Intel Trying to Break Speed Limit with Fiber-Optic Cables

Intel Trying to Break Speed Limit with Fiber-Optic Cables

Think about all the cables protruding from the back of your home theater setup. Now imagine if you could replace some of them with a single cable, one that offers enough bandwidth to transfer a full-length Blu-ray movie from your HTPC to your desktop in half a minute. This scenario is exactly what Intel is working on with its Light Peak fiber-optic system.

It's also just the beginning. If all goes to plan, consumers can expect Light Peak to initially deliver data speeds of 10 gigabits per second, with plans to ramp up the speed so fast that you'd eventually be able to transfer the above-mentioned Blu-ray flick in only three seconds.


"Ten gigabits per second is pretty fast," said Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates. "Most people are happy with a few megabits. People can run a whole corporation on 10 gigabits."

And it's not just about speed, either. According to Intel, its fiber-optic system will pave the way for slimmer gadgets while at the same time allowing consumers to hook up devices at greater distances without all the cable clutter.

"Our goal and expectation is that it's the beginning of a new generation [of cable connections]," said Jason Ziller, an Intel director working on the concept.



See here to keep an eye on Light Peak's development.
0
+ -

I was wondering when Fiber cabling was going to become more available in a home like this. I still do really as Fiber cabling is particularly much less of a manipulative cabling than either coaxial, USB, Ethernet or any other type of cabling. So in a home setting I kind of question it. If it was locked in stationary cabling I could see it, but in a home setting that might be difficult.

Either way if they can offer the option, and because recently (in the last few years), some of those limitations have at the least gained some ground in stability I could see it as a bigger maybe. Please don't get me wrong either, as the option is very attractive with data over fiber optic cabling literally moving at the speed of light. We will see where this goes, and I really hope it works out, because at a minimum data with this communication wiring platform moves at a minimum 10x faster, it would really make a lot more available communication wise.

That is specifically communication in any way system to equipment, direct media manipulation, peripheral to peripheral and on and on relating to anything. A home wired this way even from a main system out would work digitally almost if not directly instantaneously.

0
+ -

Your right about fiber being iffy in a home. People are so used to coax and cat cable being able to be bent any which way. Just stuff it down out of sight and your good. They do that to fiber and then will have "Hey, why is my network down?".

Until they can design much better plastic fiber optics this will always be a major problem. Installing fiber is a lot of work that requires people trained in it. Even plastic fiber will not be as tough as current coax and cat cable.

0
+ -

I agree that it's iffy today but I suspect it will be less than a decade before fiber optic cabling or something very similar becomes the norm in all newly built homes.

0
+ -

This is good news indeed, I wonder how this factors into Verizon cutting back on their FIOS? With these speeds this will open up a whole new dimension in personal computing. Lag will be a thing of the past and with SSD's improving and growing in capacity the future looks bright for the internet, I mean people will be pinging at ridiculous speeds. I am excited :) wait......... what will this cost??

0
+ -

I've been wondering when something like this would finally come out. Fragile cables would be a pain though, especially if ye have kids who enjoy playing around with things. Looking forward to this coming out none the less.

0
+ -

Intel may break the speed record for fiber optic, but it's quiet unlikely they'll break the limit. :)

0
+ -

This is really nothing new. Just Intel slapping a proprietary connector on a fiber optic cable and sending 10Gig over it is all it is. Here's the problem, 10Gig ports are very expensive. #2 it's a proprietary connector so you have to use their cables and converters and such costing more. #3 Dust and dirt are the 2 biggest factors that kill 10G networks over fiber. A little dirt contamination and next thing you know your paying several hundred dollars for someone like me to come clean it with some special kit. Not to mention what happens when fiddo chews on it or whatever other abuse it will take in the home. You can essentially do your own set up like this now with some fiber and some converter boxes. Good luck getting 10G to pass though. 100G, yeah ok, I can't even begin to imagine how much that port costs. 10G is meant for data centers not the home. Shoot, you can send 10G over cat 6 cable. Why the need for such expensive fiber optic cabling and equipment?

0
+ -

Really though even against what I was saying initially when I watch the video (which I did a few times), he moves it rather easily. The big thing about Fiber was the ends of the cabling, and then joining that with your router, hub, switch etc. You had to have that flawlessly done, clean cuts, no blemishes and clean on both ends.

Fiber has come a good ways as far as laying out the cabling etc as well as in it's flexibility. No it is nothing or was nothing like Coaxial or Ethernet, and I would imagine still is not, nor will it be as it is glass. He moves it around rather carefree though during the video, not to mention it is bound in a small diameter circular way.

So Intel may have been doing some work with the cable itself and the makeup of it. That is definitely some of the thinnest I have seen (of course I generally used it in an industrial setting). So this may be part of there lightpeak research as well. I could very well be partially wrong as I have never worked with this exact medium.

The biggest thing besides the cable immovability and management is the coupling though. These are full auto made on the cable and the components end. So it may with some restriction be a working prototype as it does look so. I think having a home setup with Fiber communications wiring would literally be awesome, can you imagine the speed of your home network if it was all Fiber. That would be beyond awesome!

0
+ -

I have never had the opportunity to experience anything related to fiber optic, except those lights that are put in swimming pools and those silly things you can get from the Circus. The fact that technology has come this far is still pretty amazing for me. 

I know personally that I have a lot of cables that run through my entertainment center. First off, I have my HDTV that is connected to my Xbox 360, my surround sound system, and then my HD Cable Receiver. Not to mention that you have the power and input/output cords running from all of them and criss crossing and all of the tangled mes that it is. 

I love the idea of replacing it with a single cable: But the cost is always something that I pay attention to. 10 GB/s isn't cheap, and I don't think that the highest quality of video would be worth the price to pay for the Fiber Optic cable alone. 

Don't get me wrong though, I'm absolutely in love with the idea and the video fortifies it. But this is probably a decade away from hitting mainstream, so right now I'm not entirely worried about it. 

The other problem I see is what companies would adopt this. I know that the Netherlands have Fiber Optic and their Down/Up speeds are stupid fast. I see areas with Fiber Optic already implemented into society as being the first place for this to really see a start. 

But for places like the South, and other rural areas, we will most likely be catered to last because of the lack of population down here. 

Either way, it's a nice piece of technology to behold. 

0
+ -

It's an interesting technology nonetheless, It's also interesting that they can stream multiple devices from that one cable. Just imagine the possibilities that could come of this.

I'm also surprised that existing cables are reaching their limits, I thought the current cables we had would last for a long time; I guess the future would always catch up to us.

Still, I think that this product will probably go mainstream in a few years. Not because of the video quality but because this is the future.

0
+ -

10 Gbps LAN fiber-optics might have made sense 10 years ago, but not anymore. 10 GBASE-T can send 10 Gbps over up to 100 meters of CAT 6a cable, which is enough for most LAN usage. Why deal with the hassle of fiber optics over short distances?

0
+ -

I don't think I have anything that can properly feed a connection that fast. My hard drives can't spit data out at those speeds. My Blu-Ray drive doesn't either. So what is the use of having it if it's bandwidth is only gonna be micro-used by the poor folk at home?

0
+ -

I think the idea is to send multiple streams over it. But you are right that compressed video streams do not need anywhere near that much bandwidth. Still, what about uncompressed video streams, such as over an HDMI or DVI cable?

0
+ -

What happens when you try to drive a Ferrari on the autobahn, traveling at light speed, while sitting on top of the car? What would happen to the driver, and what about the car?

Having the ability to travel at light speed is the best part. But you can not blame the car or the driver for not being able to keep up or withstand the forces.

I have always been a big supporter in Toshlinks! I loved having my Laserdiscs and DVD's connected with an optical cable. It amazes me how these companies roll out with HDMI and everyone automatically believes it to be better. I agree it is much better when it comes to the ease of use, and that is the main concern for most consumers. But they compare the audio performance to other RCA connectors and other standard metal/electrical connections. The optical always gave greater performance and sound response.

That is the issue here. You really cant blame the road for being able to travel at light speed. You have to look at the car and driver, then realise they werent prepared for it:P

With Fiber-optic, the speed is there. It is just not something that everyday people can use at this point. Much like Toshlink, you have to keep it sealed within the connection. Any moisture or dirt brings down the performance, although it is not enough for most people to notice. Plus when we start combining Optical with Lasers (on the consumer side), the speeds will increase dramatically. It will just have to be sealed and protected for every user. This is what we should be having now. Instead we get Firewire USB 2,3,4?...Etc.

The best part about this, is all the negative Hype. Unlike Apple where you get nothing for all the hype, only to make you wait for the best final versions. With Optical We will get the best from the outset, and only get better from there :)

0
+ -

TOSLINK is only used to carry digital audio. It is not used for video. TOSLINK is only good over short distances, and the bandwidth is about the same as an RCA cable (i.e., low)

0
+ -

I am hoping I read your statement wrong but optical and laser are the same thing. I am not knocking the ability to use the stated speeds just the means in which they are proceeding to do it. Cat 6 cable can send 10GB/s gauranteed up to 75 feet with the possibility of 150feet if not bundled with other cables. Cat 6a up to 300 feet. Cat 6 is a copper cable that can withstand harsher treatment and is less expensive. So why would you push for fiber optic in the home when the other options are better suited? I love fiber optics don't get me wrong. It's how I make a living but it's not suited for everywhere.

0
+ -

to marius malek and nelsoncp i think you both got it wrong its 10gb not 10GB..So its more like 1GB

Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: