Intel's Optical Tech May Arrive Next Year

Last month, Intel revealed its new Light Peak technology, a fiber optic universal connector for computers and other devices. As Intel states on its official website, Light Peak connectors deliver high bandwidth starting at 10 Gb/sec. with the potential ability to scale to 100 Gb/sec. over the next decade. To put this speed in perspective, 10 Gb/sec. can transfer a Blu-ray movie in less than 30 seconds.

However, when Intel showcased the new technology last month, it wasn't immediately apparent that manufacturers would have a product ready by next year. But according to CNET, Taiwanese optical networking company Foci Fiber Optic Communication will indeed be locked and loaded for mass production sometime around the beginning of 2010. Then again, it shouldn't be surprising: the company was responsible for supplying the components used in Intel's demonstration during the Intel Developers Forum.

Outside the transfer speeds, what' the big deal about Light Peak? In addition to connecting devices and PCs, the technology can perform the same tasks as today's USB, but also connect monitors and networks in the same process. If Light Peak could become an industry standard, Intel's technology could very well fuse together HDMI, FireWire, USB, DVI, Ethernet, DisplayPort, and more. Currently Intel is working on standardizing Light Peak through the USB Implementers Forum.

As for Foci's Light Peak connector getting ready for Q1 2010, its cables will use USB connectors, but not the actual USB cables. Currently the big concern from an industry standpoint is how the Light Peak optical cables will hold up to the consumer market. "The cables are quite durable, and can be connected and disconnected for at least 7,000 times," said Foci's vice president of business development, Janpu Hou. He also added that the company seeks to drop the price to an acceptable level by consumers.

  • wildwell
    Awesome! What about cost?

    And, when can we get these speeds w/o ANY cables?
  • doomtomb
    Bring it on
  • 08nwsula
    I'm surprised Sony is using standard connections and not trying to create some new technology that would surely suck.
  • tayb
    Hm. I understand why they wanted to go with USB but I think it will get pretty confusing for customers. We'll have USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and Intel Light Peak that all look the exact same.
  • Gin Fushicho
    This looks cool , but it also means I have to buy a bunch of new shit... again.
  • icepick314
    vorlessI dont want to spend $1,000 dollars a foot for wire.(My guess.)
    they aren't Monster brand cables...
  • notzaar
    I don't see how this could replace USB, it seems kind of expensive and USB works just fine. Could be useful for network cables and A/V signals.
  • @Zingam
    Just keep your usb devices for that.
  • XD_dued
    Maybe they'll one day replace pci express O_o
  • peterkidd
    7000 disconnects and reconnects isn't that much!!! for monitors it's OK
    For USB devices like mice and other peripherals on laptops the number would be top low.

    It would take you 6 years to reach that number if you disconnected and reconnected 3 times a day. Nineteen years if you only disconnected and reconnected once.