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Apple to unveil new MacBook Pros 'shortly after' Intel Thunderbolt event Thursday

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
A new report claims that Apple will unveil a refresh to its MacBook Pro lineup 'shortly after' an Intel press event to formally launch the chipmaker's new Light Peak technology, which will reportedly be marketed as Thunderbolt, at 10 a.m. Pacific on Thursday.

According to a Cnet source, the MacBook Pro announcement could come from Apple "shortly after Intel's announcement." Intel issued invitations earlier this week for a press briefing in San Francisco "to discuss a new technology that is about to appear on the market." If true, the timing would break from Apple's usual practice of releasing products at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

That technology is widely believed to be the company's Light Peak optical technology, which sources say will be officially branded as Thunderbolt and is slated for release this spring.

After AppleInsider published details of a new Thunderbolt connector that includes both High-Speed I/O and Mini DisplayPort functionality, more details emerged confirming that Apple plans to implement Intel's technology under the Thunderbolt branding in the upcoming update to the company's MacBook Pro notebook lineup. According to Cnet, the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros will sport discrete graphics chips from AMD to augment Intel's integrated graphics.


MacRumors reports that leaked MacBook Pro packaging reveals that the Thunderbolt trademark actually belongs to Intel, suggesting that the technology and branding could see widespread use beyond Apple's product line.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Intel may have adopted Apple's Mini DisplayPort standard after receiving objections to the use of USB connector from the USB Implementers Forum. USB connectors are not general purpose connectors and are not designed to be used in support of other technology applications or standards or as combo connectors, the group said in a statement last year.

Apple developed the Mini DisplayPort standard several years ago. The connector is backwardly compatible with VGA, DVI, and dual-link DVI displays and capable of driving resolutions up to 2560x1600.

In order to drive adoption of the technology, Apple offered no-fee licenses of the technology before eventually agreeing to license the interface to the Video Electronics Standards Association. VESA officially adopted Mini DisplayPort as part of the DisplayPort standard in 2009.



Recent rumors that Apple is planning to add a Mini DisplayPort jack to the next iPad could mean that Apple's next-generation touchscreen tablet may make use of the new Thunderbolt technology. The Cupertino, Calif., company is expected to unveil an update to the iPad on March 2 at a media event in San Francisco.



A series of patents from Apple reveal that the company is investigating an all-in-one power, optical data and display connector. One invention utilizes a MagSafe connection to route power, networking and DVI signals to a combination power brick and port hub. Last week, AppleInsider discovered a patent for a magnetic connection that combines power and data.



For more information on Apple's imminent MacBook Pro refresh, see AppleInsider's information archive and rumor roundup.
post #2 of 33
I feel like I might be missing something obvious, but I'm still left confused when this and a couple of other articles have shown and mentioned the mini-display port as being the light peak i/o -- and then go on to mention magsafe and show what looks like the magsafe power input. Are both ports to make use of light peak? It's almost as if the last bit of the article is a near non-sequitor from the rest.
post #3 of 33
If the USB-IF really said that then I don’t think they are too bright if they wish to maintain their dominance for computer port interfaces.

Ironically, USB was first developed and invented by Ajay Bhatt while working for Intel.
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undecided View Post

I feel like I might be missing something obvious, but I'm still left confused when this and a couple of other articles have shown and mentioned the mini-display port as being the light peak i/o -- and then go on to mention magsafe and show what looks like the magsafe power input. Are both ports to make use of light peak? It's almost as if the last bit of the article is a near non-sequitor from the rest.

I think its just a different patent whose only connection is the ability to transmit data.

Maybe Apple will also update their Cinema Displays so that a single power cable/optical cable will all that will be needed for full docking using optical version of Light Peak for any and all digital protocols, leaving the other ports to do their thing as needed but I doubt that would happen in this next revision.
post #5 of 33
Wow actually I hadn't considered this, but if the iPad 2's mini-display port is actually a LightPeak port instead, that could help drive adoption of the standard much faster than including it on MBP would.

If LightPeak also does video and the iPad 2 supports that, then this would be a really powerful thing. This would be quite the leg up and selling point for the iPad 2, to have what is probably the most advanced external port on a consumer device.
post #6 of 33
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post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

I think its just a different patent whose only connection is the ability to transmit data.

Maybe Apple will also update their Cinema Displays so that a single power cable/optical cable will all that will be needed for full docking using optical version of Light Peak for any and all digital protocols, leaving the other ports to do their thing as needed but I doubt that would happen in this next revision.

That's what I was thinking. Much like FireWire, Light Peak doesn't necessarily have to go over a specific type of cable. Apple could simply put a Thunderbolt hub in the display and run all of the data (including the embedded video signal) through that one connector.
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post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undecided View Post

I feel like I might be missing something obvious, but I'm still left confused when this and a couple of other articles have shown and mentioned the mini-display port as being the light peak i/o -- and then go on to mention magsafe and show what looks like the magsafe power input. Are both ports to make use of light peak? It's almost as if the last bit of the article is a near non-sequitor from the rest.

The "obvious" thing your missing is those were all _rumors_.

Apple did indeed file a patent to include fiber optics in a MagSafe connector. That doesn't mean they developed it into a product, although they might still do so someday.

The other item that seems to be missing is that a key development feature of Light Peak was to be multi-protocol (intended to be able to carry anything such as video usb, sata, etc...). Further what seems to be forgotten is that while Intel developed it to work over fiber with a future top speed to 100Gbps, they also said the first implementations might be on copper.

My guess at this point is that Thuderbolt will be the copper implementation of Light Peak and will run at 10 Gbps. MDP is a sensible choice for it since display port was already designed to be extensible (others have already run USB over Display Port).

Certainly the rumors sites are not doing a good job of explaining this and are confusing the issue by continuing to mention the MagSafe+Fiber patent.

I for one am disappointed that Apple isn't including USB3 next to Thunderbolt. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that the 15" MBP will at least have an option to ditch the optical drive in favor of a dual SSD/HDD... Two days ago I set aside $3k and planned a trip to the Apple store (45 min. drive) for Thursday with the intention of buying a new 15" MBP. I couldn't be more serious about buying one, but from the specs revealed in the last 24 hours that may be a futile trip where I decided to again hold off another year and nurse my 2008 15" MBP (6GB/2.5 Ghz IC2Duo) along another year.

Still hoping for a 15" MacBook Pro Air...
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb510 View Post

....My guess at this point is that Thuderbolt will be the copper implementation of Light Peak and will run at 10 Gbps....
.... I for one am disappointed that Apple isn't including USB3 next to Thunderbolt....

The million dollar question for me is:
If they're so proud of LightPeak over ThunderBolt, and if it truly can run any protocol natively in its first iteration. Then why is there only one ThunderBolt port on there? Why isn't FireWire (that would probably benefit from a ThunderBolt-FW HUB in terms of total bandwidth when more than one FW device is connected) and Ethernet (that is probably not used so much in these WiFi days anyways) replaced with ThunderBolt ports? Native USB is still gonna be handy for ease of use and true plug and play with standard cables.
My guess is that they will just try it out first with support for MiniDisplayPort with USB on the same cable in its first iteration.
post #10 of 33
Still don't get why they would release new MBPs today ahead of a media event next week. Why not just release them at the media event so they can make a song and dance about how revolutionary Thunderbolt is. Ok they're incremental updates but hey a new MBP is still a new MBP. I really hope those rumours about a complete redesign for the next version are true. I'm well sick of shiny silver now, seems like it's been around forever. I'm starting to look rather enviably at the array of great looking PCs in the shops.
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by REC View Post

Wow actually I hadn't considered this, but if the iPad 2's mini-display port is actually a LightPeak port instead, that could help drive adoption of the standard much faster than including it on MBP would.

If LightPeak also does video and the iPad 2 supports that, then this would be a really powerful thing. This would be quite the leg up and selling point for the iPad 2, to have what is probably the most advanced external port on a consumer device.

Yow. HD video in and out would make it a handy production tool, and post-production tool, and finished movie tool. It had better have remote (selective) wipe. The smart cloud begins to makes sense.

D. Applebaum's idea that we will see video editing on the Pad makes huge waves of sense.

Edit: in other words, carry your movie with you and work on it anywhere, like a script. Video finger painting.

Edit2: cmf2 has something to say on this in the "Event" thread:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...&postcount=127
post #12 of 33
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post #13 of 33
Why do companies feel the need to invent their own marketing names for standard technologies? Airport vs WiFi or 802.11, iLink vs FireWire vs IEE1394, Thunderbolt vs Lightning or Lightfoot or Light Peak or whatever. It's confusing, unnecessary, and annoying. Just stick with one name, please.
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhowarth View Post

Why do companies feel the need to invent their own marketing names for standard technologies? Airport vs WiFi or 802.11, iLink vs FireWire vs IEE1394, Thunderbolt vs Lightning or Lightfoot or Light Peak or whatever. It's confusing, unnecessary, and annoying. Just stick with one name, please.

I know, and we thought 'Dreamliner' was jumping the shark. Here is the last gasp of Branding, we hope. Started with the ability to write in-and-with metal, advanced with casting, stamping and printing. Now brands roll off the keyboard and mouse/pad.

Must be over now.

Edit: On secomd thought, I always liked Thor's hammer.

Indra's and Dyaus Pitar's and Shadash's and Teshub's and Kakulje's thunderbolt, not so much. (God spellings and attributes may have errors; check before pillioring.)
post #15 of 33
definetely today. the Apple store at our European (portugal) side is already closed.
http://www.maccouch.com/2011/02/happy-birthday-steve/
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhowarth View Post

Why do companies feel the need to invent their own marketing names for standard technologies? Airport vs WiFi or 802.11, iLink vs FireWire vs IEE1394, Thunderbolt vs Lightning or Lightfoot or Light Peak or whatever. It's confusing, unnecessary, and annoying. Just stick with one name, please.

Because why should someone who doesn't care about tech have to remember IEEE 1394a/b/c/s, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, and all the others?
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

The million dollar question for me is:
If they're so proud of LightPeak over ThunderBolt, and if it truly can run any protocol natively in its first iteration. Then why is there only one ThunderBolt port on there? Why isn't FireWire (that would probably benefit from a ThunderBolt-FW HUB in terms of total bandwidth when more than one FW device is connected) and Ethernet (that is probably not used so much in these WiFi days anyways) replaced with ThunderBolt ports? Native USB is still gonna be handy for ease of use and true plug and play with standard cables.
My guess is that they will just try it out first with support for MiniDisplayPort with USB on the same cable in its first iteration.

Because if they switch to all MDP ThunderBolt connectors, how are you going to plug anything into your machine? With a bag full of adaptors. Which sucks. So all the standard connectors also need to be there so you can take your laptop somewhere and have decent connectivity.

And I think this is the fourth or fifth story saying pretty much the SAME thing. There's several stories and discussion threads talking about Light Peak. Why the need for multiple articles covering no new ground? I see people in here asking questions and raising points that have already been discussed.

- Jasen.
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

Still don't get why they would release new MBPs today ahead of a media event next week. Why not just release them at the media event so they can make a song and dance about how revolutionary Thunderbolt is.

So they can do the Thunderbolt song and dance TWICE and keep the media spotlight.
Today: Look at this cool new port. It's awesome. Here's Intel to tell you all about it.
A week from now: Remember that awesome new port? Yeah, we're putting it in our iPads, too, now.

And from now on, anytime they update a product, they'll put a Thunderbolt port on it and get to sing it's praises. The press will be all, "this port is awesome. Apple is leading. Why is everyone else stuck at USB 3.0?"

- Jasen.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

And from now on, anytime they update a product, they'll put a Thunderbolt port on it and get to sing it's praises. The press will be all, "this port is awesome. Apple is leading. Why is everyone else stuck at USB 3.0?"

- Jasen.

Actually, I'm certain the press will end every story about this with "However there are no devices that use this connector yet, so you should probably take a wait and see attitude before 'rushing out' and buying this latest device from Apple." And people like my mother in law will only hear that part. "I thought they said it wasn't really ready?"
post #20 of 33
Thunderbolt = future

10 Gbps, 10 Watts power, bi-directional, daisy chain, can be connected to every video source via adapter, and is compatible with every connector out there via adapters!
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Actually, I'm certain the press will end every story about this with "However there are no devices that use this connector yet, so you should probably take a wait and see attitude before 'rushing out' and buying this latest device from Apple." And people like my mother in law will only hear that part. "I thought they said it wasn't really ready?"

No, Thunderbolt will end the people who bitch that "Apple forces me to buy a 17" so I can get an expresscard slot to support the SAN I need to connect to (or esata)" b/c now you just plug your esata to TB adapter in and voila. Eventually we'll see less of the other ports and more Thunderbolt.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

No, Thunderbolt will end the people who bitch that "Apple forces me to buy a 17" so I can get an expresscard slot to support the SAN I need to connect to (or esata)" b/c now you just plug your esata to TB adapter in and voila. Eventually we'll see less of the other ports and more Thunderbolt.

Eventually it'll just be MagSafe, five Thunderbolt, and audio in/out (though as Thunderbolt carries audio and could be optical...
post #23 of 33
Yesterday I told you Light Peak would be renamed Thunderbolt also by Intel. Today, I was proven right. Hooray for me.
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Eventually it'll just be MagSafe, five Thunderbolt, and audio in/out (though as Thunderbolt carries audio and could be optical...

Maybe they can shrink the board done by removing all the chips for Ethernet, USB, Firewire, and audio so a single Thunderbolt chip can work all that stuff at neck breaking speeds, even though they still include some of the ports on the system. I say some because Im sure Ethernet will go away with the next case revision and USB has shot themselves in the foot by pushing Intel to use mDP for their Light Peak port.
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yours Smugly View Post

Yesterday I told you Light Peak would be renamed Thunderbolt also by Intel. Today, I was proven right. Hooray for me.

Your username is one of the more appropriate I've yet seen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

USB has shot themselves in the foot by pushing Intel to use mDP for their Light Peak port.

Pushing? I saw it as a slap in the face to the USB group.

I mean, really, we see Intel demo a LightPeak implementation over a USB port...

And then they go and finalize it with Mini DisplayPort, guaranteeing Apple displays to work with every single computer in the future by virtue of form factor.

Intel held an apple (hmm, poor analogy?) on a string in front of the USB group and then replaced it with an onion as the USB group closed their eyes and took a bite.

USB's dead unless they can get USB 4 out before Thunderbolt is made available on every single board ever.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Pushing? I saw it as a slap in the face to the USB group.

I mean, really, we see Intel demo a LightPeak implementation over a USB port...

And then they go and finalize it with Mini DisplayPort, guaranteeing Apple displays to work with every single computer in the future by virtue of form factor.

Intel held an apple (hmm, poor analogy?) on a string in front of the USB group and then replaced it with an onion as the USB group closed their eyes and took a bite.

USB's dead unless they can get USB 4 out before Thunderbolt is made available on every single board ever.

I dont know how you can say that when its ben rumoured it was the USB-IF that told Intel they couldnt use the USB port interface. They pushed Intel to seek a different route.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Your username is one of the more appropriate I've yet seen.

Thank you. A man has to live up to his name. There's so much BS thrown around the message boards of the Internets that from time to time someone has to give the hoi polloi a dose of rationality.

As for this update, it doesn't get me too exited. I5 is good, integrated Intel GPU is bad, Thunderbolt will be good if hardware makers start to love it. But all in all, there's no hurry to update my C2D 13" MBP from last May.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

I dont know how you can say that when its ben rumoured it was the USB-IF that told Intel they couldnt use the USB port interface. They pushed Intel to seek a different route.

Oh, I didn't know that. That's hilarious! Their loss.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by REC View Post

If LightPeak also does video and the iPad 2 supports that, then this would be a really powerful thing. This would be quite the leg up and selling point for the iPad 2, to have what is probably the most advanced external port on a consumer device.

post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Oh, I didn't know that. That's hilarious! Their loss.

Oh, I thought that rumor was more commonly know around these parts. If true, that is surely a bad move on their part. There is no longterm downside to using a mDP port for video and data.
post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Last week, AppleInsider discovered a patent for a magnetic connection that combines power and data

That wasn't a patent. It was an application for a patent. Big difference.
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Yow. HD video in and out would make it a handy production tool, and post-production tool, and finished movie tool. It had better have remote (selective) wipe. The smart cloud begins to makes sense.

D. Applebaum's idea that we will see video editing on the Pad makes huge waves of sense.

Edit: in other words, carry your movie with you and work on it anywhere, like a script. Video finger painting.

Edit2: cmf2 has something to say on this in the "Event" thread:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...&postcount=127

Yeah I'm pretty convinced now that this is what they're up to. Putting Thunderbolt on iPad2 would be a real game changer. Not only would it have a displayport by default, but the highest speed external IO available anywhere outside of the new MBP. This will drive adoption of iPads even higher, and make it so Thunderbolt hubs and devices are being sold more often.

No reason now to think it won't be in there. The controller chip is really small, and we know intel/Apple have done quite a bit to make sure the Thunderbolt components are inexpensive. I suppose the only real problem might be some kind of cpu/motherboard incompatibility, like it's designed only to work with Intel CPU's and not an A9. But the iPad will almost certainly have a custom tailored A9 CPU, so they could make it work.

Which could in turn provide a bigger engineering challenge for their competitors. They don't custom design their ARM chips, incorporating their own Thunderbolt ports may take them much much longer.
post #33 of 33
I am a newbie to Appleinsider but not to computers.

Lightpeak has been under development for several years ... the name is a code name. The idea of fiber optics provides extreme high data rates that can be sent over very long lines. Apple has been wanting just such a capability. After all Apple developed Firewire to replace SCSI. Now this technology is officially named Thunderbolt. Intel has developed the technology in silicon and has developed the precise specifications. This info will be shared eventually.

The initial implementation of this technology will be done in copper. This has the added advantage of distributing power as well as data. Naturally, the cable lengths will be much shorter ... but the concept is very powerful.

By chosing mini-display port which is Apple's version of display port ... the idea is to have a smaller footprint, costs less to implement that can serve as a universal connector that will carry both video and file data, at the same time at the speeds dictated by Thunderbird. Thus, USB2.0, USB3.0, Firewire 400, 800 up to 3200 mb/sec, plus video (VGA, DVI, HDMI, etc.)... also gigabit ethernet. This scheme is an active network like firewire and controls itself by its own control, doesn't need a processor with all the interrupt requests like USB does. So up to 6 devices can be connected in sequence, yet all can send and receive their respective data formats and protocols. Each can actually become a hub that provides the various legacy connectors so older design devices can still be used. Amazing.

Yes, it will take a while for peripheral device manufacturers to implement this new connection scheme and technology, and it will open a vast capability to all computers and devices.

It isn't that Apple wants exclusivity, they have openly invited all manufacturers to use mini-display port with zero licensing fees. Not so with HDMI for instance.

There are now in-depth explanations of this new technology, how it works, and the direction it will take computer connections and network.

This technology is not possible with iPAD as the technology depends upon PCI express architechture. iPAD is an entirely different scheme.

I hope is brief intro will clarify some of the many questions and frustrations poster have shared.
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