineering @JonBruner

Jon Bruner on X (formerly Twitter) posts about reverse engineering the Apple Thunderbolt cable. At a whopping $129, it better have something going for it.

Turns out there’s a lot going on in this Thunderbolt 4 connector. There’s a very complex PCBA that appears to have two inductors. This cable can deliver 100W to the connected device, plus it has to power its own ICs.

The PCBA has 9 layers, with lots of blind and buried vias. An industrial CT scan lets us filter by density; in the second image, I’ve removed the PCB substrate from the visualization, showing the denser materials in the vias.

The cable is a work of art. 20 separate wires, 10 of them coaxially shielded. The wires and their shields are soldered to the PCBA separately. It’s all protected by a strain-relief fitting that’s crimped in from 8 directions.

See more scans and information in the X thread of posts here.


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