Intel switches Light Peak to copper

Intel’s Light Peak interconnect technology is finally ready to go – but first versions will use copper, not fibre optics.

Intel switches Light Peak to copper

Light Peak was first unveiled in 2009, promising to rival USB and other interconnects with its data transfer feeds of 10Gbits/sec in both directions. It has yet to arrive commercially, and Intel has already announced its follow up, which allows transfers at up to 50Gbits/sec.

However, first editions of Light Peak look set to arrive running over copper in order to save costs.


Light Peak’s dazzling potential

“The copper came out very good, surprisingly better than what we thought,” Intel vice president Dadi Perlmutter told IDG. “Optical is always a new technology which is more expensive.”

Perlmutter also told IDG that he saw the technology working alongside rival USB, not replacing it.

“USB 3.0 already has a traction in the market. I don’t know if that will change,” Perlmutter said. “Look at [Light Peak] as a medium by which you can do things, not necessarily as one replacing the other.”

Intel showed off the first laptop running Light Peak at a research day last year.

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