Last week, Steve Jobs responded to a Mac owner’s question about future USB 3.0 support by saying that Cupertino didn’t see it taking off yet, specifically because Intel has yet to support it.
When we reported that story, we speculated that Apple might view USB 3.0 as a technology that may — like Blu-Ray — be technically superior to what preceded it, but would be quickly made obsolete by an entirely different approach. In Blu-Ray’s case, streaming video came along; in USB 3.0’s case, we suspected it would be Light Peak, a new optical cable technology that Intel is working on that would be a single universal replacement for pretty much any digital cable out there, from USB to SATA to HDMI.
Maybe we were right. According to Cnet, Light Peak is on target for a 2011 debut, and Apple is expected to start shipping machines with that standard in the first year.
We’re guessing that Cnet’s right on the money here: if Apple embraces Light Peak — and they have long been rumored to be one of the main forces behind the standard’s creation — it’ll vastly simplify the many different buses inside their machines. They’re going to want to move on from the past as quickly as the market will allow.
Either way, Light Peak is going to blow USB 3.0 out of the water: it supports transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, which is nearly triple that of USB 3.0. Why settle for less when Apple can wait a year and revolutionize once again?