April 17, 2010

Intel’s Light Peak — The End of USB?

“Light Peak is the code-name for a new high-speed opti­cal cable tech­nol­o­gy designed to con­nect your elec­tron­ic devices to each oth­er. Light Peak deliv­ers high band­width start­ing at 10Gb/s with the poten­tial abil­i­ty to scale to 100Gb/s over the next decade. At 10Gb/s, you could trans­fer a full-length Blu-Ray movie in less than 30 sec­onds. Opti­cal tech­nol­o­gy also allows for small­er con­nec­tors and longer, thin­ner, and more flex­i­ble cables than cur­rent­ly pos­si­ble. Light Peak also has the abil­i­ty to run mul­ti­ple pro­to­cols simul­ta­ne­ous­ly over a sin­gle cable, enabling the tech­nol­o­gy to con­nect devices such as periph­er­als, dis­plays, disk dri­ves, dock­ing sta­tions, and more.” says Intels Web­site.
The appli­ca­tions for this tech­nol­o­gy and ben­e­fits of this tech­nol­o­gy are obvi­ous.  Opti­cal data trans­mis­sion is obvi­ous­ly going to be supe­ri­or to met­al wire data trans­mis­sion.  But can this be applied large scale?  I would be inter­est­ed to see how they could apply this to say a flash dri­ve.  One of the com­mon prob­lems I run into with cur­rent flash dri­ves is the amount of time it takes to down­load a large amount of data from them.  Down­load­ing 8gb from a flash dri­ve can take 10 min­utes or longer. 
Light Peaks band­width is real­ly quite impres­sive, 10gb, and they say they have the capa­bil­i­ty to expand it to 100gb with­in the next few years after it’s release.  Quite impres­sive real­ly.  Thats about 3 times faster then USB 3.0 is sup­posed to be. 
One issue I see with this is dura­bil­i­ty of cables.  Peo­ple are very hard on their cabling.  Much hard­er then most peo­ple actu­al­ly real­ize.  Opti­cal cabling is eas­i­ly dam­aged by bend­ing and twist­ing.  Even step­ping on the cable can crush the fibers and ruin the sig­nal.  It will def­i­nite­ly be inter­est­ing to see how the tech­nol­o­gy pans out. 
To get more infor­ma­tion about Intel’s Light Peak tech­nol­o­gy head over to their page here.  You can also watch a video on the tech­nol­o­gy below.


  1. thsoundman - April 17, 2010 3:04 am

    I won­der how afford­able this will be to the main­stream con­sumer. I don’t know if I can see this tak­ing off unless it comes stan­dard with every dell, hp, com­paq, etc that is sold.

  2. T8 - April 18, 2010 10:18 pm

    Is it a self pow­ered con­nec­tion like USB, or do you need an alter­na­tive pow­er source. That will be the big split on if it will take out.

    • thsoundman - April 18, 2010 10:22 pm

      Thats a damn good ques­tion. Can you even send pow­er ever fiber? Can you send pow­er over light? I would assume you can as solar pow­er is an exam­ple of that. I sup­pose that somthing to con­sid­er. I guess there could be a met­al tab that would allow pow­er to flow.

  3. T8 - April 18, 2010 10:28 pm

    cop­per wire ran joined to the fiber cable. check your PM on Col­oradoAre­na

  4. PimpmasterF - April 24, 2010 5:40 pm

    assum­ing this is gen­er­al­ly afford­able by the pub­lic I know what my next upgrade is gonna be 😀


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