Barence writes "Intel has unveiled yet another high-speed optical interface – before its long-awaited Light Peak connector has even reached the market. The Light Peak optical interconnect can transfer data at 10Gbps in both directions, and is touted as an all-in-one replacement for USB, DisplayPort, and HDMI. The new interface uses an indium phosphide hybrid laser inside the controller chip — a process that Intel calls silicon photonics — rather than using a separate optical module, as with Light Peak. And by encoding data at 12.5Gbits/sec across four laser beams of differing wavelengths, the connector yields a total bandwidth of 50Gbps, five times that offered by Light Peak. 'This is not a technology that's ten years away, but maybe three to five years,' Intel fellow Mario Paniccia announced. 'Light Peak, as we've stated, will launch next year.'"
HotHardware quotes Intel in more detail
on the difference between the two programs: "This research is separate from Intel's Light Peak technology... Light Peak is an effort to bring a multi-protocol 10Gbps optical connection to Intel client platforms for nearer-term applications. Silicon Photonics research aims to use silicon integration to bring dramatic cost reductions, reach tera-scale data rates, and bring optical communications to an even broader set of high-volume applications."