CES 2011: What was missing? Intel Light Peak
Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2011 - 04:44 PM | Ryan Shrout
We might be home from CES, but the coverage doesn't stop with that. While watching some NFL playoffs we began to think that there was something missing from the show this year...oh yah, remember Intel Light Peak?
First, the good: Intel said "Light Peak is ready" and that implementations should start sometime "soon". The bad: it will be based on copper rather that fiber optics. Yes, the data in Light Peak is actually going to be electrically carried over copper rather than through...you know, light.
They didn't mention what specific speeds this copper-based Light Peak technology would run at and what features would be left out because of the change. Light Peak was originally touted as a 10 Gigabit / second technology but I think we are going to be quite a bit lower than that when this version is released. USB 3.0, probably the best competition for Light Peak that is widely available and was showcased throughout CES, currently runs at about 4 Gbps over copper.
We can't help but wonder if Intel is reconsidering Light Peak all together based on the costs. If the cables and connections are too expensive and too fragile to compete with the basics of USB, and the data transfer and features are competitive, a single standard would be much more valuable to the industry. Fiber optic connections are still a large part of the future of technology communication but Intel might have been a bit too bullish.
This picture of a development Light Peak card was taken at last year's CES