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Light Peak Demo  (Source: CNET)
Support for USB 3.0 by Intel could be as far out as 2012

Intel is an innovator in the computer market and has been for years, despite issues with anticompetitive practices around the world. Intel currently supports USB 2.0 and other connectivity like FireWire and eSATA in its mobile chipsets.

However, Intel has not offered support for the new USB 3.0 interface in its chipsets and the few machines on the market with USB 3.0 support are doing so using third-party chipsets. On-chip support for USB 3.0 from Intel is thought to be as far out as 2012. Intel is talking up its own much faster competing standard to USB 3.0 known as Light Peak. Light Peak first surfaced earlier this year and was thought to be coming in late 2010.

That date was later pushed and 
CNET News reports that Light Peak is now ready to hit the market by the middle of 2011. One industry source cited by CNET claims that support will come in the first part of the year, not the later part meaning it could be right around the corner.

Light Peak is much faster than USB 3.0 with speeds up to 10Gbps. Industry heavyweight Apple is not supporting USB 3.0 on its computers, but it is expected to fully support Light Peak and the thought is that Apple may even be the first computer maker to offer the tech on a computer. Intel has already stated when Light Peak was first unveiled that "Apple is an innovating force in the industry."

Officially Intel still has plans to support USB 3.0 reports 
CNET. An Intel spokesperson said, "We are absolutely committed to USB 3.0 and beyond that." Exactly when that commitment will start is the big question and it appears the start will be after Light Peak has time to take hold in the market.

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RE: Eagerly Waiting LightPeak
By omnicronx on 11/4/2010 3:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
USB 3.0 is just another data cable technology. However, LightPeak is designed to replace many, if not all, data cable technologies by a common cable/connector standard that can handle all those previous functions.
Can't say I disagree from a technological standpoint, but not from a monetary standpoint.

Simply put, you've just explained exactly why LightPeak will be far more expensive to implement. Not only will cables be more costly, but so will most of the components invloved. Data cable technology is not going anywhere anytime soon because of such. I see LightPeak as more of an evolutionary step, not a complete replacement. (i.e I don't agree at all with your redundancy statement)

Its also just flat out not fast enough to replace everything you mention. It only has theoretical speeds of twice that of USB3. That in effect all but limits it to USB territory in the first place. I.e it does not have the bandwidth to replace DVI/HDMI/Display Port etc.. We will probably only start to see that with the next revision of LightPeak. (and thus my evolutionary comment)

So if anything, LightPeak is the redundant technology until it exceeds the capabilities of USB (What will it be able to do that USB cannot?).. which in its current state, does not.

Lastly, USB legacy devices are not going anywhere anytime soon.. USB3 has full backwards compatibility. As it stands, only new devices will be able to take advantage of LightPeak. (i.e you are going to have to couple USB anyways)

RE: Eagerly Waiting LightPeak
By kolotyluk on 11/5/2010 11:14:39 AM , Rating: 2
Simply put, you've just explained exactly why LightPeak will be far more expensive to implement. Not only will cables be more costly, but so will most of the components invloved.

I'm not sure we can say LightPeak will be far more expensive to implement, and I don't follow from my initial claims how you came to that conclusion. Until LightPeak products are released, we just don't know how much it will cost. One thing I know for sure is that optical fiber is a lot less expensive than copper.

True, the initial release of LightPeak is only twice the speed of USB 3, but that is not theory that is as it is implemented today. Being optical, the standard is designed to scale up to 100 Gbps, 20 times faster than USB 3; that part is still theoretical. Faster speeds than that are envisioned, but it's hard to imagine applications that need that much speed. Being copper based, USB will never be able to come close to those speeds.

DisplayPort 1.0 supports a maximum of 8.64 Gbit/s data rate over a 2 meter cable, and it was designed to replace DVI and HDMI - so yes, LightPeak 1.0 does have the bandwidth to replace all the current display connector technologies. LightPeak cables will be able to be much longer without speed degradation.

I think I have already demonstrated that LightPeak 1.0 exceeds the capabilities of USB 3 - except backward compatibility with existing USB connectors.

Granted USB is not going anywhere soon for legacy reasons, backward compatibility and all. But manufactures like Apple have no plans to support USB 3, because they want to move to LightPeak as soon as possible as they already feel USB 3 is redundant.

- Eric

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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