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.