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Light Peak is a new high-speed optical cable technology designed to connect electronic devices to each other in a peripheral bus. It has the capability to deliver high bandwidth, starting at 10 Gbit/s, with the potential ability to scale to 100 Gbit/s. It is intended as a single universal replacement for current buses such as SCSI, SATA, USB, FireWire, PCI Express and HDMI. In comparison to these buses, Light Peak is much faster, longer ranged, smaller, and more flexible in terms of protocol support.
Light Peak was developed as a way to reduce the proliferation of ports on modern computers. Bus systems like USB were intended to do the same, and successfully replaced a number of older technologies like RS232 and Centronics printer ports. However, increasing bandwidth demands have led to the introduction of a new series of high-performance systems like eSATA and Display Port that USB and similar systems can not address. Light Peak provides enough bandwidth to allow all of these systems to be driven over a single type of interface, and in many cases on a single cable using a daisy chain.The Light Peak cable contains a pair of optical fibers that are used for upstream and downstream traffic. This means that Light Peak offers a maximum of 10 Gbit/s in both directions at the same time. The prototype system featured two motherboard controllers that both supported two bidirectional buses at the same time, wired to four external connectors. Each pair of optical cables from the controllers is led to a connector, where power is added through separate wiring. The physical connector used on the prototype system looks similar to the existing USB or FireWire connectors.
Intel has stated that Light Peak is protocol independent, allowing it to support existing standards with a change of the physical medium. Few details on issues like protocol or timing contention have been released. Intel has stated that Light Peak has the performance to drive everything from storage to displays to networking, and it can maintain those speeds over 100 meter runs. As advantages over existing systems, they also note that a system using Light Peak will have fewer and smaller connectors, longer and thinner cables, higher bandwidth, and can run multiple protocols on a single cable.

Light Peak is the code name for a new high-speed optical cable technology designed to connect electronic devices to each other. Light Peak delivers high bandwidth starting at 10Gb/s with the potential ability to scale to 100Gb/s over the next decade. At 10Gb/s, we can transfer a full-length Blu-Ray movie in less than 30 seconds.? Light peak allows for smaller connectors and longer, thinner, and more flexible cables than currently possible. Light Peak also has the ability to run multiple protocols simultaneously over a single cable, enabling the technology to connect devices such as peripherals, displays, disk drives, docking stations, and more.

Light Peak is Intel's code-name for a new high-speed optical cable technology designed to connect electronic devices to each other in a peripheral bus. Optical networking technologies have been over the last two decades reshaping the entire telecom infrastructure networks around the world. As network bandwidth requirements increase, optical communication and networking technologies have been moving from their telecom origin into the enterprise. For example, today in data centers, all storage area networking is based on fiber interconnects with speeds ranging form 1 Gb/s to 10 Gb/s. As the transmission bandwidth requirements increase and the costs of the emerging optical technologies become more economical, the adoption and acceptance of these optical interconnects within enterprise networks will increase. This report provides the framework for the light peak optical interconnect technology. A brief overview of the light peak interconnects technology and its current application within the enterprise is presented.

 

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