Are Apple Prepping LightPeak for the Next iMacs?

Mike Halsey MVP
Feb 20, 2011
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Apple, Companies

When Intel first announced its new LightPeak device connection technology the sweaty masses got very excited indeed.  This replacement for USB would be based on fibre-optic technology and offer gigabits of data transfer speed far above what is currently on offer today, even through USB3.

Then they dampened down everyone's hopes a few months ago by saying they were now looking at copper cabling for the technology as a way of cutting costs (though with the price of copper increasing monthly I fail to see how this would make it a long-term viable alternative to USB3!)

Now it looks like Apple might be set to bring LightPeak to its next generation iMac lineup as CNET are reporting that Apple is set to bring a new "high speed interconnect" technology to it's computers.

I should point out at this stage that there is absolutely no evidence for this though it would be very exciting and is exactly the push that the LightPeak technology needs in order to become widely adopted.

LightPeak, even with copper cabling is capable of delivering a data transfer speed of 10 gigabits per second in both directions simultaneously, making it much faster than USB3.  It remains to be seen whether Apple will support USB3 alongside LightPeak, should the rumours be true, or whether they will go their own way and ignore USB3 in the same way they have skipped past Blu-Ray.

It can safely be said that passing Blu-Ray support by has not harmed Apple in the slightest as the general takeup for the technology has been limited.  This is due to the cheap costs of external hard disks.  USB3 is very new and it could face similiar problems.  Having Apple pass the technology by would only exacerbate them.

LightPeak isn't just a technology for connecting printers and hard disks though.  It was invented as a single method of conneting a broad range of devices including monitors.  In short its a very exciting technoology tempered only by the absence of fibro-optic cabling for the early versions.

Watch this space for more news on LightPeak support by Apple.

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Are Apple Prepping LightPeak for the Next iMacs?
It looks like Apple might be set to bring LightPeak to its next generation iMac lineup

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  1. veato said on March 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I think it was an oversight not to include Blu-Ray on the iMac and hopefully something they will remedy for a new model. Regardless of whether external storage is cheap I’d like the ability to watch a BD movie on that lovely IPS panel at least!

  2. On an errand said on February 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray are dead? I don’t know what world you’re living in, but I suggest you join the real one…. where even CDs account for +60% of music sales, where DVD and Blu-Ray account for 95% of movie sales, and where a professional such as myself is met with a blank look (or painful phone pause) whenever I suggest that I transfer artwork to agencies digitally. The nearest I get is “You mean email?”….. “Sure, I can email out your 16 page mag spread, it’s only about 12GB”

    Apple’s wholly premature moritorium on the optical drive may not be hurting them, but it’s certainly hurting we professionals who carried them through the times when you’d be more likely to find a home with a push-button TV than a Mac.

  3. jfjb said on February 22, 2011 at 2:55 am

    DVDs of any flavor are dead, like CDs, like floppies
    yes because of cheap HD
    but mostly because of the web contents and transfer speed

    1. jfjb said on February 22, 2011 at 2:58 am

      PS. Forgot to mention SSDs, sorry.

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