updated 05:35 pm EST, Tue February 22, 2011
Intel Light Peak event lines up with Apple rumors
Intel on Tuesday said it would have a special event on Thursday to kick off the launch of a "new technology that is about to appear on the market," hinting at Light Peak in computers. The news will include both a San Francisco press brief as well as one at its Santa Clara campus that will include technology demos. While it didn't name Light Peak explicitly, the company just recently acknowledged that the interconnect was ready to be used.
The timing has drawn attention as it lines up exactly with talk of new MacBook Pros being announced the same day. Apple normally launches new Macs on Tuesdays but, due partly to President's Day, has been suspected of moving the news to Thursday. Apple has been regularly, closely associated with Light Peak and had some input into the design along with Sony and others.
As recently as last year, Intel had been warning that Light Peak might not be ready until 2012 but suddenly began promising it for early 2011. The short-term solution would use copper wire in place of the namesake fiber optics but would still reach 10Gbps, or twice the speed of USB 3.0.
Apple is thought to have numerous incentives to use a technology like Light Peak. On the backend, it could simplify connections behind the scenes for FireWire, USB and other standards to reduce the footprint while increasing the throughput. A dedicated external port, however, could lead to iPads and other devices with much faster transfer speeds, or else breakout hubs that let users connect many different peripherals without losing speed.
Future versions, which will have to use fiber, could scale up to 100Gbps. [via CNET]