[Interview] Intel Discusses 'Light Peak' Interface (page 2)

Sep 15, 2010
Hiroki Yomogita, Nikkei Electronics

Q: When will devices using Light Peak debut in the market?

Ziller: The target year is 2011. At this point, we can show a demonstration by using a prototype of a controller chip. In other words, we finished the research and development and entered the phase of developing products.

As for products, I think that external storage devices will first support Light Peak to be connected to netbooks and other devices. At IDF, we demonstrated a system that communicates with a storage device at high speeds, and we exhibited a professional-use video editing machine compatible with Light Peak.

Q: When in 2011 will they debut?

Ziller: I cannot tell you a specific time. I cannot say whether it will be the beginning of the year or the end of the year. However, many consumer device makers showed interest in Light Peak. They include many Japanese firms such as Sony. We are expecting that a variety of products will be released within two or three years after the first products will be released in the next year.

Q: USB 3.0 will also be used for connection to external storage devices. Will Light Peak compete with USB 3.0?

Ziller: Light Peak and USB 3.0 will not compete with each other at all. They are complementary to each other. USB 3.0 will not affect Intel's efforts on interfaces because Light Peak is intended for new usages.

Q: Are you planning to establish an industry group related to Light Peak?

Ziller: We are now focusing on releasing products within 2011. But, after that, it will be important for us to facilitate the spread of Light Peak in the industry.

Q: Do you think optical interfaces will be the mainstream for notebook PCs and netbooks?

Ziller: It depends on device makers. If our clients hope so, optical interfaces will be used in such a way.

Q: How long is the wavelength of optical signals used for Light Peak?

Ziller: It is 850nm. Optical signals are transmitted via optical fibers made of glass. The wavelength was decided in consideration of cost, durability, transmission range and so forth. However, it is possible that plastic optical fibers (POF) will be used in the future because its properties are drastically improving.

Q: Who will provide optical modules for Light Peak?

Ziller: So far, we have announced two company names: Avago Technologies and SAE Magnetics.

Q: How much component cost do you expect for Light Peak?

Ziller: We cannot disclose a target price. But we expect that it will be much lower than that of the optical transmitter and receiver circuits such as used in the field of telecommunications.