Intel aims to change the future of I/O with Light Peak optical cables

September 24th, 2009 at 1:37 PM  1 Comment

Intel_logoDuring his keynote address at the Intel Developer Conference forum in San Francisco, David Perlmutter, Intel executive vice president and general manager, Intel Architecture Group, revealed a new a new optical cable technology that could eliminate the copper wiring traditionally used to connect many of today’s electronics and components. Codenamed “Light Peak,” this technology could vastly change the landscape of input output (I/O) performance on everything from connecting consumer electronic devices, to how we connect external devices to PC’s and servers.

Initially, Light Peak cables will be able to deliver 10GB/s of bandwidth (fast enough to transfer a full Blu-Ray movie in less than 30 seconds), with the potential ability to scale to 100GB/s over the next decade. Optical technology also allows for smaller connectors and longer, thinner, and more flexible cables than currently possible. Light Peak also has the ability to run multiple protocols simultaneously over a single cable, enabling the technology to connect devices such as peripherals, workstations, displays, disk drives, docking stations, and more.

Intel is working with the optical component manufacturers to make Light Peak components ready to ship in 2010, and will work with the industry to determine the best way to make this new technology a standard to accelerate its adoption in many devices including PCs, handheld devices, workstations, and throughout the consumer electronics industry. Light Peak is complementary to existing I/O technologies, as it enables them to run together on a single cable at higher speeds.