What used to be enjoyed exclusively by big telecommunications companies in their data centers, fiber optic communication between devices and between the chips embedded within would soon be available to the mass market this year thanks to Intel’s Light Peak technology.
It’s a codename for Intel’s new high-speed optical cable technology designed to connect electronic devices to each other. According to Intel, Light Peak delivers high bandwidth starting at 10Gb/s with the potential ability to scale to 100Gb/s over the next decade. It means that At 10Gb/s, you could transfer a full-length Blu-Ray movie in less than 30 seconds. At that speeds, they should have called it “light speed” or something.
This optical technology was designed to overcome two fundamental problems of existing electrical cable technology: 1) the maximum speed you can transfer data over an electrical cable and 2), the maximum distance electrical cables can reach before it becomes too long that electro-magnetic interference and other issues kick in and disrupt the communication.
See the demo video below:
Awesome wasn’t it? At the speeds Intel says Light Peak can reach, even the new U.S.B. 3.0 specification now in development which has a theoretical maximum data rate of up to 5 gigabits a second pales in comparison.
Another advantage Light Peak or optical cable technology has it that it allows for much smaller and thinner devices since fat or wide and cumbersome copper cables could now be done away with inside our computers and other electronic devices. It could even be used in setting up faster home or office networks.
Once Light Peak becomes more commercially available, expect devices and computers to take on new forms and have better performances. It’s all just exciting!
More reading at The New York Times