While fiber-optic links themselves are nothing new, with Light Peak Intel is aiming at providing a standard that could see just about anything you plug into a PC using just one type of cable. The technology, demonstrated today at IDF, would allow data to be carried at 10 gigabits per second (full duplex) for up to 100 meters, with Intel believing that could jump to 100Gbps in the next decade. Cables using the technology could be used to connect just about anything, from monitors to external drives or any other peripheral you could think of.
It is an ambitious goal to essentially replace all of the connection standards we are familiar with (USB, DVI, HDMI etc.) with a single cable, but Intel are working with the industry in an attempt to get it standardized. The cables themselves are apparently durable ("you can tie a knot in it and it'll still work" according to Intel's Jason Ziller) and could include copper wire to provide power to devices. The components for the technology will reportedly be ready sometime next year, though it may be a bit (or a lot) longer before we see any PCs with Light Peak ports. For now we will have to make do with the impending appearance of USB 3.0.