Feeds

Intel 'Light Peak': not an Apple idea after all

Why hasn't Steve taken credit?

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Intel's newly announced 'Light Peak' optical interconnect wasn't developed at Apple's instigation as has been claimed.

So says a mole cited by Cnet, and we're not at all surprised, for a number of reasons.

Intel has been working on various technologies relating to the integration of optical data streams into computer systems for some years.

We recall getting a briefing on so-called 'silicon photonics' - the production of CMOS chips capable of converting electronically transmitted data into laser light and then back again - back in 2006 at Intel Developer Forum.

Light Peak doesn't directly involve silicon photonics products, but it's clear the chip maker has been thinking about optical interconnects for longer than a casual chat between Steve Jobs and Paul Otellini might have prompted.

A year later, at the 2007 IDF, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group - the membership list includes Intel - were already talking about the possibility of incorporating optical technology into the bus standard. SuperSpeed is here - well, almost - and its entirely electric. It's not clear why optical never made it into the final cut, but the time it has taken to get optical ready suggests the minds behind SuperSpeed felt it more important to get the faster bus standard out into the market quickly than wait for what may now well form the basis for USB 4.0.

SuperSpeed has a theoretical maximum throughput of 4.8Gb/s - Light Peak will kick of at around 10Gb/s and has scope to be extended to 100Gb/s.

Certainly, Intel's recent Light Peak demos used a connector a lot like a USB A port and probably not so very different to this:

USB 3 optical connector
Optical USB 3 circa 2007

But more to the point, perhaps, would Apple really hand all this over to another company? It has always enjoyed a healthy stream of royalties - originally $1 a port - from the development of the Firewire - aka 1394 - bus and we can't see it passing up a similar opportunity to own intellectual property rights to a future optical interconnect. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.