New High-speed Connection Tech Due From Apple

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An announcement from Apple is expected soon about a new high-speed connection technology, a source told CNET.

An update to the Apple MacBook Pro is also expected soon.

(Credit: Apple) Whether the new connector tech will be part of the upcoming MacBook Pro update (rumored to happen February 24) or announced in another context is not clear. Intel has been working on a technology called Light Peak for years and recently said the initial version would be based on copper, as practical realities dictate more conventional technology.

Apple is expected to adopt this technology in the near future--but likely use a name other than Light Peak, a source familiar with this aspect of Apple's plans said. Intel has said in the past that the first products using Light Peak should appear in the first half of 2011.

When Intel initially demonstrated Light Peak at its developer conference in 2009 it used a machine running Apple's Mac OS X.

Light Peak was originally touted by Intel as the holy grail of connector technology: a single replacement for the myriad cables that connect to monitors, external drives, scanners, printers, and anything else that plugs into a computer. But Intel--and Apple--may be targeting more specific connection protocols, at least initially.

As originally proposed, the fiber-optic technology connects many devices to PCs with fiber-optic lines. But, as mentioned, the initial version of Light Peak will use copper instead of light-based technologies, Intel has said.

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Light Peak is significantly faster than even USB 3.0, carrying data at 10 gigabits per second in both directions simultaneously. Connection speeds will not be affected by the transition to copper, according to Intel.

Sony is also expected to be an early adopter of the technology.

More on Light Peak can be found here, from an interview with Jason Ziller, an Intel manager heading up the chipmaker's work on the technology.
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This article was published on 2011/02/23