Feeds

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

Why hasn't Steve taken credit?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

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.