Feeds

Is Apple behind Intel's speedy optical link?

Jobs-Otellini interconnect

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The high-speed Light Peak optical interconnect that Intel unveiled at last week's developer confab was developed as a result of a CEO-to-CEO interconnect between Apple's Steve Jobs and Intel's Paul Otellini.

That is, if Engadget's "extremely reliable source" is correct. According to that website's report, the idea for Light Peak originated at Apple back in 2007 and was developed by Intel at Cupertino's urging.

This, of course, wouldn't be a unique event. Other now-widespread technologies have been conceived at One Infinite Loop then gone on to become industry standards. Think FireWire and OpenCL, for example, and the now-open source Grand Central Dispatch multicore-code helper.

The Reg believes that Engadget's mole knows what he's talking about, considering that Light Peak's coming-out party was hosted on a lucite-encased collection of boards running Mac OS X 10.6, better known as Snow Leopard - check out this video:

Light Peak also fits in well with Steve Jobs's mantra of "simplify, simplify, simplify." One cable to rule them all, as it were.

An additional interesting tidbit that wasn't announced during Light Peak's IDF rollout was noted by Intel Senior Fellow and Communications Technology Lab director Kevin Kahn during a separate session. "One of the things that was running over that optical fiber," he said, "was PCI Express."

Light Peak itself is an impressive piece of technology - hot-pluggable, full-duplex (10Gbps each way), multi-protocol - but it's only the beginning of what Kahn referred to as a "decade-type technology."

Currently based on well-tested Vixel optical-interconnect technology, Light Peak is slated to move up to Intel's breakthrough silicon photonics technology. "Relatively near future we'd like to get that up into the somewhere between 25 and 40 [Gbps] range," said Kahn, adding that "When we look at where do we go next with [Light Peak], we think the silicon photonics-type technology is probably the way we get to the higher data rates."

Intel is already working on speeds well beyond that. As Kahn told us, "If you're talking about applying the technology to very high-end systems, then 100 and up is interesting - and we've been kind of looking at that in the labs and have some prototypes just about done of some 100-class systems using silicon photonics. They're not cost-effective today, but will they be cost effective in few years? Probably yes."

And when Kahn says cost-effective, he doesn't mean only for high-end systems for deep-pocket high-end customers. He's talking mass acceptance. "This stuff has to cost a couple of bucks. Literally," he said. "And we think that's very achievable."

So when in the not-too-distant future we're hot-plugging tens of gigabits of connectivity into our portable devices, we may have Steve Jobs to thank for getting the ball rolling. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND
4Gb/s speeds on a consumer drive, anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.