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Light Peak unlikely to steal USB 3.0's fire

Posted on Saturday, September 25 2010 @ 17:06:33 CEST by

EE Times reports the first implementation of Intel's Light Peak will not be broadly adopted, as the top three OEMs (HP, Dell, Acer) are well known supporters of USB 3.0. The article also cites from a report by an IGI Consulting analyst, who wrote Light Peak makes little sense due to the higher cost and limited gain over USB 3.0:
USB 3.0 provides ten times the bandwidth of the existing 480 Mbits/second USB 2.0 spec it replaces. By contrast, Light Peak's promise to double USB 3.0 data rates to nearly 10 Gbits/s "won't be that significant for a lot of apps," said the engineer.

"You will need higher data rates than 10Gbits/s to make differences in apps like video something end users can really see," he said.

By contrast, an estimated $5-10 cost increase for Light Peak chips, optical modules and cables is unacceptable, he added. "Twice the data rate for that cost just doesn’t make sense—it's taking profit margin away," said the engineer.


Use Disqus to post new comments, the old comments are listed below.

Re: Light Peak unlikely to steal USB 3.0's fire
by Anonymous on Saturday, September 25 2010 @ 17:33:45 CEST
Higher cost also passes on to devices as well. This could significantly affect the price of devices to run off Lightpeak. Plus there is no power over the line like USB 3, making anything that needs power take a second cable to get power. That makes needless complication.

USB 3 is plenty fast enough and is a one cable to the device solution. And when optical becomes cheaper to implement, USB 3 has (built into the specs already) an optical option as well. That will allow for optical connections and longer connections where they are needed without changing the spec and without new drivers.

USB 3 is far more versatile than Lightpeak and less costly to infrastructure. Lightpeak will be fine in a few more years, when all these things get cheaper. But for now the speed is not needed and it's the wrong time in the economy for a high cost solution to need for a greater speed interconnect between devices.

Re: Light Peak unlikely to steal USB 3.0's fire
by Anonymous on Saturday, September 25 2010 @ 17:34:15 CEST
Plus USB 3 has backward compatibility with USB 2 which Lightpeak would not have.


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