No light for Intel's initial Light Peak tech

The first Intel Light Peak connector technology will not use light, as previously expected. Rather, connectors will use copper, according to sources.

The initial version of Intel's Light Peak connection technology will not use light, as practical realities dictate more conventional technology, according to industry sources familiar with Intel's plans for Light Peak.

Originally-proposed Intel Light Peak connector and cable.  But copper will come first, light later.
Originally-proposed Intel Light Peak connector and cable. But copper will come first, light later. Intel

Light Peak has been touted by Intel as the holy grail of connector technology , envisioning it as a single replacement for the myriad cables that currently lead to monitors, external drives, scanners, printers, and anything else that plugs into a computer.

As originally proposed , the fiber-optic technology connects many devices to PCs with fiber-optic lines. But the initial version of Light Peak will use copper instead of light-based technologies, according to an industry source familiar with Intel's plans.

Light Peak is significantly faster than even USB 3.0, carrying data at 10 gigabits per second in both directions simultaneously. Connection speeds will not be affected by the transition to copper, according to sources.

Light Peak is on track to appear in products in the first half of 2011--and likely earlier in the year than later. Intel has received backing from both Sony and Apple, which are expected to be among the first to use the technology.

Intel declined to comment.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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