The most popular interconnect technology between consumer devices has been USB 1, 2 and soon USB 3. The latest USB standard can carry up to 4.8 Gbps (gigabits per second), ten times that of USB 2.0 models. While it is universal and ubiquitous nowadays, its main drawbacks are the copper wire, which has throughput limitation and the connector is too big for mobile devices. The reasons for a plethora Muni/Micro USB connectors that we love to carry around, etc…
Intel, reportedly was approached by Apple few years back to design a better interconnect technology that can carry several data transfer protocols at very high speed and high throughput while only requires small connector, adaptor. We might see Light Peak technology in the upcoming Apple Macbook Pro.
Light Peak is essentially the code name for a high-speed optical cable technology to connect electronic devices to each other, according to Intel. Its bandwidth starts at 10 Gbps, and it could scale to 100 Gbps as it is developed over the next decade. It is good to remind that usually the IP transmission speed is often express in bit per second and data block transmission (SCSI, Fibre Channel, Serial SCSI or SAS) is often expressed in Byte (8 bits) per second. So 10 Gbps is roughly 1 GBs.
Light Peak can run multiple protocols simultaneously over one cable. This will let Light Peak users connect multiple devices, including peripherals, workstations, displays, disk drives and docking stations.. data and power all through one port, one cable.
Since Light Peak is optical based, the distance between devices can be extended to 100 meters with thinner cable and much smaller connector. Intel expects the components will be ready to ship in 2010 most likely in one of those aluminum Macbook pros.