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Intel Corp. has reportedly said that components for Light Peak technology would be available before the end of 2010, which means that already in 2011 systems with the optical interconnect technology may emerge commercially. Still, a big question is whether Light Peak will be actually demanded by end-users and products next year.

At the Intel Developer Forum last week, Intel demonstrated a laptop made by that was linked to an Avid audio processor and Western Digital storage system using Light Peak to handle professional media editing. An Intel spokesman indicated that all three devices utilized an Intel controller, reports EETimes web-site. The time-to-market for Light Peak seems to be very quick as the technology was first showcased about a year ago.

"We are going after consumer and mobile platforms so we don't expect to have a large bump in power consumption or cost over traditional copper interfaces," said Robert Siegel, who manages Intel's Light Peak ecosystem efforts.

At present Intel remains tight-lipped over actual suppliers of modules, connectors, cables designed for Light Peak. Besides, the company does not say any pricing estimates for the new optical interconnection.

Even though it is possible that LightPeak, which can transfer data at the speeds between 10Gb/s and 100Gb/s, will hit commercial market in 2011, it is unlikely that it will get popular. Very few devices, apart from external graphics cards or solid-state drives may actually need such speeds. At the same time, the cost of USB 3.0-enabled devices has been decreasing and end-users may prefer to stick with the standard that offers 5Gb/s maximum speed at a very low cost.

Tags: Intel, Light Peak

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