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Light Peak Coming in Early 2011 With Apple at Forefront?


CNET reports that Intel is preparing to launch its Light Peak high-speed computer connection standard as soon as early next year, paving the way for 10 Gbps connections.

Light Peak is now on track to appear in products in the first half of 2011--and likely earlier in the year than later, according to an industry source familiar with the progress of the technology. Light Peak is significantly faster than even USB 3.0, carrying data at 10 gigabits per second in both directions simultaneously.

Apple is expected to be an important participant in the deployment of Light Peak, as the company was said to have played a key role in the development of the technology.

. . .Apple is expected to back Light Peak, if past comments from Intel still hold. Shortly after its annual developer conference in 2009, Intel said that it had showed the technology to third parties, got feedback, then incorporated the feedback into the next design, adding, at that time, that "Apple is an innovating force in the industry." (Apple has reportedly claimed that it conceived the idea for Light Peak.)

If Apple implements Light Peak, it would be a safe bet that the company will have a lot to say about the technology--maybe with a catchy name in tow. And it would probably not be wild speculation to say that Apple would want to be the first to use it.

The apparently-imminent release of Light Peak technology could explain the reluctance of Intel to adopt support for USB 3.0 in its chipsets and Apple CEO Steve Jobs' recent claims that the company doesn't see USB 3.0 "taking off". With the two companies reportedly collaborating on the even faster Light Peak standard envisioned as a replacement for USB, FireWire and various display connector standards, they may simply have decided to bypass USB 3.0 entirely.