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Apple to add new high-speed device connection, improving on USB, FireWire

appleUSB and to a lesser extent FireWire (or IEEE 1394, for non-Apple users) have been the standard PC-to-peripheral connections for more than 10 years now. Now CNET is reporting via “sources” that an announcement is expected from Apple soon relating to a new connection type, a faster one, possibly as soon as this week. There’s some suspicion that a new MacBook Pro announcement is coming on Thursday. Assuming the tech is ready, the MacBook Pro is a likely contender to launch it with.

Intel has been working on a technology called Light Peak for some time now. The original idea was for fiber-optic data transfers, which use light (as the name suggests), but copper was ultimately opted for instead as a more practical solution. CNET’s source reveals that this is the tech that Apple will be using, though with a name other than Light Peak.

The new connection type is a significant improvement over the current standards, even the latest USB 3.0. Intel has said that exchanging light for copper has no effect on Light Peak’s data transfer rates, which tops out at 10 gigabits per second. Compare this to USB 3.0, which goes up to 5 gigabits per second. Actual transfer times tend to run longer than the max rated number suggests, but twice the speed is twice the speed all the same. Apple’s coming announcement still qualifies as a rumor, make no mistake, but you can bet on the fact that a new connection type is definitely coming in some form, sometime soon.

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