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.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.