A technology developed by Intel and backed by Apple is expected to appear earlier than previously thought, paving the way for very-high-speed connections on both PCs and Macs.
Light Peak is now on track to appear in products in the first half of 2011--and likely earlier in the year than later, according to an industry source familiar with the progress of the technology. Light Peak is significantly faster than even USB 3.0, carrying data at 10 gigabits per second in both directions simultaneously.
In this respect, Light Peak eclipses USB 3.0, which is not supported by Apple and is only supported sporadically by PC makers on certain models. The reason? Intel has yet to support USB 3.0 in the chipsets that accompany its processors
But Apple is expected to back Light Peak, if past comments from Intel still hold. Shortly after its annual developer conference in 2009, Intel said that it had showed the technology to third parties, got feedback, then incorporated the feedback into the next design, adding, at that time, that "Apple is an innovating force in the industry." (Apple has reportedly claimed that it conceived the idea for Light Peak.)
If Apple implements Light Peak, it would be a safe bet that the company will have a lot to say about the technology--maybe with a catchy name in tow. And it would probably not be wild speculation to say that Apple would want to be the first to use it.
An Intel demonstration in 2009 at its developer conference used a machine running Apple's Mac OS X. And Sony has, in the past, endorsed Light Peak also.