Apple to unveil high-speed connection technology (Light Peak?)

Sun, Feb 20, 2011

News, Rumors

According to CNET, Apple may soon make an announcement regarding a new high-speed connection technology. And as luck would have it, this comes hot on the heels of a report that Apple will release a slew of new MacBook Pros on Thursday, February 24.

For some time now, reports have abounded detailing Apple and Intel’s cooperation on a new transfer technology dubbed Light Peak. Apple reportedly contacted Intel in 2007 with plans to create an interoperable transfer standard that would eradicate the need for multiple transfer protocols like USB and Firewire. Highlighting the priority of the planned partnership, initial talks on the initiative were reportedly held between Steve Jobs and Intel CEO Paul Otellini, and though there were a number of roadblocks along the way – such as Apple’s insistence that Light Peak be a single port solution, the technology debuted quite successfully at Intel’s Developer Forum in September of 2009.

There’s no getting around it – Light Peak is a monster. Capable of data transfers topping out at 10 Gbps in both directions, Intel brags that the technology can transfer an entire Blu-Ray movie in less than 30 seconds. Even more tantalizing, Intel claims that the technology has the ability to scale to 100 Gbps in the next 10 years.

We first heard reports of Apple integrating Light Peak into a revamped lineup of MacBook Pros back in November. It’s also been rumored that the refreshed notebooks will include SSD drives and thanks to the removal of the optical drive, a brand new industrial design influenced by the MacBook Air.

Over the past few upgrade cycles, the MacBook Air and base model MacBooks have improved to such a degree that one could argue that the MacBook Pro wasn’t worth the extra money. The addition of Light Peak, however, would certainly help drive media types towards the higher-end Pro models.

The report notes that should Apple unveil the transfer technology this week, it will use a name other than Light Peak.

Lastly, some have speculated that Intel is delaying support for USB 3.0 until 2012 to help Light Peak get off the ground. Back in November, Steve Jobs intimated that Mac support for USB 3 wasn’t on the horizon, with the Apple CEO citing lack of support from Intel as a reason why the company doesn’t see USB 3 taking off anytime soon.

Below, watch a demo of Light Peak from IDF 2009. Surprise surprise, the demo is running on OS X.


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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Jeff Sepeta Says:

    I simply MUST install from optical discs since many of my music applications require it thanks to their copy protection schemes and Dual layer DVD’s worth of content (10-12 discs in Native Instruments Komplete the last 3 versions). And not including USB 3 is ridiculous, since it’s going to be a standard going forward.

  2. almux Says:

    Don’t worry: USB3 is included in CopperPeak or LightPeak anyway, as all USB types, ethernet and FW as well. LightPeak is not “just another more format” as some seam to believe.

  3. JR Says:

    10 GByte/sec or 10 Gbit/s. 10 GB/s (Gigabytes/sec) would transfer a blue-ray in under 5 seconds. Network speeds are usually measured in bits not bytes. There are 8 bits per byte. The difference between 10GB and 10Gb are significant.

    Yea I just checked, it’s 10 Gbps not 10 GBps.

  4. Raph Says:

    This reminds me of Firewire and USB 1…

  5. Kawika Says:

    Stupid idea to leave out the optical drive on MacBook Pros. Just sayin’.

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