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One cable to rule them all: Light Peak


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73 replies to this topic

#1 of 74 Sam Posten

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Posted September 27 2009 - 02:45 AM

Hang on kids, things are about to get real interesting in an area you weren't expecting it to be: cables! http://www.engadget....d-be/#continued

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#2 of 74 Sam Posten

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Posted September 30 2009 - 06:20 AM

Maybe not so much on the Apple origin:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10363956-64.html

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#3 of 74 Sam Posten

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Posted September 30 2009 - 07:45 AM

http://www.powerpage...nection-cables/

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#4 of 74 Sam Posten

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Posted February 22 2011 - 01:05 PM

Soooo.... Light Peak premieres in new MacBook Pros Thursday and in ipad2 next weak? GiggidyX2 http://news.cnet.com...0034900-64.html

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#5 of 74 Dennis*G

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Posted February 22 2011 - 11:50 PM

It will be interesting to see what devices get announced at launch also. A nice lightpeak thumbdrive or external harddrive enclosure would be nice.

#6 of 74 mattCR

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Posted February 23 2011 - 02:12 AM

Device adoption will be interesting.   If the specs being leaked are right, then Apple's new Macbooks will have it's implimentation of Lightpeak but no USB3, only USB2.     What makes this interesting is that USB3 has a pretty wide head start, with USB3 drives, video adapters and SSDs already on the market.  Because USB3 and eSATA can share a port design, it's adoption in the PC laptop market has really come along.    Lightpeak is Intel's baby, and so with Intel and Apple, it will certainly have a big push behind it.   The question is, do we end up with another FireWire Vs. USB show down of sorts.


Originally there was some thought that LightPeak would be a single native interconnect, replacing SATA, Video, USB, Firewire, etc.  But that idea has went away.   Intel has come out and said that Lightpeak will not be the video standard, and instead has become big in supporting DisplayPort for that.   This is largely because getting another tech through a governing body for data protection is a bitch.


But as an interconnect, LightPeak has a lot of options.  It's 10Gb native data connection through standard Cat6 makes for a good way to change the way home networks, etc. work.  And it's hub and spoke method is very user friendly.


This is going to be very interesting because it's a great technology.   We'll have to see what vendors line up to get behind it.   Because while the paper technology is great, if not enough people end up supporting it (See: firewire) it never matures.


EDIT:  I've seen the stats floating around and they have to be wrong.   Someone has to have photoshopped this.  If it's an i5/2.13G, 320GB HDD then outside of Lightpeak there are no real upgrades here, in fact, using Intel HD3000 video is not using anything remotely "new", especially when the unit won't have an HDMI out, and Lightpeak, which replaces Displayport in the graphic won't do full DP1.2 compliance because it doesn't have enough bandwidth.  Between that and them listing an 8X DVDRW as the optical?   I realize Apple may still oppose bluray, but you can't put out a machine with the oldest optical technology still on the market, if you're going to stick with DVDRW, you know there are floating opticals at triple that performance in competitor laptops..


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#7 of 74 Michael_K_Sr

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Posted February 23 2011 - 05:01 AM

Give me an MBP with no optical drive whatsoever (I'll gladly take a higher capacity battery in the space) and I would be quite happy. Those specs listed above are attached to the 13-inch MBP, which still is using Core2 Duos instead if the i Series processors.



#8 of 74 mattCR

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Posted February 23 2011 - 05:14 AM



Originally Posted by Michael_K_Sr 

Give me an MBP with no optical drive whatsoever (I'll gladly take a higher capacity battery in the space) and I would be quite happy. Those specs listed above are attached to the 13-inch MBP, which still is using Core2 Duos instead if the i Series processors.



Correct.   If I'm right this is a Sandy Bridge based laptop.  That will be interesting since Intel had to recall all of their 1st generation boards, so this is a good second bite at the apple (no pun intended).   The error in Sandy Bridge only impacted the older SATA ports and shouldn't be relevent here.


I'm still pondering this because I know the wife will want one.   But going from a Geforce 320M to an Intel HD3000 gains you nothing and loses you a step (about 30-40% of a step in newer games) in 3d, which may or may not matter.. it may get you some battery life, though, which might be the point.  I think there just aren't enough details.  The 15" one should be interesting. 

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#9 of 74 Ted Todorov

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Posted February 23 2011 - 06:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

Soooo.... Light Peak premieres in new MacBook Pros Thursday and in ipad2 next weak?

GiggidyX2

http://news.cnet.com...0034900-64.html
I don't understand why you'd have Thunderbolt on the iPad.  Video out: Airplay (they just need to add Airplay input support to Mac OS X so it wouldn't require an AppleTV).  Move more of the synch to WiFi, but keep the wired option for large media files.  What else do you need that would require Thunderbolt?  You are never going to be hanging disc drives off the iPad.





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#10 of 74 Ted Todorov

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Posted February 23 2011 - 07:10 AM

The one thing that excites me is the possibility of long cable runs (optical version) -- however, these things seem to stay theoretical -- see: Display Port.

Daisy chaining is the number one reason we want Thunderbolt to strike USB dead.

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#11 of 74 DaveF

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Posted February 23 2011 - 07:55 AM



Originally Posted by Ted Todorov 

Quote:

I don't understand why you'd have Thunderbolt on the iPad.


Superfast syncing? Syncing my iPhone when I've added half a season of TV shows takes 15 - 30 minutes. Even a normal sync, with some photos and new podcasts takes a couple minutes to work through. Assuming its bandwidth limited and LP can drop it to a few seconds, life is nicer :)


Better industrial design? The 30-pin connector is pretty big. Replace that with a smaller, USB-style connector and you've more space to work with in designing the devices. It also allows for shrinking the device. The current Shuffle is limited by the connector, not the actual iPod hardware, I understand.



#12 of 74 mattCR

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Posted February 23 2011 - 08:11 AM

I would be shocked to see the iPod/iPad go to any sort of Litepeak exclusive connector, because you'd make it incompatible with every older mac and every PC.   LightPeak would require a SB or a 16 lane PCI-E connector, and there aren't any shipping on the PC side, and it wouldn't be an option for older macs.   So, while the idea of syncing faster sounds interesting, unless the iPad would have two docking ports, it won't happen.   and USB through a LightPeak adapter would still be limited by USB spec, which since it's a direct device would still be USB2, or just as fast as it is now.



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#13 of 74 Sam Posten

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Posted February 24 2011 - 04:48 AM

This video gives a lot of interesting possibilities, and it makes me think that Lightpeak exclusive connector's arent that far off because of easy adaptability to USB via inexpensive docking kits.

http://www.9to5mac.c...peakthunderbolt


Also, food for thought, it will be trivially easy to take Bluray video off a lightpeak equipped device (PC etc) and import it for viewing on a Lightpeak Mac.


Also:

http://hothardware.c...med-Light-Peak/


Liveblog in 10 minutes:

http://news.cnet.com...0035571-76.html



http://www.intel.com...rbolt/index.htm


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#14 of 74 Sam Posten

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Posted February 24 2011 - 06:25 AM

Havent read the liveblog notes yet but I saw this:

http://www.fastcompa...es-on-your-desk


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#15 of 74 Sam Posten

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Posted February 24 2011 - 06:36 AM

Livestream tidbits

Ziller now outlining some more specs on Thunderbolt's architecture:

  • 10Gbps per channel, bidirectional
  • PCIe and DisplayPort protocols
  • Compatible with standard DisplayPort displays and adapters 
  • Daisy chain topologies (linking up several devices to one another)
  • Low latency, 8ns accuracy time sync across 7 devices
  • Small connector with electrical and optical cables
Dong Ngo:  The cable is not backward compatible with USB 3.0. Also you won't be able to "upgrade" to this via add-in card. The only way to have it is getting a new computer/motherboard.


The TB cable can be up to 3 meters long.


The optical cable will be available later this year and increase the length up to "tens of meters"


Clarify:  There won't be add-in TB adapters, you'll need a new computer/motherboard that supports TB.


From the Intel PDF: "Thunderbolt cables may be electrical or optical; both use the same Thunderbolt connector. An active electrical-only cable provides for connections of up to 3 meters in length, and provides for up to 10W of power deliverable to a bus-powered device. And an active optical cable provides for much greater lengths; tens of meters."


Q: Is there a real light connection?
A: Ziller--we haven't abandoned the idea of a light connection. We believe light is still a part of the vision. And we're still doing light within our research and development.

Aviel Yogev, director of Thunderbolt engineering for Intel, says we will continue to do electrical because it's not dead yet. We're also trying to reduce the cost of electrical.



Q: Can Thunderbolt devices be used as boot devices?
A: Yogev says yes, it's possible.



LaCie has a splash page up with a photo of their Thunderbolt-equipped hard drive, but no details so far ("coming soon"): http://www.lacie.com...gy.htm?id=10039


Cool stuff


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#16 of 74 Sam Posten

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Posted February 24 2011 - 06:43 AM

Ars has all the details.


http://arstechnica.c...-throughput.ars


Engadget has a few tidbits too,


http://www.engadget....-a-closer-look/


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#17 of 74 mattCR

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Posted February 24 2011 - 07:43 AM

Intel has now said (see Sam's other post) that it's a 3 Meter cable length.   So, not the length you may have been looking for.


Exciting tech, though.   I do want to say to those that think this will make transferring to an iPod or iPad faster, it won't.   The limiting factor there isn't the speed of the connector; USB2 can write as fast as the slower RAM based technology in them, and they have a USB2 host controller so it won't help there either, but even if they had upgraded their connector, you'd have to go to a more SSD ready format for data to notice the speed improvement.


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#18 of 74 Sam Posten

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Posted February 24 2011 - 08:45 AM

This is dumb:

http://www.appleinsi...until_2012.html


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#19 of 74 Sam Posten

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Posted February 24 2011 - 09:26 AM

What you need to know:

http://www.macworld....rc=twt_macworld


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#20 of 74 mattCR

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Posted February 24 2011 - 10:01 AM



Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

This is dumb:

http://www.appleinsi...until_2012.html



Yep.   This guarantees that it stays almost dead.   If you're developing periphials, do you develop them for something with an installed base that includes only brand new macs, or an installed base of every AMD PC in the last year and a half (USB3) or almost every PC and Mac since 2003 (USB2). 

I get it, Lightpeak (Thunderbolt) can be used as a breakout to go to all of those other things.   Which is cool.   But there is no inherent advantage in that at all if the only thing you have to talk to is yourself.


Intel now says there is NO exclusive agreement, they just don't have anyone else developing a board with it yet on the PC side, though they are free to do so.


http://www.engadget....-o-lacie-and-p/


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