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Light Peak fiber-optic interconnection is among the most-discussed technologies these days. At present only developers know the cost of implementation of Light Peak and not a lot of people understand actual benefits of the technology for contemporary devices. According to Via Labs Inc., a designer of input/output controllers, Light Peak would hardly get as popular as universal serial bus (USB).

"We believe that Light Peak will not see wide-spread adoption, despite Intel’s or Apple’s best efforts. We see Light Peak more as a bus than a true interface, since it seems to be good way to piggyback multiple protocols through a single cable. Light Peak’s breakthrough application might be in the docking station segment, but it should be noted that in that particular use, Light Peak does not actually replace any ports. It basically moves them from the mobile device to the dock," said Terrance Shih, a product manager at VIA Labs, in an interview with SemiAccurate web-site.

The first incarnation of Light Peak will support bandwidth of up to 10Gb/s, which is two times higher than that of USB 3.0, but what will not bring any significant gains to all available peripherals, except, perhaps, external graphics cards or portable solid-state drives. The implementation of Light Peak is estimated to cost from $5 to $10, if not higher, despite of Intel's promise of $2 per port.

"USB is the most successful interface in history and there are literally billions of devices in existence. In all likelihood, USB will become the longest-lived interface of all time! The only way for Light Peak to gain significant traction as a USB replacement is if hordes of end-users suddenly decided to replace all of their USB peripheral devices with those that supported Light Peak, but this is of course very unlikely," added Mr. Shih.

Interestingly, but the talks about the Light Peak occur amid relatively tepid welcome of USB 3.0 both by consumers and manufacturers. While there are people who benefit from USB 3.0, they do not form majority of computer users. As a result, there are not a lot of USB 3.0 peripherals. In case the rumours about adoption of Light Peak by Apple and Sony next year are true, then, there will be simply no add-on devices for the interface in 2011 since the two companies command less than 5% of the PC market.


Tags: Light Peak, Via Labs, Intel, USB, Apple, Sony


Comments currently: 7
Discussion started: 12/10/10 04:53:49 PM
Latest comment: 12/13/10 05:43:27 PM
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throughput is far from the only aspect of a connection that matters:
- latency
- CPU usage
- reliability/compatibility
- durability
- cables

I think LightSpeed wins big on all those points ?
0 0 [Posted by: obarthelemy  | Date: 12/10/10 04:53:49 PM]
- collapse thread

No, it doesn't.

On any point of those enomerated above.
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 12/12/10 02:58:24 AM]

Mac PC share is over 10 percent:

And even if light peak is initially a premium product, so are Apple machines. I personally plan to use light peak exclusively if possible.

The creative industry will always want and need the fastest data transfer possible.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/10/10 11:46:26 PM]

It might be a surprise to some US citizens, but the US is not the PC Market. There are people on other countries that buy computers too!. Apple has its biggest market share by far in the US. Also Apple is the leader in premium computers (above $1k) ... but the world market-share is around 3.5%.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 12/11/10 03:22:08 AM]

He is right and, as I've said before :

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 ...

Also, I expect the cost to implement LightPeak to be over 15$ for the manufacturer and over 60$ as a price premium for the end-user.
And how many would pay that much ?
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 12/12/10 03:03:42 AM]
- collapse thread

yep, with USB3 you basically top out at SSDs. With lightpeak you'll be able to do that, plus networking, video, sound. Imagin plugging your smartphone into a base station that offers all that, or carrying it around with one single cable for all that too (though not at the same time, without the base station/hub).
0 0 [Posted by: obarthelemy  | Date: 12/12/10 05:31:46 PM]
woow, you could plug SSd onto it just because USB3.0 isnt "good enough"

Fore Pete's sake there already two extremely great serial links inside THREE year old PCs that SSDs wont saturate in decent future. First is old PCIe rev2.0 and even some Raid0/5 SSD solutions are quite satisfied with x8 links (and to be exact anything above PCIx4 link on 2.0 standard)
And FIVE year old SATA 2.0 (obsoleted by AMD this Spring) is quite good enough as link per device. So what future do you talking about. Some Quad SLC dies per chip connected thru 8-10 channels controller (which still has huge issues by the way) oversaturating poor SATA3.0

Yep i know there should not be further SATA development :o

NAND flash will needs some serious arbiter restructuring inside blocks to saturate SATA3.0 in future ... were not talking peak performance on clean SS drive here.

And for those metros that just need to plug their SSDs somwhere i guess there will always be some iPhone that could use some external high bandwith graphics thru this link along their external iPeen ssd. Just then interface will probably use more power than OLED, chipset & RF chips in the same phone

0 0 [Posted by: OmegaHuman  | Date: 12/13/10 05:43:27 PM]


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