Intel demos Light Peak technology in Brussels, showcases 10 Gbps up and down

Wed, May 5, 2010


PC Pro is reporting that Intel this week provided users with the first hands-on demo showcasing their Light Peak technology at their inaugural European research showcase in Brussles. Light Peak, if you’re unfamiliar, is an emerging technology capable of transferring huge blocks of data unbelievably quickly. Just how quick? How does 10 Gbps both up and down, at the same time, sound to you?

Intel’s chief technology officer, Justin Rattner, claimed that the bandwidth afforded by the optical technology is practically unlimited. “Light Peak begins at 10Gbits/sec, simultaneously in both directions,” he said. “We expect to increase that speed dramatically. You’ll see multiple displays being served by a single Light Peak connection. There’s almost no limit to the bandwidth – fibres can carry trillions of bits per second”.

Specifically, Intel has claimed that the technology can scale to 100 GB/s within the next 10 years. Hot damn! Intel anticipates that manufacturers will begin to integrate the technology into their products by the end of 2010.

Interestingly, reports have surfaced over the past few months suggesting that Apple has worked with Intel to help develop the technology. Rumor has it that Apple reached out to Intel as early as 2007 with plans to develop an interoperable standard, and that discussions between the two companies were at the highest levels. In other words, Steve Jobs and Intel CEO Paul Otellini were intimately involved.

Engadget reported back in September:

Cupertino apparently had specific demands for the standard, including the desire for a single port solution, and an insistence that optical was the only logical choice for such a connector type. Based on the documents we had a look at, the short-term plans seem to involve a one-size-fits-all solution (somehow allowing for multiple connections but avoiding “double dongles”) which would enable users to connect a variety of devices into a single Light Peak port, while slightly longer-term plans will mean Light Peak obviates the need for almost every type of connector you use today. Translation: Apple products in the near future could come equipped with only a Light Peak port (or ports) to handle your networking, display driving, and general connectivity.

Below check out a demo of Light Peak from IDF (Intel Developer Forum) 2009.



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