Remember that blazing-fast fiber-based interface known as Light Peak, which was stated to boast transfer speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second in both directions? Turns out that Intel may scale back a little on the interface in its initial rollout: the chip giant is reportedly thinking of using copper instead of fiber-optics for Light Peak, at least during the initial stages of implementation. What will this mean for “Copper Peak”?
Most OEMs and users are eagerly awaiting the day Intel rolls out Light Peak for use in mainstream desktop PCs and notebooks, and for good reason. After all, it is hard to say no to an interface which claims to be able to deliver transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps in both directions, especially in a world where speedy data transfer means everything.
However, people who are keen to be early adopters of the upcoming fiber-based interface might want to scale back their expectations a little. This is because there are rumors within the industry which claim that even Intel might not be ready to force fiber-based connections down consumers’ throats in spite of the high interest levels shown by end-users. As a result, the chip giant is reportedly planning to launch the first implementation of Light Peak with more down-to-earth copper wires instead of fiber optics as originally planned.
Oddly enough, the same rumors claim that Light Peak performance and connection speeds will not be affected in spite of Intel opting to go for copper in the interface’s initial rollout. This claim is dubious at best, as it is a widely accepted fact that data transmitted through light is much faster than data sent via moving electrons. Therefore, how Intel intends to retain the ultrafast transmission speeds with “Copper Peak” remains to be seen, if it is even possible. However, it is possible that Intel may be using copper during the initial phase simply to ensure that the interface is capable of providing power to devices connected to it before replacing the cables responsible for data transmission
Last but not least, there is also the issue of whether early adopters who got the copper versions of Light Peak will be able to exchange their boards for fiber-connected versions when the latter is eventually released for mainstream use. But we shall wait for Intel to make its official stand on how Light Peak will be rolled out to the public before making any speculations.