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Monday February 21, 2011 4:36 pm
Will the new MacBook Pro sport Light Peak?
It's time to insert another quarter in the Apple rumor-machine. In addition to the rumored Macbook Pro refresh coming in a week or two—we've reported a possible March 1 date for an introduction of Intel's Sandy Bridge CPU lineup into the line, though other sites are indicating that this could occur as early as February 24—it's time to throw a new connector into the fray as well.
CNet is reporting that an undisclosed source has told the site that Apple plans to introduce a new connection technology "soon." The site then goes on to speculate that this may or may not be a part of the rumored Macbook refresh—rumors upon rumors!—and that the technology may or may not be the Apple-renamed version of Intel's Light Peak connection technology.
Just to refresh, Apple's been balking at adding USB 3.0 to its product lineups for some time now. "We don't see USB 3 taking off at this time. No support from Intel, for example," Apple CEO Steve Jobs allegedly replied when asked about USB 3.0 in an e-mailed question by a customer last year.
In response, many—CNet included, in this case—have speculated that Intel's Light Peak will be the next connection tech Apple picks up. Light Peak, first promised to use fiber optic cabling but instead unveiled with copper wires, is expected to deliver a maximum, bi-directional transfer rate of 10 gigabits per second during its first incarnation. That's more than double the maximum throughput provided by USB 3.0 (4.8 gigabits per second), and does much to contribute to Intel's dream of a "Light Peak hub."
To put that in real-world terms, the "hub" would be akin to using Light Peak to connect one's computer to one's monitor, which would supply the display with both its video signals and the bandwidth needed to support a variety of other connection options (FireWire, USB, etc.) on the monitor itself.
Both Apple and Sony have been named as early adopters of Intel's tech. But, as we noted, there's no indication that you'll be seeing this new connection type on Apple's rumored Macbook refresh—it's all speculation right now, although Intel has stated that it expects to see its connection tech hit the consumer market at some point in the first half of 2011. If that's not now, consumers won't have that much longer to wait, at least.
This article, written by David Murphy, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc..
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