Intel's Light Peak won't actually use fiber-optics in its initial incarnation, sources are claiming, instead relying on more mundane copper connections. According to CNET's tipster, billed as "an industry source familiar with Intel's plans," when Light Peak arrives in the first half of 2011 it will have to wait until a later update to actually use light-based communications.
The exact reason for the delay is unspecified, with CNET only saying that "practical realities dictate more conventional technology" be used. It's speculated that this could mean Intel is unclear whether fiber optic cables will have the same resilience to everyday use as regular cabling, or if careless users might accidentally crack the lightpipes.
According to the source, data speeds - up to 10 gigabits per second, with simultaneous bi-directional communication supported - will not be impacted by the use of copper. Sony and Apple are tipped to be among the first companies to use Light Peak, which is being billed as a catch-all alternative to USB, ethernet, display connections and more.