Intel Light Peak arrives in 2012

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Intel demonstrated 10Gbps Light Peak at the IDF in San Francisco, the company said chips for the optical interconnect will be available in 2011 and the first computers with Light Peak could hit the market in 2012.

One big question is what this means for USB 3.0, but a spokesperson of the chip giant told EE Times that Light Peak and USB 3.0 could serve complimentary roles. The Intel spokesman said Light Peak and USB 3.0 could both be used on future systems and serve complimentary roles. USB 3.0 supports rates up to 5 GigaTransfers/second and data transfers of at least 300 Mbytes/second.

A representative from Texas Instruments estimated as many as 40 million notebooks could ship with USB 3.0 next year. The company will sample before the end of the year a four-port USB 3.0 controller that requires no external flash and will sell for about four dollars in 100,000 unit quantities.

Intel is expected to deliver chip sets supporting USB 3.0 by 2012, driving the technology into mainstream systems.

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