Intel has been working on Light Peak, an optical interconnect technology that in its initial form can run at 10 Gbps full duplex (10 Gbps in each direction). Originally demoed using a modified Mac Pro motherboard, Intel has shrunk the technology to fit within a MacBook Pro.
Intel provided a live demonstration of the new Light Peak technology running within the laptop by having the laptop send two separate HD video streams to external monitors, which were able to display the videos with no apparent lag or issues.
Intel expects the technology to replace USB and FireWire, as well as the various video display connection systems now in use. It expects to have commercially available hardware by the end of the year.
If Light Peak lives up to the demos, Apple, which is believed to be one of the original parties involved in design specifications, would be able to replace all of the connectors on its portables with just one or two Light Peak connectors. The space saving would allow even smaller form factor notebooks without giving up peripheral support or connectivity.