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  • Light Peak Instead of USB 3 on 2011 Macs?


    News that Intel's Light Peak high-speed optical interface technology may be arriving sooner than expected is reviving rumors that Apple may incorporate the new standard on Macs. Light Peak, which can transfer data at twice the speed of USB 3.0, is "now on track to appear in products in the first half of 2011 - and likely earlier in the year than later," according to Brooke Crothers at CNET. Apple's been an active proponent of the technology, and - especially since Steve Jobs made comments dismissing USB 3 - observers are speculating that Apple may be an early adopter of Light Peak.

    Intel Labs has been working on the fiber optic cable interface as a single universal replacement for current peripheral bus standards like USB, FireWire, PCI Express, SATA and HDMI. The interface will be capable of transferring 10 gigabits per second full duplex, which is twice the transfer rate of USB 3.0, over cables that can be up to a hundred meters long as opposed to USB 3's three meters. And according to Intel, the standard will support speeds up to a blistering 100Gbps by the end of the decade, which will be significant as industry observers believe optical cables will be the only way to support larger HDTV and 3D displays. Engadget published a claim last year that Apple actually designed the standard back in 2007 and brought it to Intel; while there was no statement about this from either Apple or Intel, industry sources have disputed the assertion.

    Intel demonstrated the technology at the Intel Developer Forum in 2009, saturating a solid-state RAID array while displaying high-definition video on a large screen, all through a single fiber optic daisy-chain. Observers were amused to note that the computer they used for the demo was a hackintosh: a caseless test rig running Mac OS X. Whether the story about Apple inventing the technology is true or not, Light Peak has gotten enthusiastic support from Apple. Intel received feedback from Apple which they incorporated into their development efforts.

    When asked about USB 3.0 on the Mac, Steve Jobs replied that "We don't see USB 3 taking off at this time." Interestingly, the Apple CEO went on to justify that statement by saying there was "no support from Intel" for the standard. Given that Intel appears to be pushing ahead with Light Peak as a next-generation standard, and Apple's focus on clean, minimal industrial design, it's not unrealistic to imagine we'll see future MacBooks with a single optical interface to replace USB, FireWire, and HDMI ports.

    Source: CNET
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Light Peak Instead of USB 3 on 2011 Macs? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 31 Comments
    1. mattoligy's Avatar
      mattoligy -
      Sweet :-)
    1. Dragonx151's Avatar
      Dragonx151 -
      Awesome, prolly a good time to buy some intel stock haha might become the next "USB" type deal.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      I'd love this if external HDDs could read/write as fast to utilize light peak or USB 3.0
    1. goldenchildrose's Avatar
      goldenchildrose -
      Great!!! They better upgrade their intel processors as well
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      Yes something like this is much needed. USB 2.0 is sooo outdated its the single most used hardware that could use improvements, mostly speed improvements. Whatever they use, lightpeak or USB 3.0, it's much needed.
    1. Rob_Quads's Avatar
      Rob_Quads -
      I wonder what the royalties will be on LightPeak vs USB. I presume USB3 will be much less as it has been a development of existing tech which will not cost quite so much.
      Royalties IMO will be the key to which succeeds. The best often dies away because they want too much money.

      The fact that USB3 has got a 1/2 year head start I think will also play a major factor.
    1. McMichael96's Avatar
      McMichael96 -
      I would like to see LightPeak in action if it can really go that fast.
    1. hitman10's Avatar
      hitman10 -
      i saw the demo and it was really cool! but i didnt understand it all.
    1. plcrules's Avatar
      plcrules -
      Quote Originally Posted by McMichael96 View Post
      I would like to see LightPeak in action if it can really go that fast.
      i think in the demo they said it could go up to 8Gb/s
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      This is awesome.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Apple better jump on this and put it on their products if they have the opportunity! If LightPeak really has those speeds it could be a big boost for Mac!
    1. staterunner180's Avatar
      staterunner180 -
      Any chance it will turn up on the next MacBook (not Pro, just MacBook) refresh?
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Acciavatti View Post
      ...Engadget published a claim last year that Apple actually designed the standard back in 2007...
      2007? maybe 1985! An ANSI standard found in large storage farms. A new name and a couple minor spec changes, then claim inventors rights? Right on Apple
    1. manickbarry's Avatar
      manickbarry -
      If apple backs it then it will do well.
    1. bruinsrme's Avatar
      bruinsrme -
      Quote Originally Posted by manickbarry View Post
      If apple backs it then it will do well.
      Like the display port?
    1. PWNsyst3m's Avatar
      PWNsyst3m -
      That's awesome.
    1. Priizm's Avatar
      Priizm -
      transfering a sh@t ton of videos, pics, and files faster. yahh
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      The problems about light peak are, USB is an established "brand", non techy people know what USB is, and I assume USB 3.0 will be backwards compatible with 2.0 atleast, nearly every single device that can connect to a computer does so via USB so even if light peak makes it to any computer it will still have to have USB ports also for many many years
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      yea 3.0 will be king
    1. pachi1972's Avatar
      pachi1972 -
      It not gonna work...Everyone is used to USB...there are too many devices using USB....