Light Peak makes appearance at European Ball

France just held its Cannes Film Festival. Paris, Milan and London have Fashion Week. But Brussels just had Intel’s inaugural Research@Intel day, and Light Peak was one of the celebrities making its appearance there. Light Peak was seen “wearing” a laptop, and the Press cameras were flashing.

What we did show at the event was a laptop computer with Light Peak built in. It was running bi-directionally at 10 gigabits per second over a single cable. The Press and Academia were impressed.

Light Peak is an optical I/O technology targeted at consumer computing devices. It does run bi-directionally at 10 gigabits per second, simultaneously carrying multiple existing protocols such as Display Port and PCIe.

It has two straight forward benefits – one, it’s real fast, and two, it simplifies computing for the user. Multiple protocols over one cable means a reduction in the different types of connectors that exist on a computer. That reduction in port diversity results in simplicity for the user. And fast is important as more and more rich content moves between computers, TV, smartphones and other consumer devices. Here I discuss the benefits:


The technology consists of a controller chip and an optical module. The optical module consists of of minature lasers and photo detectors. It converts electrical signals to optical ones, and visa versa. Here is a picture of the optical module:

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More information on Light Peak can be found here.

Showing Light Peak at R@I Europe was fun. The press were excited and many reports were generated. There were a number of other Intel Labs’ technologies on display as well. TFI News from France created this short video of the event. The Intel News Room Europe also has more information.

Well there you have – Light Peak making its appearance at a European Ball. I heard it will make its next appearance at the Research@Intel Ball coming up in California. Watch out Cannes!

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