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Apple to announce new high-speed connector for Macs, report claims

post #1 of 61
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Apple is on the verge of introducing a new high-speed connection to some of its Mac computing lines, according to report that speculates the announcement could accompany revised MacBook Pros expected as early as next week.

Citing a source with knowledge of the matter, CNet guesses that the technology may actually be Intel's much-anticipated Light Peak connector rebranded under a different marketing name chosen by Apple.

The publication, however, hedges its bets on a timeframe for the rollout, saying it could come as early as this week alongside updates to Apple's MacBook Pro line or sometime further down the road.

If the technology is scheduled to make its debut alongside Apple's new notebooks, the rumor would coincide with claims made by AppleInsider's sources that new MacBook Pros expected in the coming days will sport significant feature enhancements outside of the expected move to Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture. It could also explain an earlier report that claimed the new notebooks would sport minor modifications to their chassis design.

Light Peak is a high-speed optical cable technology developed by Intel that has been widely expected to make its debut on personal computers and peripherals sometime during the first half of 2011. It supports bandwidth of 10Gbps, with the possibility of scaling up to 100Gbps in the future. A full-length Blu-Ray movie could transfer over Light Peak in less than 30 seconds, Intel states on its website.

At least one report dating back over a year claimed that Apple was actually the driving force behind Light Peak, using its influence to push Intel to develop the concept because it wanted the new standard to play "a hugely important role" in future products, replacing a variety of existing ports, including USB, FireWire, and DisplayPort.

Unlike bulky copper cables (like HDMI), Light Peak achieves its speeds over fibre optic strands the size of a human hair. And unlike existing ports focused on solving a specific problem, such as USB for simple peripherals, DisplayPort for video, SATA for disk drives, and Ethernet for networking, Light Peak can handle multiple protocols over a single cable.

Using optical rather than electrical signaling to achieve an initial throughput of 10Gbps, the technology is similar to high-end optical Fibre Channel or HDMI, and ten times faster than Gigibit Ethernet, more than twenty times faster than USB 2.0, and three times faster than eSATA/SATA 300. Within a decade, Intel expects to achieve speeds of 100 Gbps through a successive revision to the technology.



Replacing nearly all of the external ports on existing notebooks or mobile devices with Light Peak would enable a new generation of industrial designs without sacrificing features, as the MacBook Air had to do to achieve its thin outline. It would also enable users to run a single cable to an external display to provide video, audio, touch input, and peripheral expansion that included blazing network performance and high speed disk access.

Rumors have also suggested that within a year of launching Light Peak for Macs, Apple anticipates rolling out a low power version suitable for use in mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPod touch, and the iPad.



As recently as last week, AppleInsider discovered a new patent request from Apple that provided evidence the Mac maker was exploring the addition of an optical signal path for future MagSafe connectors on Macs, allowing the magnetic port to send and receive data, as well as power the device. It joined a similar patent awarded to the company last fall.

For a better understanding of Light Peak and how it will help shape the future of Apple's hardware products, please see AppleInsider's feature report: Why Apple is betting on Light Peak with Intel: a love story.
post #2 of 61
So if Apple's going to rename this, what would they call it?

Can't use the Air- prefix, as that's wireless stuff, i- doesn't make any sense, Face- is even more silly.

Oh! QuickPort!

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post #3 of 61
Usb 4.0
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 61
How about Lightwire?

Is this an open standard? Proprietary to Intel under license to Apple? Wasn't Firewire an Apple moniker for an open standard that it spearheaded that Sony also adopted and called i.Link? Would this be the same sort of thing but with Intel being the spearhead?
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post #5 of 61
Looks like the strange extra little port seen on iPad 2 cases is gonna be a new light peak connector. Even more cool is it will be a combination MagSafe power connector. This new MagSafe light peak connector would then appear on all the new iOS products and eventually when light peak becomes widely available on computers they can safely lose the old dock connector.
post #6 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post

Looks like the strange extra little port seen on iPad 2 cases is gonna be a new light peak connector. Even more cool is it will be a combination MagSafe power connector. This new MagSafe light peak connector would then appear on all the new iOS products and eventually when light peak becomes widely available on computers they can safely lose the old dock connector.

That would be great. Doubtful, though.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #7 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A full-length Blu-Ray movie could transfer over Light Peak in less than 30 seconds, Intel states on its website.

Who has that kind of time???
post #8 of 61
apple is going to put light peak in everything, especial the IOS devices. imagine what an advantage your next iphone or ipad would have if you could hook it up to a magsafe power and data connector hub that had usb, and sd card readers as well as what ever other connectors one may need.

Also apple has filed a couple patents and i believe wants to remove all the ports from the laptop and move them to a "lightpeak hub" of sorts.
post #9 of 61
So what will I be able to connect to my Mac with light peak? I no of no devices on the market that use it. I would much rather see USB 3.0 honestly.

There is only that much space for ports on a MacBook, having a port other then USB or firewire would be a waste of space without peripherals that connect to such port.
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post #10 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

So what will I be able to connect to my Mac with light peak? I no of no devices on the market that use it. I would much rather see USB 3.0 honestly.

There is only that much space for ports on a MacBook, having a port other then USB or firewire would be a waste of space without peripherals that connect to such port.

Light peak is multi functional. its not a bout the "connector" its about for the first time a company can create a port hub with all the essential ports on it and connect it to your computer using only the light peak connector. that includes power and data.
post #11 of 61
"So what will I be able to connect to my Mac with light peak? I no of no devices on the market that use it. I would much rather see USB 3.0 honestly."

Confirming the tale of Henry Ford asked about going into production with the Model T without sufficiently surveying the needs of Americans:

"They would have asked me to build a faster horse."
post #12 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

That would be great. Doubtful, though.

They filed a patent for just this type of connection, a MagSafe connector with integrated fiberoptic data. That connection only makes sense for a device meant to dock with a computer. What seems doubtful to me is that the mysterious extra iPad 2 port would be anything else.
post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post

They filed a patent for just this type of connection, a MagSafe connector with integrated fiberoptic data. That connection only makes sense for a device meant to dock with a computer. What seems doubtful to me is that the mysterious extra iPad 2 port would be anything else.

Yes, But apple is always seeking to make there laptops thinner, lighter, better faster, longer battery. so they want to remove all the ports from the laptop and move them into that magsafe lightpeak hub of sorts. so they free up room on the MotherBoard for other things.
post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

So what will I be able to connect to my Mac with light peak? I no of no devices on the market that use it. I would much rather see USB 3.0 honestly.

There is only that much space for ports on a MacBook, having a port other then USB or firewire would be a waste of space without peripherals that connect to such port.

Just like when apple made USB standard on all macs. There were no accessories, everybody was either using ps/2 or adb. Everybody (apple haters) claim that it's apples plot to get all the stupid Mac users to buy their overpriced USB keyboards.
post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post

They filed a patent for just this type of connection, a MagSafe connector with integrated fiberoptic data.

They have filed many patents.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #16 of 61
Mac OS X Lion. I want window-zoom changed to "fullscreen" button. I want decent native mouse-tracking software. I want AirPlay built into QuickTime.

Just out of interest, what is mouse tracking software?
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post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff circa 1997 View Post

So what will I be able to connect to my Mac with USB? I no of no devices on the market that use it. I would much rather see ADB honestly.

Hmm. I wonder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquajets1 View Post

This should result in an instant ban.

i know. but its fun to mock stuff like that.

Edit your posts instead of multi-posting, use the quote feature to quote posts.

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post #18 of 61
The Mag Connector with built-in Light Peak is brilliant. Apple has never been big on docking stations... With this combo they've obsoleted everyone else's. Remember, Light Peaknsupports multiple protocols on one wire.

You could have a simple wall powerr plug that comes up to a small breakout box with pwr converter, 2 USB, 2 light peak, a FireWire and an hdmi connector.... And a single skinny wire that connects to your MacBook. Only one port on the Mac for everything.

You could leave peripherals connected to the power/breakout module at work and home and just connect the Mag Connector to your MacBook.

Brilliant!

Jim
post #19 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post

Looks like the strange extra little port seen on iPad 2 cases is gonna be a new light peak connector. Even more cool is it will be a combination MagSafe power connector. This new MagSafe light peak connector would then appear on all the new iOS products and eventually when light peak becomes widely available on computers they can safely lose the old dock connector.

Nice dream but I don't see it happening on the iPad 2 (which sounds more like an iPad 1.5 with 2 coming this fall). I think this will probably show up on the Mac Pro, the MBP, MB then iPad/iPhone. It does kinda depend on how well Intel has implemented this (ideally as part of a processor) and if not a single chip (as opposed to a set i.e., like they have done with SATA, GUI, Mem Ctrl, FP, etc... which all started life as add-ons). What would be really great but much less likely would be something that could be licensed and included in SoC like the A5 maybe (might as well dream big, if I am gonna dream at all). Has Intel ever produced a chip or chip set that they then licensed to allow it to be included on someone else's product (not talking technology or patent licensing here but actual die)?
post #20 of 61
I hate to use the line from Philadelphia, but would somebody please explain this to me like I'm a 4 year old?

Right now on, say, the tower Mac, I would have a power cord, the GbE cord, the HDMI/DP cord to the monitor, and cord to the analog speakers, and some USB cords (external HDD, KB/mouse). If the KB/mouse is BT, then I don't even have that. How, exactly, does "LightPeak" or any other connector reduce this?

Can I eliminate power cable? No
Can it replace the Ethernet? No - unless there is some adapter in my wall.
Can it replace the monitor cable and maybe a USB cable to the monitor for expansion? Yes.
Can it replace the speaker wire? No - unless there is an adapter to my speakers.
Can it replace the USB to external HDD? No.

So, I still have a bunch of wires, except maybe I reduced one with a new "unified" cable to my monitor.

I'm not seeing the value here, folks. And it makes even less sense for an iMac. If the iMac is connected to the internet via WiFi and KB/mouse via BT, then I only have a power cord, and maybe a USB cable to an external HDD for time machine. Can't replace those.

In a laptop, at best I get something that combines monitor and USB.

The whole thing makes no sense from a unification of cables. At best, it allows some things to be faster. So, LP as an alternative to USB3 or eSata, maybe.

What am I missing?
post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So if Apple's going to rename this, what would they call it?

Can't use the Air- prefix, as that's wireless stuff, i- doesn't make any sense, Face- is even more silly.

Oh! QuickPort!

FireWire rebranded to use the i-prefix: iReWire.
post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bojennett View Post

I hate to use the line from Philadelphia, but would somebody please explain this to me like I'm a 4 year old?

Right now on, say, the tower Mac, I would have a power cord, the GbE cord, the HDMI/DP cord to the monitor, and cord to the analog speakers, and some USB cords (external HDD, KB/mouse). If the KB/mouse is BT, then I don't even have that. How, exactly, does "LightPeak" or any other connector reduce this?

Can I eliminate power cable? No
Can it replace the Ethernet? No - unless there is some adapter in my wall.
Can it replace the monitor cable and maybe a USB cable to the monitor for expansion? Yes.
Can it replace the speaker wire? No - unless there is an adapter to my speakers.
Can it replace the USB to external HDD? No.

So, I still have a bunch of wires, except maybe I reduced one with a new "unified" cable to my monitor.

I'm not seeing the value here, folks. And it makes even less sense for an iMac. If the iMac is connected to the internet via WiFi and KB/mouse via BT, then I only have a power cord, and maybe a USB cable to an external HDD for time machine. Can't replace those.

In a laptop, at best I get something that combines monitor and USB.

The whole thing makes no sense from a unification of cables. At best, it allows some things to be faster. So, LP as an alternative to USB3 or eSata, maybe.

What am I missing?

Youve thought up the most convoluted and complex option and then said this just work work. When you think of why you should think about it from the perspective of those creating it. That may mean thinking outside your comfort zone.

Mac notebook users that also have their LED Cinema Display this would be great. That is ONE cable with multiple connectors. This isnt bad, but it could be better. Having ONE cable with only ONE port would make this much easier to connect and disconnect.

Also note that optical cabling will be the standard one day, but it also needs to supply power (the downfall of eSATA). For this to happen it needs to have copper. This is also true of Apples 30-pin connector. Even thought LightPeak is protocol agnostic both devices need to understand the physical medium involved. This means a change from copper to optical, and this will not be a fast or smooth transition unless there is cable that offers optical, copper for signaling and copper for power into the same connector.
post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

..... Gigibit Ethernet...

Bonjour, ma Gigi. Pourrais-je vous offrir a boire?
post #24 of 61
What will the Apple brand name for it be? iPort?

There was an article some time ago about the first revision using copper instead of fibre. If that's true it would explain the need for not using "Light Peak."
post #25 of 61
Peakachu
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post #26 of 61
If you look at the side of the current Macbook Pro, the Ethernet connector is the single thickest connector on it. With Apple's current focus on thinness at all costs, that connector is most likely the first to get replaced by a combined optical port.
post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by xampl9 View Post

If you look at the side of the current Macbook Pro, the Ethernet connector is the single thickest connector on it. With Apple's current focus on thinness at all costs, that connector is most likely the first to get replaced by a combined optical port.

Or just some special port that is copper but allows for multiple connection types to be used… like LightPeak. Sell an adapter for Gb Ethernet and you’re set. People will complain that they have to use an adapter but I haven’t use Ethernet in years on MBPs. I’ve used an optical drive more recently than Ethernet. I bet the average consumer isn’t plugging their notebook into Ethernet at home either.
post #28 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

How about Lightwire?

Is this an open standard? Proprietary to Intel under license to Apple? Wasn't Firewire an Apple moniker for an open standard that it spearheaded that Sony also adopted and called i.Link? Would this be the same sort of thing but with Intel being the spearhead?

Ha! You beat me to the punch. That's my fav, for some reason. Rolls right off the tongue.

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post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Peakachu

That, or TRON

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post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A full-length Blu-Ray movie could transfer over Light Peak in less than 30 seconds, Intel states on its website.

Good luck trying to find a hard drive that can write it to memory that fast. I suppose if you had enough RAM you might be able to get it to transfer that fast.
post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mynameisjoe View Post

Good luck trying to find a hard drive that can write it to memory that fast. I suppose if you had enough RAM you might be able to get it to transfer that fast.

Who said anything about HDD? TRY SSD!
post #32 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bojennett View Post

I hate to use the line from Philadelphia, but would somebody please explain this to me like I'm a 4 year old?

Right now on, say, the tower Mac, I would have a power cord, the GbE cord, the HDMI/DP cord to the monitor, and cord to the analog speakers, and some USB cords (external HDD, KB/mouse). If the KB/mouse is BT, then I don't even have that. How, exactly, does "LightPeak" or any other connector reduce this?

Can I eliminate power cable? No
Can it replace the Ethernet? No - unless there is some adapter in my wall.
Can it replace the monitor cable and maybe a USB cable to the monitor for expansion? Yes.
Can it replace the speaker wire? No - unless there is an adapter to my speakers.
Can it replace the USB to external HDD? No.

So, I still have a bunch of wires, except maybe I reduced one with a new "unified" cable to my monitor.

I'm not seeing the value here, folks. And it makes even less sense for an iMac. If the iMac is connected to the internet via WiFi and KB/mouse via BT, then I only have a power cord, and maybe a USB cable to an external HDD for time machine. Can't replace those.

In a laptop, at best I get something that combines monitor and USB.

The whole thing makes no sense from a unification of cables. At best, it allows some things to be faster. So, LP as an alternative to USB3 or eSata, maybe.

What am I missing?

Look at the machine it'll be on first - the MacBoo Pro with an Apple display.

Can I eliminate power cable? Yes
Can it replace the Ethernet? Lightpeak potentially lets this plug into the display
Can it replace the monitor cable and maybe a USB cable to the monitor for expansion? Yes.
Can it replace the speaker wire? Again, it presumably lets this plug into the display.
Can it replace the USB to external HDD? Again, it lets this plug into the display (and lets future hard drives connect with the faster lightpeak instead of usb).

So you only have 1 cable to connect/disconnect when you move a macbook pro. There's also the possibility that lightpeak would allow a macbook pro to connect to more than one external display. Why should a the need for a smaller machine, thus display, when traveling limit the size of your displays on your desktop.
post #33 of 61
Sheez, what a crappy looking lab. Looked like the back room of a Radio Shack circa 1991! Or a Windows desktop computer setup!

Oh, well. Me personally, if it means less cables and pwr bricks, then good. I sure don't want my office looking like that geek lab!

iPhone 5, iPad 2, a 60" LED HDTV, ATV, maybe a BR player, Time Capsule, my wireless Brother MFC and I'm golden.

No more tech gadgets for me except for the above!

Best
post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

How about Lightwire?

Is this an open standard? Proprietary to Intel under license to Apple? Wasn't Firewire an Apple moniker for an open standard that it spearheaded that Sony also adopted and called i.Link? Would this be the same sort of thing but with Intel being the spearhead?

It's lightwire.
post #35 of 61
LightSpeed...
iWire...
MagSnap...

I could go on... but I don't really want to. I'll just wait to see what's next.

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post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

How about Lightwire?

Is this an open standard? Proprietary to Intel under license to Apple? Wasn't Firewire an Apple moniker for an open standard that it spearheaded that Sony also adopted and called i.Link? Would this be the same sort of thing but with Intel being the spearhead?

It is an IEEE standard, but Apple charged for the name 'Firewire' and so no one used it. That also slowed its adoption and it never really caught on.
post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tshapi View Post

Light peak is multi functional. its not a bout the "connector" its about for the first time a company can create a port hub with all the essential ports on it and connect it to your computer using only the light peak connector. that includes power and data.

And to the orginal post, so what? If nothing will work with it??? USB 3.0 is coming on strong, with lots of support already.
post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

And to the orginal post, so what? If nothing will work with it??? USB 3.0 is coming on strong, with lots of support already.

You dont seem to get it do you? apple is building a mag safe data and power adapter putting all your precious adaptors in there and using a single lightpeak wire to connect that to your computer
post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

And to the orginal post, so what? If nothing will work with it??? USB 3.0 is coming on strong, with lots of support already.

No one knows for sure here. It may very well be that USB 3.0 is the new port.

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post #40 of 61
I like the idea of a single connector on my laptop replacing all the others. I've read the comments above and it seems a few folk are having trouble seeing the advantage because all the other interfaces still have their individual uses. Here is my 2¢ on the matter.

It makes sense for me because my laptop can be smaller/thinner/lighter. It allows me to disconnect from my home setup by removing a single cable for travelling. For Apple it allows them to simplify motherboard design by having just one peripheral i/o to contend with. They can then add all these interfaces to a "hub" that is part of the power cable/brick and churn them out by the millions at a fraction of the cost of implementing them on the motherboards of all the different models they make. They can then sell a second power cable/hub to those of us who travel with our laptops frequently so we can leave the 1st one with all our peripherals connected.

I guess as laptop sales outstrip desktop sales these days that this would have a significant impact on most Apple customers. The advantage, other than blinding speed with compatible peripherals, is not so clear to me for desktops. While it would still be possible to replace those connectors on an iMac or Power Mac with a single combined power/light peak port and a "hub" it would not be so elegant. For this reason I don't see Apple doing that unless they could come up with something really compelling that is beyond my imagination. But I wouldn't bet against that...
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