Intel Says Light Peak is Ready but in Copper

Intel Says Light Peak is Ready but in Copper

Intel says that its long-awaited for Light Peak technology is now ready for implementation, but it'll now be using copper instead of fibre optics as originally intended.

According to an interview with IDG News Service at CES:

"The copper came out very good, surprisingly better than what we thought," (David Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager of Intel's Architecture Group) ... said. "Optical is always a new technology which is more expensive," he added.

Versus USB3.0, which has transfer speeds of up to 4.8 Gbit/s, Light Peak's fiber optic cables promised much faster transfer speeds of 10 Gbit/s. Intel also claimed that Light Peak can support everything from storage to displays to networking, so in effect, a Light Peak cable and port could do everything your present cables and ports do, and you’d only need one. With copper replacing fibre optics however, it throws up the whole new question of what Light Peak is now still capable of.

We've written about the promise of Light Peak before, but it seems like Intel is recognizing that USB3.0 has the lead on Light Peak and don't see it becoming the de facto next-generation standard after USB2.0:

"USB 3.0 already has a traction in the market. I don't know if that will change," Perlmutter said.

There could be co-existence, with USB, display and networking protocols running on top of Light Peak.

"Look at [Light Peak] as a medium by which you can do things, not necessarily as one replacing the other," Perlmutter said.

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