Intel has built a laptop to show off its Light Peak technology - an interconnect that promises to deliver transfer rates of 10Gbits per second in both directions, over an optical link. The idea is to replace technologies like HDMI, USB, Firewire, and DisplayPort with a universal optical connector that has enough bandwidth to serve multiple displays at the same time.
For demonstrative purposes, Intel has built a USB cable that also integrates Light Peak, showing it delivering two different HD streams to two different displays over one cable at the same time, with no noticeable lag. Laptops will require a 12mm chip to be installed before they can decode the light signals into the appropriate electrical data.
Intel's chief technology officer, Justin Rattner, reckons that 10Gbits/s is just the start - "Light Peak begins at 10Gbits/sec, simultaneously in both directions. We expect to increase that speed dramatically. You'll see multiple displays being served by a single Light Peak connection. There's almost no limit to the bandwidth - fibres can carry trillions of bits per second".
Light Peak should begin to become available to manufacturers towards the end of 2010, so look out for it arriving in products within the next few years.