Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 21:12 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Intel "USB 3.0 might be one of the big stories here at IDF, but Intel just showed off a glimpse of the future: Light Peak, an optical interconnect for mobile devices that can run as fast as 10Gbps. That's fast enough to do everything from storage to displays to networking, and it can maintain those speeds over 100-meter runs, which is pretty astounding. Intel says the idea is to drastically reduce the number of connectors on mobile devices, which should allow them to get even smaller - but the demo was on a huge Frankenrig, so don't expect to see Light Peak devices shipping any time soon."
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RE: Why not use Infiniband?
by ninjawombat on Mon 28th Sep 2009 02:16 UTC in reply to "Why not use Infiniband?"
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Infiniband and lightpeak are two completely different and unrelated technologies.

Infiniband is a networking technology for inter-CPU communication (usually used in clusters and supercomputers where the cost and trade offs makes sense). It is cost-effective compared to competing solutions, but a short infiniband cable will cost you $100 on sale and a hub will set you back $5,000-10,000. Definitely not cheap for "consumers". Nor is it clear that Infiniband's lean protocol specifies an easy way for devices to identify themselves or to pass data without encapsulating it in network packets (i.e., without requiring expensive chips in your devices/mouse/keyboard/etc.). Also, it's not even clear that the technology could be easily licensed by chip makers such as Intel at a reasonable cost. It's also a fairly complex connector as compared to USB.

You can't just take a technology that's meant for one thing (streamlined high-speed communication between "intelligent" computer nodes using a network in which expensive routers do the packet switching) and assume that it will magically work well for a diametrically opposite scenario (flexibly connecting many heterogeneous daisy-chained "dumb" devices where low-cost of the connector matters). Or else we would still be using telephone cables for everything...

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RE[2]: Why not use Infiniband?
by fancher on Mon 28th Sep 2009 17:28 in reply to "RE: Why not use Infiniband?"
fancher Member since:

Infiniband already has an optical physical layer. Also the technology was originally developed by Intel as a peripheral device interconnect but was overtaken by PCI as the preferred internal peripheral bus. Since intel already owns the technology it would not suprise me to find some of the IP elements of IB inside Lightpeak. As to connector and hub costs - the demo rig did not appear to be inexpensive and in the articles they are citing consumer deployments as being the road to low cost.

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