Apple planning to make Intel Light Peak-based product announcement?

Years ago, Apple championed FireWire as its interface technology of choice, to some success (at least until USB 2.0 overwhelmed it).

Years ago, Apple championed FireWire as its interface technology of choice, to some success (at least until USB 2.0 overwhelmed it). Now, the company appears poised to launch a new interface to the masses, quite possibly Intel's long-awaited Light Peak.

Our sister site CNET is reporting that Apple is planning to announce the new interface "soon" and speculates that it may come with the forthcoming refresh of the MacBook Pro, which could occur this week. The timing also coincides with the time line Intel laid out for the first Light Peak products to reach the market -- the first half of 2011 -- and the chip giant has shown off the technology with OS X in the past. If it does turn out to be Light Peak, Apple will supposedly rename it, possibly to something more iSuitable.

A bit of the luster has been rubbed off Light Peak recently, however. Intel has been promising a purely fiber-optic-based interface, but recently said that it will start off using copper connections instead. The company insists the switch of materials won't impact data transfer speeds, which top 10GB/s -- faster than USB 3.0 -- or the ability to connect multiple devices to a single cable.

The rumored MacBook Pro update could be a heavily Intel-flavored affair, if the new laptops sport Sandy Bridge processors and Light Peak. After the problems Intel has suffered surrounding the Sandy Bridge chipset flaw, it could use a shot of good publicity Apple's announcement might provide.

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