Could Apple adopt Light Peak in early 2011?

According to that alleged Steve Jobs e-mail we read earlier this week, Macs probably won’t be featuring USB 3.0 ports anytime soon. Could Apple have something grander in mind? CNet News cites an "industry source familiar with the progress of the technology" as saying the first products based on Intel’s Light Peak interface will show up in early 2011… and Apple may number among the early adopters.

An early 2011 arrival for the technology would be a little ahead of schedule. While various prototypes were on display at the Intel Developer Forum in September, the technology release time frame for them was, at the time, said to be "sometime next year."

Light Peak promises quicker transfer speeds than USB 3.0—10Gbps for the current implementation, with room for growth—as well as the potential to serve as a replacement for both external and internal connectivity, from PCI Express to HDMI. At least to me, Light Peak definitely sounds like something Apple would be interested in adopting before everybody else. The firm has a history of trailblazing on the connectivity front (think FireWire and Mini DisplayPort), and this isn’t the first sign. Intel has already publicly demonstrated Light Peak running on an OS X system.

Comments closed
    • shank15217
    • 9 years ago

    Standards apple trail blazed never really made it past apple’s hardware. Firewire 800 for example never got past usb 2.0 even though it’s twice as fast. Apple will adopt usb 3.0, its a good evolution with lots of potential and devices and controllers are cheap.

    • sschaem
    • 9 years ago

    Lightpeak is designed to carry 10gps over 100 meters.
    Its more power efficient then cat6 to transport data, and 10x faster over long distances. Lightpeak also can scale up… cat6 is at its limit.

    Steve J. will love marketing this as Apple providing the best LAN solutions on the Mac platform way before anyone else, even so it will benefit few home users.

    It was Apple that pushed Intel to complete this project, simply because Apple committed to using it.

    Ethernet over usb3 makes no sense.. But lightpeak will also replace usb with its ‘short’ and ‘long’ cables. Short cable also run power.

    usb / cat6 is on the way out.
    And its not that hard to see how lightpeak can also be used to drive 10bit depth 2560×1600 display…
    You can have 4 lighpeak connector on a laptop and plug any device on any plug and it just works.
    – drive 4x 2560 display at 10bit depth
    or
    – have a 10Gb ethernet connection + two 2560 display + external storage
    – plug other computer and used as a switch
    – etc.. etc…

    If display monitor also include more then 1 port the protocol just provide switching. This allow you to plug your keyboard and webcam on the monitor port, and the mouse on the keyboard, etc.. or even another monitor. You can drive 3 monitor at 1920 on a single lightpeak connection.

    This is probably the best contribution to the tech community from Apple since OpenCL.

    • sigher
    • 9 years ago

    If you want to comment about the usefulness of lightpeak you might first want to check out what it is and what it’s for, intel has a site and dedicated presentations even.

    • sigher
    • 9 years ago

    It would annoy the hell out of me that the world for some reason needs apple to get lightpeak going, yep, piss me off to no end.

    • WaltC
    • 9 years ago

    Does anyone care what Apple adopts? I don’t…;)

      • sigher
      • 9 years ago

      If apple picks it up then others will too, for some reason the techworld needs them to hold their hand.

    • Sahrin
    • 9 years ago

    Wait, so you’re saying that Intel delayed deployment of USB3.0 for their proprietary licensed bus which will be put into all Intel chipsets as I predicted a year ago? That sucks. Too bad there’s be absolutely no coverage in any tech sites, we might’ve shamed Intel into supporting the industry standard.

      • bcronce
      • 9 years ago

      Intel delayed USB3 because it takes A LOT of work to add this stuff into a chipset. There is little/no market demand for USB3 yet and USB3 just came out anyway.

      Intel wanted to wait for SATA3/USB3/PCIe3 to all be out, then they’re re-working their chipsets, since they already have to for their new chips anyway, and they save money.

      They save money and we get a delayed USB3 that is virtually useless right now and had buggy driver support in Win7. Win7 doesn’t “naturally” support USB3 like it does 2/1, so companies have to write their own drivers, which means more work and more chance of bugs.

      USB3 wasn’t out and was still getting solidified when Win7 was being built.

    • jalex3
    • 9 years ago

    no, maybe usb3 by 2012 light peak perhaps well after i die.

      • sigher
      • 9 years ago

      If you have lightpeak you can route it via a thin single optical cable to a USB3 box on your desk with dozens of USB3 connections, think about that one, or a box with many USB3 connectors and some SATA3 and some monitor outputs.
      All while your computer is in the garage and it’s blissfully silent.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 9 years ago

    USB3 was powered by the USB committee and was granted to Intel to physically build out. Intel knows the license fees on that are terribly low and they (Intel) can’t charge royalty costs to license this tech. LightPeak is something Intel owns and can charge license fees for. This is a direct competitor to USB and a potentially big payday for Intel.

    No one should be surprised that Intel will release a LightPeak capable chipset and motherboard before USB3 — they have a huge vested interest in it.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 9 years ago

      That’s a good point.

      Intel really knows how to make a buck. If you ask me, they are just as shady as Apple in that respect, but CPUs aren’t as sexy as iPads, so mainstream media never cares.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 9 years ago

    Ugh. Ignore this post.

      • DrCR
      • 9 years ago

      Post ignored, as requested.

    • mcnabney
    • 9 years ago

    Light Peak is not for consumers and Apple would be foolish to do this.

    USB3 and SATA can keep up with the fastest SSDs. The only thing that might require 10gps connectivity in a consumer device is the video card. A 16 lane top-end PCIe card can already do 16gbs so I really don’t see the need for this connection outside of servers. The first poster also had a valid point since Light Peak is just a form of fibre and power will need additional cables. Which essentially rules out portable drives.

    • bdwilcox
    • 9 years ago

    LightPeak would be interesting if it carried power, but if it doesn’t then it’s as interesting as eSATA.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      Even if it doesn’t, it could have an advantage that eSATA doesn’t have – uses other than storage. The high bandwidth could also mean super-low latencies (lower than even internal PCI or PCI-e cards) for audio and video production in real-time.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 9 years ago

        Eh…I hate to be a naysayer, but that sounds like a pipe dream. PCIe controllers will all be integrated into the CPUs from here on out, while the lightpeak controller will likely be part of the southbridge or just a separate controller chip altogether. That would have to tie into the CPU’s northbridge over some sort of proprietary link or just outright use PCIe.

        I don’t know that it would change much if someone managed to lower latency, anyways. Integrated PCIe controllers ought to be ridiculously low latency with a PCIe device as it is.

      • adisor19
      • 9 years ago

      If Apple is to adopt this, trust me, it WILL carry power. Apple hates cables. Having an extra cable for power is unheard of in Apple land.

      Adi

        • ImSpartacus
        • 9 years ago

        How could a fiber cable carry power? I’m no engineer, but is this even possible?

          • Skrying
          • 9 years ago

          You include copper wires to carry power and use the fiber to carry the data?

          • bdwilcox
          • 9 years ago

          They can bundle the fiber with a copper wire in a single cable sleeve. Intel has hinted at this but has never committed to it and has kept the possibility clouded.

            • ImSpartacus
            • 9 years ago

            Oh, thanks!

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 9 years ago

          It doesn’t need to. They just run everything together through the USB port. They’ll never get anywhere without having a degree of backwards compatibility. I think Apple learned their lesson there.

            • BiffStroganoffsky
            • 9 years ago

            Are you sure? I thought Microsoft was burdened with backwards compatibility and Apple was the control freak that did what it thought was best for everyone and damned the naysayers.

            • indeego
            • 9 years ago

            uh, mini displayportg{

            • adisor19
            • 9 years ago

            Mag connectors DO work 100% across ALL their laptop lineup. What are you talking about ?

            Adi

            • indeego
            • 9 years ago

            /[<"Though the 60 W MacBook and 85 W MacBook Pro MagSafe connectors are identical, Apple recommends using only the adapter provided with the machineg{<.<}g"<]/ -Wikipedia Happy fires!

            • adisor19
            • 9 years ago

            Stop with the BS. There is no fire. The 60W adaptor will only power an MBP laptop and not charge the battery at the same time. An 85W power adaptor will charge and power at the same time any Apple laptop. It’s quite simple actually.

            Adi

            • Sahrin
            • 9 years ago

            Wait, so what you’re saying is that there are different cable specs with different levels of compatibility?

            -_-

            • Turd-Monkey
            • 9 years ago

            Dell sells 65W and 90W bricks with the same connector, I think a lot of manufacturers do.

            Depending on model you may have charging issues while it’s on.
            (I know older latitudes used to report the problem during POST.)

            • Sahrin
            • 9 years ago

            Yes, but Dell also doesn’t have a pretentious jerk for a CEO/userbase.

            • axeman
            • 9 years ago

            I’m sure he’s equally prickish, he’s probably just too busy with his hookers and coke to be bothered to spend so much time stoking the religious fervor of his faithful customers.

            • Sahrin
            • 9 years ago

            hahahah.

            hahahahaha.

            aahahahahahahahahahhahhahaahahaha.

            That was a good one.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 9 years ago

            lol…

            I was referring to the firewire vs. usb debacle, but I sure left that a little too open ended. :p

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