The end of USB? Intel demos new Light Peak cable that's twice as fast as USB 3.0

The end of USB? Intel demos new Light Peak cable that's twice as fast as USB 3.0

Summary: USB 3.0 is just making a dent in the marketplace, and Intel is already talking about a new cable that may signal the end for USB altogether.

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USB 3.0 is just making a dent in the marketplace, and Intel is already talking about a new cable that may signal the end for USB altogether. At the Intel Developers Forum in Beijing, the chip giant demonstrated the Light Peak cable that it first announced last fall.

Light Peak has a lot to offer, including 10Gbps throughput, twice that of the latest flavor of USB, along with the ability to run multiple protocols at the same time. That means you connect all of your devices with just a single Light Peak cable. As part of the demo, Intel showed a laptop with a Light Peak cable attached to a USB 3.0 port that simultaneously transmitted a Blu-ray video and HD camcorder footage and drove a second display.

Intel says the Light Peak has a chance to scale up to 100Gbps over the next decade. It plans to have the technology ready for manufacturers to start implementing by the end of the year, with the first devices sporting Light Peak capability becoming available sometime in 2011.

[Via PC World]

Topics: Intel, Hardware, Networking

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80 comments
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  • Lightpeak ... to peak later ...

    ... would that explain INTEL's reluctance wrt USB 3.0? Why promote USB 3 when you have another product up your sleeve?
    jacksonjohn
  • No mention of backwards compatibility

    People aren't going to just suddenly want to replace all of their USB and SATA devices, no matter how much better the replacement is.
    Michael Kelly
    • did you read the article?

      light peak can carry any number of the other
      formats simultaneously.. i.e. you could have a
      dongle that you could plug in a few USB 2, a USB
      3, your monitor etc..
      doctorSpoc
      • Yes I did, and it does not say that at all

        It only says it supports multiple protocols. It makes no mention of what those protocols are.
        Michael Kelly
        • No, you didn't...

          ...or you would have read the following:

          As part of the demo, Intel showed a laptop with a Light Speak cable
          attached to a USB 3.0 port that simultaneously transmitted a Blu-ray
          video and HD camcorder footage and drove a second display.

          They showed a LightPeak cable attached to a USB 3.0 port. Thus, it
          handles USB protocols, as well as the aforementioned video.
          kcsmith2
    • No mention of backwards compatibility

      Very true, just ask Sony. Blue Ray is just starting to become affordable and people still are reluctant to replace DVD libraries.

      This is neat stuff but it will take years to become accepted by the masses. Unless companies force it down our throats and stop supporting USB. We all know Intel has a nack for screwing it's competition.
      Rob.sharp
      • Actually it is completely backwards compatible...

        But this is actually old news and a very poorly
        written blog about Light Peak (which had
        multiple blogs back in the fall of 2009)...

        Light Peak can drive monitors and any and all
        peripherals on a single cable... It is
        incredibly fast and has incredible potential
        for current and future applications... It will
        most likely replace all existing ports on
        computers and electronics... It is being
        developed By Intel, Apple, and Sony. It is
        backwards compatible with anything (it's the
        HUB that will determine what you can plug
        in)... So future computers may come with 1
        single light peak port and nothing else. (that
        one port will handle video as well as any
        peripherals... From what I have seen from the
        demos, it's very sweet...
        i8thecat
        • Yeah, and then... Jacking into the Net!

          Yeah, soon are the days with this kind of connection handling ALL, of these protocols, and someone creates a way to wetwire a computer game to a poor lowly little mouse's brain with this thing, and the mouse learns how to adapt to the game-- pumped into its brain!

          ... Then the HUMAN TESTING!...

          I'm just saying...
          aryu.limitless@...
          • It's like the PS9...

            ...but we'll have it 6 decades earlier.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vdh4TqWFfX4
            nix_hed
  • End of USB? Not so fast

    New technologies don't just replace older ones because they are technically superior. They have to have an advantage in cost as well. Until we can see some price tags, it would be wise not to start making predictions of doom.
    eMJayy
    • Nor do many devices need the bandwidth

      I totally agree. The industry has gone through great pains to settle on a single connection for nearly any peripheral. Aside from external mass storage, there's not going to be many devices with bandwidth requirements greater than USB3.

      I expect Light Peak to be Firewire redux.
      ericesque
      • Maybe...

        ...but if LightPeak can attach to a USB3 dongle and plug into existing
        equipment, it seems pretty much win-win to me. Upgrade to the newer,
        faster tech but with the price of a dongle (hopefully less than the price of
        replacing the device you intend to attach) you can keep your old tech too.
        kcsmith2
      • USB3 plugs are ungainly

        Well the USB3 plugs are so ungainly, that I'd prefer Light Peak if the cable and plugs are less bulky and easier to use.

        USB3 seems like DVI redux. Hopefully Light Peak will be more like HDMI or DisplayPort.
        colinnwn
        • Light Peak port is exactly like a current USB 2.0/1.0 port...

          The ports they have shown for demo's take both a
          lightpeak cable as well as standard USB (In the
          same port)...
          i8thecat
      • except

        that at 100gb/s you could run a external graphics
        card. Which would be great for laptops that could
        run discrete graphics piped back to their internal
        monitors (maybe via a Video in?). Allowing
        ultraportables and any other laptops which aren't
        mammoth in size to run games nicely?
        Jimster480
      • One connection protocol >Yes

        Once upon a time there were Serial Ports (oh-wait-they are still there). Since then, only USB has come close to a connection for any/all peripherals. Until there is a clear and present need for something else, I prefer to remain with USB.
        Sagax-
      • Kinda agree

        Since its backwards compatible I suspect it
        won't be a "firewire redux" but all that
        compatibility probably means extra complexity,
        something many devices won't want. Also many
        people aren't going to want to carry a hub
        around with them, so I'm sure laptops will have
        all the same connections for a long time.
        However, on the inside, they may all just be
        the same chipset (i.e. the hub is internal) in
        such a case, we won't really care as it will be
        pretty much invisible to the user.
        shadfurman
    • Absolutely

      Look at the struggle Blu-Ray has had. Cost
      controls everything. Especially when a Blu-Ray new
      movie costs $30, yet you can get an older movie in
      both Blu-Ray and DVD on the same disc for half
      that.

      Price wins out.
      shanedr
  • let the war begin!

    grab some popcorn.
    and let the light peak vs. usb 3 flame war begin.
    bannedfromzdnetagain
  • Yeah, Sure! And the Floppy died in 1988

    It just kept rising from the dead until 2004 when thumb drives became economical enough to truly replace them. You still find an occasional mummified system with a floppy in it today. (And every once in awhile you find you need one to recover some long lost data like your old dissertation!)
    Scubajrr