CNET News is reporting that Light Peak is on track to appear in products in the first half of 2011. Light Peak is an optical cable interface, with a high bandwidth of 10Gbit/s (potentially scale up to 100Gbit/2), that is developed as a universal replacement for USB, SCSI, SATA, FireWire, PCI Express and HDMI.
Apple is the one who brought the Light Peak concept to Intel, with Intel developing and producing the technology. It is safe bet that Apple will be among the first to use it on Mac. Light Peak has the potential of becoming universal only when Intel put the technology into its chipset. That’s how USB 2 gained widespread usage when Intel put it into its chipset in 2002.
As for USB 3, Intel is half-hearted in its support as there is no support for USB 3 in Intel chipset yet. Intel is still committed to USB 3 but there are speculation that we will see USB 3 in Intel chipset as far out as 2012. USB 3 is available only in selected models of computers from HP, Dell and Asus. The adoption so far has not been rapid and widespread.
It is evident that Apple and Intel see Light Peak as a replacement for USB 2. We should see Mac sporting Light Peak port as standard from 2011 onwards. Mac will still comes with USB 2 ports during the transition to Light Peak technology, and we do not expect USB 3 to appear on a Mac.
People normally do not upgrade their Mac or MacBook every year, unless you are the fortunate one who can afford so. A three year-old Mac is still very much usable for common day-to-day tasks due to an efficient Mac OS X, upgrade is inevitable eventually.
Some people hold on to their Mac purchase, mostly convinced by Apple rumor mill that a new Mac release is imminent. For us, anytime is a good time to buy a Mac since you can not always catch up with technologies. But it is always wise to look after your pocket by looking a bit farther on the horizon and plan the schedule for your purchase.
We look at few technologies that are likely to make it into Macs and MacBook by end of this year or in 2010.
### USB 3
At 10 times the bandwidth of the current ubiquitous USB2.0, the third iteration is poised to appear in consumer products in 2010. With a speed of roughly 5Gbps, USB 3 may well spell the death nail for Firewire as one of standard ports in Macs.
### SATA 3
SATA3 spec is [officially completed and released 2 days ago](http://www.sata-io.org/documents/SATA-Revision-3.0-Press-Release-FINAL-052609.pdf) by the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO). The new spec boost the transfer speed to 6 Gbps and is backward compatible with existing SATA devices.
SATA 3 is a natural upgrade to be the next standard in hard disk interface. SATA3 hard disk is expected to be widely available by end of this year. Apple might lead the industry to be the first to adopt this as standard in Macs.
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