Intel revealed its Light Peak technology for linking devices by optical cable may potentially succeed USB 3.0. The chip giant says there's no conflict between the two technologies, Intel senior fellow Kevin Kahn stated that both technologies are expected to coexist in the market and perhaps on the same platform at the same time. Light Peak can currently transfer data at 10Gbps, and Intel believes this could be scaled up to ten times that speed in the next decade. Light Peak may first appear through a USB 3.0 port, but in the future the size could be taken way, way down.
Intel, which announced Light Peak last year, hopes it will be broadly used by devices ranging from PCs to consumer electronics and other gadgets, said Kevin Kahn, an Intel senior fellow, in a speech at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing. Intel will make the technology available late this year and expects partners to start shipping devices with it next year, Kahn said.
"We view this as a logical future successor to USB 3.0," Kahn said. "In some sense we'd... like to build the last cable you'll ever need."
A trend toward optical instead of electrical links raises the risk that separate optical cables could appear for many protocols, such as USB and serial ATA, said Justin Rattner, the head of Intel Labs, on the sidelines of IDF. Light Peak can run multiple protocols at the same time over one line, so all the data meant for the separate cables could run through one Light Peak cable instead.