Intel unveils Light Peak fibre-optic interconnect with 10Gbps, due 2011

Posted: April 19, 2010 in Uncategorized
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With data hurtling down thin strands of optical fibre at speeds of 10-100Gbps, Intel hopes its forthcoming Light Peak technology will be “the last cable you’ll ever need”.

IDF Beijing 2010 | Intel capped a busy few days at its annual IDF chipset in Beijing by unveiling its next-gen interconnect technology known as Light Peak.

The optical cable standard will be made available to PC manufacturers by year’s end, with the first Light Peak systems arriving in early 2011.

Those PCs, motherboards, cards and peripherals will enjoy initial data speeds of 10Gbps – fast enough to transfer the entire contents of a Blu-Ray movie disc in less than 30 seconds, Intel says.

Not only will Light Peak 1.0 will be twice as fast as USB 3.0’s 5Gbps redline, but the technology is scaleable through to 100Gbps.

“We view this as a logical future successor to USB 3.0” said Intel senior fellow Kevin Kahn. “In some senses we’d like to build the last cable you’ll ever need.”

Light Peak connectors swap electrical cabling and signalling for thin strands of fibre-optics and pulses of light

Light Peak was originally developed as a high-speed pipeline between in-system devices, which could also connect to other connector standards.

But Intel now considers the fibre-optical interconnect could replace a raft of current buses such as USB, FireWire, SATA, SCSI, DisplayPort and even HDMI.

Light Peak boasts sufficient bandwidth to support multiple high-speed devices through a single interface and a single daisy-chained cable run without the risk of data bottlenecks.

Compared to conventional metal cables such as USB and FireWire, Light Peak’s optical  optical cables are thinner, use physically smaller connectors and can carry data over much longer distances without degradation.

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