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Although Intel Corp.'s Light Peak interconnection technology is indisputably promising, its current state seems to be far from commercial readiness: there are no controllers, receivers and even devices that can take advantage of additional bandwidth provided by the tech. Apparently, the first implementation of Light Peak will not even use optical cables.

The initial version of Light Peak connection technology will not use light, as practical realities dictate more conventional technology, reports Cnet News citing industry sources familiar with Intel's plans for Light Peak. When Light Peak was first proposed and demonstrated, it used fiber-optic cables instead of copper wires, something that should enable up to 100Gb/s of bandwidth eventually.

The first version of Light Peak was supposed to have 10Gb/s bandwidth, two times higher than the maximum bandwidth of USB 3.0. But while the switch to copper is claimed not to affect maximum performance, it is unclear whether it will be forward compatible.

 Light Peak is projected to appear in products in the first half of next year. Intel has reportedly got backing from both Apple and Sony companies, which are claimed to be among the first to adopt the interconnection.

Intel did not comment on the news-story. 

Tags: Intel, Light Peak, Sony, Apple


Comments currently: 9
Discussion started: 12/10/10 12:20:21 PM
Latest comment: 12/15/10 03:09:40 AM


It makes sense from a practicality and financial standpoint. I mean it should make it cheaper for end users to buy and use with copper.

Truth be told, we are at the mercy of the controllers on a wiring system that can pass data along at these speeds. If the controllers don't allow any gains in speed by using Fiber Optics, then why pass the extra cost on to the end user who will not see any real world benefit from it yet.

When the controllers get better and more optimized, then implement the fiber optics. The only downside is backwards compatibility, but I am sure they can work something out if like USB has done. If I remember correctly USB3 can use Fiber Optics in its cabling as well.
0 0 [Posted by: iLLz  | Date: 12/10/10 12:20:21 PM]

that doesn't make any sense, there is not a single aspect of lightpeak that can be used over copper. Lightpeak is the development of embedded silicon lasers and a controller... it is very very cheap compared to other optical solutions (being silicon embedded). What exactly are they going to put over copper? the only thing they could do is just stamp the NAME light peak on something that has absolutely nothing to do with it...

as for the "nothing that requires the speed"... thats a laugh, there are tons of stuff that require it, both inside and outside the computer.
0 0 [Posted by: taltamir  | Date: 12/10/10 04:53:51 PM]

LOL. Then why do they call it LIGHT Peak?!!?!? I think this technology is a big BS, if you ask me! USB 3.0 is still the best out there, because, so far, there are 0 devices that can use the full bandwidth. Not even the fasted SSDs!
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 12/11/10 03:45:04 AM]

Yes it would be odd to use copper for any implementation of Light Peak, given it is supposed to be a fiber optic interface. If it can surpass USB 3.0 speeds, then it might be viable, but Firewire has good speed but is virtually unused. It seems fiber optic interfaces in consumer products never lived up to their promise, the only one used being the TOSLINK audio interface.

Hopefully future USB 3.0 devices will use the full capability of it's speed, since most if not all USB 2.0 devices never achieve it's full speed.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/11/10 10:03:11 AM]

It would be amazing to see LightPeak being a success , even with all INTEL's money and power of coercion when USB 3.0 is around and has been for the last year. Nothing is faster than eSATA so what would LightPeak be usefull for TODAY ? Nothing. Or maybe, just maybe, some external SSD RAID drives or something similar.

There are SSD's out there that can achieve 300MBs speeds and USB 3.0 can satisfy that with no problem.

Unless they think external SSDs with speed highyer than 300MBs will become cheap and popular in the next year, they KNOW that this is a failure right from the start.

The only idiots that will pay for this, are the ones buying very expensive models of Apple & VAIO and those are less then 2% of the market.

I think this will be another proof of INTELs inability that some OTHER's company standard is better then theirs.

They've tried to deny ATX and really invested in BTX. Who the muck uses BTX now?

They've tried to deny the need for ITX or miniITX but even VIA managed to impose those standards.

They did not accept NEC's royalties on USB 3.0 and I'm almost sure LightPeak will be a failure.

I mean , would would be FASTER and CHEAPER to implement for a virtual eternal SSD that gets over 400MB/s ? eSATA 3.0 or LightPeak?

For very fast drives there is eSATA and for everything else there is USB 3.0

At least IMHO ...
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 12/12/10 02:41:41 AM]

Copper? LOL!!!
0 0 [Posted by: DIREWOLF75  | Date: 12/12/10 06:32:08 AM]

Look, USB3.0 has a theoretical max limit of 600MB/s in bandwidth. Now it doesn't take a genius to realize that we could start seeing this maxed out over the next year when new SSD controllers are released. SandForce has controllers specs that show 500MB/s and I am sure Intel will have something similar maybe at the end of next year.

Maybe they know something that could hit big and want a medium of transfer that will support that speed. Lightpeak's theoretical bandwidth should be double this which would be 1250MB/s.

Now I know not many things will make such use of this high bandwidth right off the bat but is it such a bad thing to future proof. I am tired of being on USB2.0 speeds for as long as we have. Not to mention overhead for USB3 and how low that max might really become. Remember USB2 max bandwidth was 60MB/s but we only get about 30-35 due to overhead and everything going one way at a time.

I know USB3 has corrected some of these inefficiencies but I doubt we will see the whole 600. We may not see the whole 1250 with Lightpeak either but that is up to the controllers.
0 0 [Posted by: iLLz  | Date: 12/12/10 10:32:23 PM]

One advantage of lightpeak is electrical separation. But if the cables are anything like current fiber optics, they cannot be bent much without breaking.
In my current setup, I would like a HDMI optical replacement between STB (with external TV cable connection) and TV (behind UPS surge protection).
0 0 [Posted by: mathew7  | Date: 12/13/10 12:37:05 AM]

How absurd - a light based transmission technology called light peak that won't use light. How many times now have we been promised optical based connections only for them to be pulled at the last minute. USB 3 was rumored to be optical at one point, and I believe that Firewire has an optical option as part of its standard. Whats so difficult about optical? Surely it can't be dearer to make a single optical fiber than am equivalent copper cable with 19 separate conductors and the associated complex plugs and sockets (ah la HDMI)? What's going on here? Is it that optical fiber is too good? That then the manufacturers won't be able to continually upgrade and obsolete their connectors and cabling forcing consumers to keep upgrading? I think so.
0 0 [Posted by: stolennomenclature  | Date: 12/15/10 03:09:40 AM]


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