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Intel Light Peak may give iPods 10Gbps sync

updated 02:40 pm EDT, Wed September 23, 2009

Intel Light Peak shown at IDF

Intel used a presentation at IDF to unveil Light Peak, a new interconnect standard for PCs. As implied by the name, the technology uses fiber optics instead of wires to transfer data and consequently has much more bandwidth. Even in its first generation, it's expected to transfer at about 10 gigabits per second, or over 20 times faster than USB 2.0; it could transfer the entire contents of a typical Blu-ray disc in about 30 seconds if working at top speed, Intel claims.

The optical nature also has several incidental benefits. As the cables are thinner and don't require as much equipment, they could result in smaller connectors. They can also transmit over longer distances and are more flexible than most existing approaches to wired connections.

Intel plans to make Light Peak a practical reality in 2010 and already sees it as being used to replace existing standards for very fast transfers; it specifically cites the iPod as a possible candidate for very fast data syncs but also says the fiber link could be used for cameras, docks, SSD storage and other external devices that are often bottlenecked by USB 2.0 or FireWire. The company is working "with the industry" to settle on a standard but hasn't said whether this involves Apple, the IEEE standards group or other firms.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Tralthamidor

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007



    That is a preposterous claim. It doesn't matter how fast the transfer circuitry, the Blueray can't read the data anywhere near that speed. So you can't copy a BR that fast. Perhaps they meant it can copy data the equivalent size of a BR.

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    Hypothetical Intel

    Most of intel's claims are just big numbers like their USB 2 transfer rate ... 480 Mbps .... yeah my a$$. I'm sure USB 3.0 won't be a whole lot better ... it's like going from Windows Vista to 7. The problem with USB and all intel point-to-point technologies, is that they don't use a dedicated chipset; they always rely on the mighty intel CPU. Therefore, your transfer rate depends entirely on the workload of the CPU, so when you start rendering in Final Cut, all of a sudden, the copying in Finder slows down !! weird :-)

    And it's funny how they bundle up FireWire along with USB as a bottleneck for the iPod. Give me a break; before this USB silliness, iPods used to have a FireWire connector, which was at least 10-times as fast as USB. I have one of those iPods and I can verify it. So spare me, FireWire is not a bottleneck, and it's more than adequate for iPods, video cameras, scanners, and god forbid, high-end digital cameras. And yeah, FireWire has been shipping for more than 10 years !!!

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