Engadget has published a story about Intel’s new ‘light peak’ connectivity format. According to the story, Apple approached Intel about developing the new standard. As early as 2007, Apple, apparently, approached Intel about replacing things like USB, Firewire and its own Display Interface with one connector. The new format would have to handle large amounts of data without any delay in order to work.
The article claims that Steve Jobs spoke to Paul Otellini directly about the new standard. One of the demands of the standard is that it allow multiple devices to connect to a SINGLE Light Peak port. My guess is that Mr. Jobs also has an aversion to having multiple connectors on his ‘beautiful’ designs…like having no buttons on the damned iPhone or iPods. I’m surprised he has not embraced Bluetooth or another wireless solution and do away with all the bloody connectors save the power connector. He’ like to do away the keyboards as well, I’m sure. (That reminds me, why doesn’t the Mac have problem free voice recognition…if it did, problem solved, right?)
While the prospect of one connector doing it all may sound nice, I would be concerned with what it would take to keep those multitude of signals and the associate processing all separate and deliver the performance we get now. Throwing digital video into the fray seems to be the real issue with something like this. But, then, I’m no engineer and Intel does have a few very smart people working for it.
The article states that Light Peak could make its debut in new Macs as soon as late 2010. I can only imagine the cries from people who buy a Mac only to find it has no display port, USB or Firewire and they must now buy a new monitor, printer, camera adaptor, etc. There will be ‘official’ Apple adaptors that will cost ten times what they should and be serialized so ONLY they will work with Macs and not any ‘unofficial’ pieces parts. Of course, after the initial shock wears off (after what, a day?) the Apple apologists will then make statements ‘well, I don’t use my USB stuff that much’ and ‘who STILL uses USB?’ and, perhaps, ‘Oh, that new Light Peak monitor is gorgeous…I just HAVE to get one!’ Well, yeah, you will.
Snarkiness aside, faster is always better and it would be very nice to have a single standard for devices that everyone would support. Oh, wait, we have that. It’s called USB and it is getting faster now that USB 3.0 is upon us.