Light Peak to enter mass production early 2010

By on October 9, 2009, 11:14 AM
During last month's IDF, Intel showcased a high-speed optical cable interface for PCs. With a 10Gb/s transfer rate -- or twice the speed of USB 3.0 -- Light Peak's potential application is pretty broad. The technology could effectively consolidate the plethora of modern interface standards, including USB, FireWire, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet and so forth. At the time, Intel said Light Peak-enabled devices could be ready to ship as soon as next year, but there weren't many details beyond that.

CNET is reporting that Foci, a Taiwanese optical networking company, is well on its way to selling Light Peak cables and other fiber-optic gear. According to Foci vice president of business development Janpu Hou, the company will have a pilot run ready by the end of November 2009, and will be ready to mass-produce at the start of 2010.


Foci's cables use USB connectors, and Hou said the cables themselves are flexible and strong, able to be bent in a loop just over an inch in diameter. Cost is still up in the air, though. While the company is trying to bring it down to an acceptable level for consumers, its attempts to reduce cost by using plastic fiber has produced poor results.

Intel is also continuing its push to roll out the technology, confirming Wednesday that it is working with the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) to standardize Light Peak.




User Comments: 15

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Guest said:

twice speed of usb 3o is tremendeous! imagine the possibilities ... just everything could be hold extern, modular: the core sys is my cellphone which im carrying around, and if i am at home i will switch it to my home based, modular hardware pieces like bigger cpu, bigger graphics etc so i will have more power. YEE-HA!!!

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Anyone else think using USB ends might be a bad idea?

john_pulliam said:

Damn skippy USB connectors are a bad idea... they aren't the best format to begin with, and can be pretty iffy at times. Inline jack-analogues would be best: simple, no particular direction, and easy to make precise connections for the optical interface.

DarkCobra DarkCobra said:

Well aside from what is ultimately used for end connections . . . the speed of this technology is nothing short of astounding. USB 3.0 is due for introduction to the market in 2010. If Light Peak is also on track for a 2010 time frame and it's twice the speed of USB 3.0 . . . then the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) just might want to rethink the USB 3.0 platform.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This actually doesn't surprise me. Hardware is usually obsolete before it hits the market, but these speeds are tremendous... I'm curious why they chose usb connections though.

Badfinger said:

My guess is that it can double as a USB cable, albeit a very expensive one.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

That wouldn't be possible with out the signal getting converted from light in to an electric signal. There have been a few attempts in the past to adopt similar technologies but the cost of manufacturing has always been to much.

tengeta tengeta said:

Yeah, I've never gotten analog audio to play over an optical cord... HA.

peas said:

USB 3.0 will have plenty of market share for mainstream users. Copper wiring is always less expensive and more durable than optical. Light Peak will be for pure performance at a high price. The cabling might eventually get cheaper and more durable, but by then USB 3.0 will have served the market for many, many years.

grumpiman said:

But can it power an external device?

Staff
Jos Jos said:

But can it power an external device?

Intel says it's working on bundling the optical fiber with copper wiring so Light Peak can be used to power external devices as well.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

My guess is that it can double as a USB cable, albeit a very expensive one.

That wouldn't be possible with out the signal getting converted from light in to an electric signal. There have been a few attempts in the past to adopt similar technologies but the cost of manufacturing has always been to much.

Yeah, I've never gotten analog audio to play over an optical cord... HA.

Not really worth piling on a guy for saying something that you didn't think was going to happen when it very well could be a reality. As Jos said just above me, this thing is going to have copper wiring with it, so you can run power and USB 3 over the copper.

Guest said:

The Light Peak is not a technology or something brand new interface. Light peak it an idea how to consolidate manufacturers and produce low cost fiber optic active cable.

USB 3.0 is almost dead, because of pure design - no future.

The light Peak it is just an answer to Adnaco technology (PCIe over fiber optic).

Adnaco has deployed its technology since 2006 and has the same functionality like Light Peak and works up to 40 Gb/s today, including PC-to-PC communications.

Guest said:

What good is it if the cable costs as much as a computer?

If it is going to be popular, the cable has to be reasonable in price.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Guest said:

What good is it if the cable costs as much as a computer?

If it is going to be popular, the cable has to be reasonable in price.

If they are anything like HDMI cables (expense-wise), you'll get cheap knockoffs on the market soon enough that drive adoption and the rest of the market down.

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