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Sneak Peak - Light Peak

February 23, 2011 - Dave Hecei
In the near future, there should be a new port in our Macs. Apple and others (like Intel) are working on a new interface called Light Peak. This will be a next generation port that could have to potential to replace all the ports in a computer.

The initial white paper for Light Peak showed that it would have very high bandwidth - starting at 10Gbps and eventually up to 100Gbps (Gigabits per second). It would use light to send data through an optical cable. Optical allows for much greater data speeds.

Recently, Intel has shown some upcoming Light Peak technologies. At a recent event, a demo of Light Peak was shown. Since they have not even finalized the type of connectors that Light Peak would use, they had it running in a specially modified USB 3.0 hybrid cable.

Here's hoping that Light Peak will be making a debut in the Mac sometime this year. But even more so, is that it will be contained in a hybrid USB 3.0 port. We would end up getting the best of both worlds. The Mac would get the much faster, and currently shipping on Windows based PCs, USB 3.0 and Light Peak.

If this technology works out, and there is nothing saying that it will at this point, a Mac in 2012 could potentially have just USB 3.0/Light Peak ports. It's fast enough and versatile enough to replace USB 2.0, Firewire 800, ESATA, SCSI (which hasn't been seen on a Mac for quite a while), Display Port, and HDMI. And since Light Peak can be daisy-chained like Firewire, you should be able to connect one device into another device - meaning less ports necessary on the Mac, which would be a boon for laptops. Another advantage of using USB 3.0 ports, they should also be able to handle older USB 2.0 peripherals.


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