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Intel's Light Peak an Apple-created technology?

updated 07:00 pm EDT, Sat September 26, 2009

Intel Light Peak made just for Apple

Intel's recently unveiled 10-gigabit Light Peak connection standard was actually created at Apple's specific request, according to a major leak. While pitched at IDF as an Intel-made design, the fiber optic connection is now said to have been the direct result of talks between Apple founder Steve Jobs and Intel chief Paul Otellini. Engadget claims that Apple wants a single, high-speed connection standard that would not only take the place of FireWire or USB but also the video and Ethernet signals.

In the near term, Light Peak would be used as a simplified connector that might stand alongside existing ports, but later on it has the potential to take on most if not all the expansion for a given device. The most definite plans show a fall 2010 Mac refresh that would incorporate Light Peak -- in sync with Intel's claims of making it a standard next year -- but plans have also been in place to use it for iPhones and iPods. Its ability to replace multiple ports could make it particularly useful for a touchscreen tablet where space is at a premium, though so far this is just speculation.

Light Peak isn't expected to provide much immediate speed benefit as even most solid-state drives don't consume enough bandwidth to demand more than Serial ATA; handhelds like the iPhone use even slower storage. However, it should permit a smaller footprint on a circuit board, make for smaller connectors, and longer, more break-resistant external cabling.

The development if borne out would reinforce Apple's special relationship with Intel, which has already let it get early access to processors or to get special-order models. It may also see Apple dictate the popularity of an Intel-made standard much as the iMac is credited for spurring the development of USB devices.

By Electronista Staff


    Comment buried. Show
  1. lolcat789

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009



    Sure looks like another standard nobody but apple cares about.

  1. Wingsy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005


    comment title

    "Sure looks like another standard nobody but apple cares about."

    Yep, that's about par for the course. But give em a little time and those nobodys will be dragged kicking & screaming into the latest technology.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    I doubt Windows fans want...

    anything to do with some newly Apple-designed standard. For now they've all got their eyes focused on USB 3.0. Whatever Microsoft is going to push, that's the standard that's going to be used. I wonder if Apple is going to be using USB 3 in any of its products next year or will they decide it isn't necessary like they consider eSATA to be of no use. So many external hard drives use eSATA connectors but not one of Apple's computers has an eSATA port. I wonder if there's some drawback to it I'm unaware of.

    Light Peak sounds sweet, but it's probably some technology that will cost a lot to implement and that should rule it out from being used by the Microsoft Windows PC manufacturers no matter how good it is.

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Yeah, cuz...

    Airport, FireWire, MPEG4... what a bunch of leftovers.

  1. cartoonspin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003


    comment title

    USB, Firewire, MPEG4. I agree these are technologies only Apple cared about. How funny that one company can dictate what the industry standard should be.

    This is just Steve driving the industry into new directions.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004


    With iPhone and now this....

    Does anyone get the weird feeling like Steve Jobs like like that guy in that Star Trek Voyager episode who stole a bunch of technology from a time traveller from the future or that Steve Jobs is actually a time traveller who came back in time to "invent" all this technology a piece at a time?

  1. mqualben

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2001


    Make it so

    I am all for it (not that it matters, lol). But look...USB sucks for the following reasons: USB is is a processor-hog compared to Firewire. USB has sporadic data rates compared to Firewire. USB needs to go through performance-degrading hubs rather than cleanly daisy-chain like Firewire. It cannot network like Ethernet nor Firewire. But then, Firewire has to keep changing its form factor every generation. And let us not forget that Firewire was developed at Apple in Steve's absence. So...DIE, FIREWIRE!! And GO, Steve! May this LightPeak (er, whatever) be the be-all, end-all, hard-wired format! May it not go the dire way of ADB (forgiveable--what else was there but serial) and ADC (unforgivable...ISO standard combining DVI and power supply...although less averse to static damage than DVI, it was only used for a while by Apple, and whoever thought that it would de-throne or even co-exist with DVI should be dis-emboweled). Anyway, a standard fiber-optic format would be nice some day. I have always liked cables that blink, and it would be even cooler if they worked together. :-D Seems like we computer geeks have been missing out on this whole "light-speed" interface bandwagon. It's about friggin' time!

  1. chas_m



    I'm with mqualben

    USB3 is *years* overdue, and likely to underwhelm (as with FW1600 and FW3200 -- where the h*** did they go?).

    Apple has authored a number of technologies that were ahead of their time and died a commercial death, only to have the basic concepts re-emerge as the standard a number of years later.

    Will this be one of those? Possibly, but it's built ON TOP OF a very solid and long-proven technology (fibre optic) with tremendous future potential (um, light speed anyone?).

    It's certainly a better option than waiting for USB4 (which I doubt I'll live to see) and with Intel behind it there's really no way Microsoft etc can ignore it the way they did Firewire.

    Nice move, Steve.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. lolcat789

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009



    Apple fanboys got trolled :D

  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    Title sounds misleading

    If Intel did the grunt work, I don't see how this could be an 'apple created' technology.

    Sounds like Intel's CEO got caught in Steve's Reality Distortion Field and pushed his people to come up with some new technology. How that translates to 'apple created' is beyond me.

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