Light Peak Speeds Data Transfers

Michael Vizard

With all the glitz and glamour at an event such as the Consumer Electronics Show(CES), it's easy to overlook something like new cabling technology, given all the emphasis on video-conferencing, touch screens and thousands of flavors of PCs.

And yet inside Intel CEO Paul Otellini's keynote, there was a reference to new Light Peak optical cable technology that will make it possible to 'download an entire Blue-ray movie in less than 30 seconds.'

Light Peak does this by providing the ability to transfer data at speeds of up to 10GBs per second using fiber cable. This means not only being able to deploy thinner cable, it also means getting rid of all the varieties of cables that typically create a rat's nest of wires under every desktop.

Light Peak, which has backing from Sony and Nokia, is expected to start showing up in devices later this year. Given the amount of processing power available on the client these days, and the size of the files that people are trying to work with, it's pretty clear that a bandwidth problem is on the way.

The good news appears to be the fiber optic cabling, which may not see mainstream adoption until 2011, is on the way. Nevertheless, even with all the interest in wireless technologies, you might not want to plan on having a cable-free environment any time soon.

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