CES 2010: Macs will have Light Peak by end 2010

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Marx55, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Marx55 macrumors 65816

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    #1
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #2
    Light Peak looks like it has a lot of potential, but I just see problems with the potential for floundering. Apple has a great idea for an interface that replaces almost everything else, but... in practice, what is going to happen? There is going to be a lot of resistance to a device without USB. And Mac users already have made it clear that they will be upset if a device doesn't have Firewire. Not to mention that they will want eSATA and continue to want the SD slots Apple has been adding recently. It might replace MDP, but then it will probably have a really expensive dongle to convert back to DVI or VGA.

    So, I see them having a lot of problems trying to simplify down to a computer that has fewer kinds of ports, and if anything, moving in the opposite direction.
     
  3. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #3
    What I see as a problem: What needs such huge bandwidth requirements?
     
  4. Marx55 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Super Hi-Vision

    Ultra High Definition (UHD), Ultra High Definition Video (UHDV), Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV)[1], Extreme Definition Video and 8K is an experimental digital video format, currently proposed by NHK of Japan, British Sky Broadcasting, and RAI.

    The new format has a resolution of 7680 × 4320 pixels, four times as wide and four times as high (for a total of 16 times the pixel resolution) as existing HDTV, which has a maximum resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will be starting a public-private partnership to develop technology for SHV in the hopes of setting an international standard for Super Hi-Vision in addition to broadcasting with it beginning in TBC.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Hi-Vision
     
  5. Thunderbird macrumors 6502a

    Thunderbird

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    I really don't see the problem. Once Light Peak gets established, and does everything all the other formats do only a lot faster, in time no one will bother with e-SATA, firewire, USB, HTMI, DVI, etc. Why would they? During the transition I'm sure Apple, Dell, Asus, etc will still offer computers and other devices with most of the current connectors along with LightPeak to provide choice and compatibility during the transition.
     
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #6
    Or maybe an adapter. I could see Apple dropping FW if it provided a LP dongle that offered a FW port, as long as you could still use TDM and boot from a FW drive. Or they could drop DP and offer a LP->DP dongle. Or ethernet. Any one of those could be dropped and replaced with a dongle as many users use only a subset of their ports. USB must remain, however.
     
  7. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    And we won't see consumer level displays of that caliber for another five years at a minimum.

    Apple has already adopted DisplayPort, which will pretty much become standard for the next 5+ years and offers plenty of bandwidth to grow on for higher-than-WQUXGA resolutions.

    USB 3 has already made it to market with devices now available for purchase from a variety of manufacturers, and is already pretty much at the max of what the supporting chipsets can handle. USB 3 ports are also backwards compatible with the entire universe of USB devices.

    eSATA, while still obscure in the land of Apple, is becoming more and more common on PC's and external hard drives.

    So this rush to get an obscure and useless port on the side of there machines seems odd.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #8
    I think 5 years is being extremely optimistic. NHK, which likes getting the 'wow factor' at conventions, started showing off HD back in the 80's and 25yrs later it's just now really taking hold. The broadcast industry just finished spending billions to switch to HD so I don't think they'll be too keen on spending billions again to upgrade in the near future and the internet will have to beef up a ton if anyone is thinking about streaming images that big.


    Lethal
     
  9. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    I was thinking more along the lines of computer displays. I probably chose the wrong words when saying "consumer level".

    Right now for several thousand dollars you can buy yourself a 4K display from Sharp or Toshiba, so it is in the realm of possibility that we could see even higher resolution displays on the market in a few more years utilizing multiple HD-SDIH or DisplayPort links. However these are not the sort of displays one will be driving off of their Macbook.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...6QHD_4_P56QHD_4_56_Ultra_High_Definition.html As a side note, this display is theoretically capable of being driven by a single display port cable.

    Where lightpeak shines is as a very high speed serial data bus between multiple outboard devices where the sum of all activity on the bus could be higher than what a single USB 3 controller could support. At the consumer level there simply isn't and won't be the need for this kind of capability for a number of years. Where it could be applied, there are currently options already available and widely accepted (storage area networks).
     
  10. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #10
    I see LightPeak as a "backbone" style device.

    People ask "why do you need so much bandwidth?" when they aren't seeing the big picture. There could be just one peripheral port on a Mac in the near future with everything plugged into everything. You could plug your onitor into your Mac, your HDDs into the monitor, your TV into your HDDs, everything into anything.

    No more cable confusion, no more issues of one device slowing down another, its the ultimate in simplified computing.
     
  11. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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  12. MikhailT macrumors 601

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    You do realize it'll make the perfect docking interface? The high bandwidth allows the ability for a laptop to connect to a device with multiple outputs including USB 3.0/FW/DP/SD with just one cable between laptop and that device. Not to mention, if there are new protocols, you won't have to replace your laptop to get it. The docking hub just need to be updated for it, not to mention the hub itself can be included with hardware chipset so that USB overhead processing is not affecting your laptop's performance at all, it'll remain strictly at the hub.

    It's also a perfect solution for very thin devices like the upcoming tablets, allow Apple to thin it down with just two ports, one LightPeek and one power plug.
     
  13. Thunderbird macrumors 6502a

    Thunderbird

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    #13
    Yup. Simplification and all-in-one solutions are why Apple is really high on this technology.
     
  14. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    I don't see why dependence on some sort of adapter or converter is simple.

    The "one cable to rule them all" idea is nice, and maybe someday off in the future that will be possible, but in the mean time there are other devices that use a variety of different interconnects and we all have them.

    So if you're not using light peak as a sole serial bus for all of your peripheral devices, it's just a high speed point to point data connection with way more bandwidth than is currently needed while remaining obscure and not backwards compatible with existing devices.
     
  15. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

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    #15
    This is pie in the sky for this kind of implementation. There are so many problems to overcome when using this kind of technology in small scale.
     
  16. Thunderbird macrumors 6502a

    Thunderbird

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    I don't see why you would need an adapter or converter, unless you're an early adopter. LightPeak would obviously be another port on any given device during the transition. Once it's on every device, and people prefer to use it rather than the other connectors, manufacturers will start dropping the other connectors. How many devices come with parallel ports nowadays? Eventually it may come down to one or two ports, LightPeak and perhaps USB or Firewire. LightPeak doesn't need to be backwards compatible with anything, it's a new conectivity. What was USB 1.0 or Firewire 400 backwards compatible with?
     
  17. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #17
    Since you put link to this post in USB3, I put USB3 link here!

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=742865
    ;)

    Lets keep both posts as unbiased as possible, linking new news as it comes up.

    LightPeak is very new, little posted on the web. IMHO, its still a wait and see product, but it should not be long before some solid info hits the web.


    Really, where you hear that??
     
  18. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    Firewire even in professional environments is disappearing. Even firewire 800 isn't sufficient for real-time capture of 4:4:4 HD video, anyone who is serious about it has moved to pci-express based capture solutions and HD-SDI. It's disappearing off of consumer level laptops, and even Apple has started to lessen it's support for the standard.

    USB 3 like it or not is going to be the next high-speed desktop interface.

    USB came about as a standard to replace older archaic ports which were at the limit of their capabilities. DB-9 RS-232 ports couldn't really support any faster speed than 56200 baud without issues, and the protocol didn't support features like PnP which was a big deal back in 1996.

    Fast forward to today, there are a number of high speed protocols and connectors available on the market today, and USB (the current standard), has not reached the limit of it's capability and is continuing to evolve to keep up increasing bandwidth requirements (USB 3).

    Light Peak is a technology that isn't really new (fiber based high speed communication), and isn't really going to be needed in the next few years.

    So Apple putting the port on their next generation of devices really makes no sense. If they put it on all of their laptops, it's going to end up as an useless port with no devices to attach. If they put it on one product (like the rumored tablet) as a do-it-all port, it's going to require the use of adapters or some sort of docking station to use any other devices with it.
     
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #19
    FW and SDI/HD-SDI fill different niches in the marketplace and have coexisted for a long time. They aren't really competing technologies in the video world.

    A big reason why FW is disappearing off of file-based cameras is not because it's too slow but because it's seen as overkill while USB 2.0 is seen as 'good enough.' If you are playing back from tape you need a nice, steady uninterrupted stream of data, which FW can offer, to avoid dropping frames. But if you are just copying files from a memory card the transfer rate can jump around all it wants and it's not going to hurt anything and USB 2.0 is perfectly acceptable in that role.


    Lethal
     
  20. Thunderbird macrumors 6502a

    Thunderbird

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    Good comments, and I understand your point about LightPeak not being ready yet for prime time. Apple putting LightPeak on the next gen Mac will be useless, unless there are a lot of other devices coming to market with it as well. It's a matter of getting the ball rolling.

    My point about the other connectors was that at one time those connectors were brand new too, and not backwards compatible with anything previous.

    Perhaps it may take LightPeak longer to come to market, but I think it will compete with and eventually replace USB 3.0 (unless there's a USB 4.0 in the works, which might mean the market will settle down to two main popular interfaces).
     
  21. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

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    #22
    My biggest concern about LightPeak is that won't offer enough bandwidth. LightPeak is supposed to allow you plug everything in, including the possibility of plugging numerous things into one port. However, while they say that it has the potential for 100 Gbps, so far they have only showed it running at 10 Gbps. Let's look at some of the things it is supposed to replace:

    Ethernet: Currently runs at speeds in excess of 1 Gbps
    USB2: 480 Mbps
    Firewire: 800 Mbps
    Dual link DVI: 7.2 Gbps

    We are already around 10 Gbps, and all of these things are certain to need higher bandwidth in the future - especially video because at 7.2 Gbps dual link DVI is already unable to display 4k video resolution or 3D 1080p.
     
  22. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #23
    FireWire is solidly in the Pro A/V market, I have not seen anything replacing it yet. Canon, for instance, has brand new $4000++ video cameras using only FW. It is also easily found on new external HDD, but it is true the variety of consumer devices with FW is diminishing.

    USB2 is a true upgrade to USB1.
    USB3 is a completely new protocol deign that functions more like FW does, and it supports USB2 by including a separate hardware branch just for USB2.

    FW800 is a full-duplex version of FW400, so in effect its the same.

    Obviously there will be products for LP. Whats the use of any port if no one makes stuff for it. Happened with USB1.1
     
  23. Cerniuk macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Light Peak vs FireWire

    Have to agree. I saw Light Peak at CES. And while the demo guy was snooty (lets call him Barbie) Light Peak was impressive.

    I am a big fan of FireWire's design and Light Peak has a similar peer to peer architecture that eliminates the USB bottle neck of slave devices. I am really looking forward to flushing the others and finally going with a distributed motherboard architecture that we were promised in 1987 by AT&T labs with their Light Processors.
     
  24. Pkunk macrumors newbie

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    #25
    I can see this being a great replacement for internal stuff like HDD's and for ethernet.
    One thing i see as a SERIOUS show stopper is to this replacing USB.

    Does lightpeak provide 5V 0.4A to devices like USB does? I guess not so no way things like a mouse or external HDD will function with this unless you start using batteries. :rolleyes:
     

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