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15-inch MacBook Pro teardown offers a closer look at Apple's Thunderbolt - Page 2

post #41 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

You're wrong here in thinking that vendors need to wait until Ivy Bridge. They have the option of doing exactly what Apple is doing today. Some may very well do just that, but more likely they're going to wait until Ivy Bridge. Thus it's not an exclusive deal, but rather may remain an Apple advantage until Ive Bridge comes out.

Actually, the 17" MBPs have 3 USB ports. Why? Why not just give one and make users carry a hub around? You may think for your use that 1 USB port with a hub would hit a bandwidth wall, but most users see it as a hassle to carry a USB hub just to connect an iPhone and external drive at the same time.

The reason why Thunderbolt will replace USB ports is because it can. A DisplayPort more than fulfills the need for a DisplayPort, but yet Apple did away with it because there's no point in having one when there's Thunderbolt.

This is one of the key reasons for the development of Thunderbolt. The idea is that you have one port to rule them all. You take your devices and you plug them in without having to think "this one goes into this port, that one goes into that port". You have ports, you plug your devices into any of the available ports. They're all the same.

"This happened before". Serial and ADB ports were fine for keyboards and mice. For that matter, so was USB 1.1, but now it's just USB 2.0. This is because it's easier for the end user and cheaper and easier for the PC maker as well as the device makers.

Again, this is the whole reason why Apple requested Thunderbolt as a something everything else could roll into. There's no need to consider "Mice only need the speed of USB 1.1, so put a USB 1.1 port on there, and then put USB 2.0 for devices that need that speed, and FireWire 800 for devices that need that speed, and DisplayPort for devices that need that, and then Thunderbolt for only the stuff that needs that".

When Ivy Bridge is released, removing the legacy ports and having multiple Thunderbolt ports becomes cheaper, easier, and requires less space.

Yes, this is one fantastic use of Thunderbolt. There will be hubs and there will be docks, but not everyone has a desk station that they connect there notebooks to, and many people need connectivity to devices on the road. Thus it makes sense to have multiple Thunderbolt ports and the ability to plug all devices in.

Why did Apple include an SD card reader...you can just connect an external one. Why include an optical drive...you can just connect an external one...the list goes on. The issue is more than bandwidth, it's about convenience.

How can a vendor do what Apple is doing today? Do they have access to Thunderbolt controller chips? Anyway, it's a small matter really in the grand scheme of things.

I take your point that having one port type is an advantage, but having three Thunderbolt ports at the expense of USB ports would be insane in 2011, and probably 2012 and 2013 as well. People already own USB devices, many of them. Thunderbolt won't be ready to replace USB for a good while. Also, will licensing be as cheap for a new tech like Thunderbolt as it is for USB? I don't know, just musing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

It may do it, but it would be cheaper, easier, and consume less real estate to have 3 Thunderbolt ports.

Why do we have USB 2.0 ports for mice when Serial, ADB or USB 1.1 ports were already overkill for their speed requirements?

USB unified several standards that were all existing simultaneously. PS/2 was being used for this, Serial for that etc. It was messy and they were old, not particularly practical (in a physical, disconnecting, reconnecting sense) ports. USB could just be slid in, done. People liked that.

Also, serial was far slower than USB is today and USB really took off when 2.0 came along. There was a need for more speed for all manner of uses. There isn't any now. Only storage really needs it. Your points are good, I just think that people won't see the same problems with USB as they did with all those old 1980/90s things. They'll think 'why do I need another type of connector? USB was fine.'

I don't carry a hub around with me. I find only having 2 ports a pain. I bought a Bluetooth mouse just to free one up. I'm not for a moment suggesting we all have one port and connect everything via a hub. I'm saying that USB ports are far more useful to every single user right now and will be for some time to come. I think Thunderbolt's primary use for a while will be to conduct other devices into the computer via a hub.

When the 1,080,000p webcam comes out, we might need a Thunderbolt port adding... I believe Thunderbolt ports could replace USB like you say, but it won't happen for a very long time. Until then, adding more Thunderbolt ports and losing USB ports would mean carrying adapters around for existing devices. That's as bad as needing a hub.
post #42 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

But that Thunderbolt limit is so much higher than USB's that its impact will be of a different nature.

Nope.

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Disk drives are the only consumer grade peripheral that will ever need a Thunderbolt port dedicated to it, and that's why I don't think the 1997 USB thing was fair comment.

Then you're not thinking about the future at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

USB unified several standards that were all existing simultaneously. PS/2 was being used for this, Serial for that etc. It was messy and they were old, not particularly practical (in a physical, disconnecting, reconnecting sense) ports. USB could just be slid in, done. People liked that.

And you're complaining that Thunderbolt does the same thing.

Quote:
They'll think 'why do I need another type of connector? USB was fine.

Were you not around when USB came out? The same thing was said.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #43 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Nope.

Then you're not thinking about the future at all.

And you're complaining that Thunderbolt does the same thing.

Were you not around when USB came out? The same thing was said.

You're getting silly now. USB's speed is approached by a couple of devices connected via a hub. Multiple USB ports were always going to be necessary for this reason. Thunderbolt's speed will never be approached by even scores of normal devices being connected via a hub. A hub has a speed overhead. Thunderbolt's overhead is so high that you could connect every USB device you ever own and it wouldn't even approach it. That's a fundamental difference. Yep.

I am thinking about the future, you're the one who isn't. You're assuming every device you connect to a computer will get better and better and therefore need more and more speed from its interface. That is simply not the case. USB2 is 60MB a second. Do you have any idea how high the quality of the picture from your webcam would have to be to approach that? It will simply never happen.

Printers? Scanners? Even music interfaces outside of a studio will never need Thunderbolt speed. Give me a device other than storage that is limited by 60MB a second.

I wasn't complaining at any point about Thunderbolt. You're misreading what I said, and that's just irritating.

Just because something's better, doesn't mean everyone will flock to it. Firewire is a perfect example.
post #44 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

Thunderbolt's speed will never be approached by even scores of normal devices being connected via a hub.

What makes you think that?

Quote:
Give me a device other than storage that is limited by 60MB a second.

I see, because it doesn't necessarily exist, it isn't important.

Thunderbolt as a replacement for networking makes sense. Thunderbolt is improvements to fields that can only improve, as well as speeding up things that have hit a bottleneck with other ports. Fiber Thunderbolt for in-building wiring and copper for wall terminal to computer connections.

Quote:
Just because something's better, doesn't mean everyone will flock to it. Firewire is a perfect example.

The issue there was dollar-per-port licensing, I believe.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #45 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

The reason why Thunderbolt will replace USB ports is because it can. A DisplayPort more than fulfills the need for a DisplayPort, but yet Apple did away with it because there's no point in having one when there's Thunderbolt.

Apple haven't done away with DisplayPort at all! It's part of the Thunderbolt connector so that a DisplayPort display can be added to the daisy chain of Thunderbolt devices connected through it. This only lends credence to my belief that Apple sees a hub at a good use for Thunderbolt. Connect all your devices to a hub, including your display and just connect that when you get back from wherever you took your MacBook that day.
post #46 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What makes you think that?

What makes me think that is that I know 750MBs (assuming only 6Gbps Thunderbolt connection) divided by 60MB/s gives you more than 12 devices that can currently work perfectly well, and that's assuming each of the 12 devices uses its full 60MB, which most won't. When Thunderbolt gets faster, that number will only increase.

The point was clear here; USB was still slow enough that one day normal devices might run up against its limits, especially when using a hub. This is not the case with Thunderbolt. There will never be a 6Gbps webcam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I see, because it doesn't necessarily exist, it isn't important.

You're changing your argument. I am saying, as I have all along, that USB2 is not holding the vast majority of peripherals back. Therefore, Thunderbolt won't be needed for them any time soon, never for many of them.

Thinking of some as yet uninvented peripheral is another matter. If it's not even mooted yet, it won't be on the market for a good while. That does indeed make it unimportant for the time being. And I'll stick my neck out and say I don't see some massively data-intensive new class of peripheral coming out. Maybe if I want to connect a holodeck to my MacBook Pro I'll end up with egg on my face, but I doubt that'll happen somehow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Thunderbolt as a replacement for networking makes sense. Thunderbolt is improvements to fields that can only improve, as well as speeding up things that have hit a bottleneck with other ports. Fiber Thunderbolt for in-building wiring and copper for wall terminal to computer connections.

The issue there was dollar-per-port licensing, I believe.

Networking could be a use. But then people have to go back to wired internet. Won't happen.

What things have hit a bottleneck other than storage? This is the crux of this argument and you haven't named any.

As for dollar-per-port, do we know this isn't an issue with Thunderbolt?
post #47 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

Apple haven't done away with DisplayPort at all! It's part of the Thunderbolt connector so that a DisplayPort display can be added to the daisy chain of Thunderbolt devices connected through it. This only lends credence to my belief that Apple sees a hub at a good use for Thunderbolt. Connect all your devices to a hub, including your display and just connect that when you get back from wherever you took your MacBook that day.

You missed the point. Apple didn't leave a DisplayPort on the MacBook Pro and then add a Thunderbolt port. They replaced the DisplayPort with the Thunderbolt port. The port is physically the same and like USB, FireWire, Ethernet, and more, DisplayPort is compatible with Thunderbolt. The point here is that Apple didn't say, "DisplayPort is fast enough for HDMI with audio, so we should leave this here and then add a Thunderbolt port", instead, they replaced the port. They did this because it was cheaper, easier, and saved real estate.

The same is going to be true for everything else. They won't kill USB, FireWire, Ethernet, etc..., but those devices will plug into the Thunderbolt ports.

Think of it this way. You have a hard drive, printer, iPod, etc..., and those all connect through a variety of ports. USB alone has 8 different specified connectors, however the type of connector on one end of the cable doesn't have to match the type of connector on the other. Thus you typically have female USB "A" ports on your computer, and then female A, B, Micro or Mini on the device (although even others exist). Likewise with FireWire, there are multiple connector types. And others as well have multiple connectors.

What changes here is that you still have your USB mouse, printer, hard drive or whatever, and it will use same connector it does on the one end, but use a Thunderbolt connector that plugs into the computer end.

If the cable is hard wired into the legacy device, you'll just get a (very cheap) adapter. Take a look at what most people use today and you'll see that transitioning into an all Thunderbolt port today would cause very few problems.

Of course, Apple didn't wipe out all the other ports, but instead moved to transition. However this transition is going to happen *very* fast as it's cheaper, easier and uses less real estate to have just Thundnerbolt.

All of this has happened before. When USB came out, there were all kinds of cheap adapters for devices that required legacy ports, and some vendors continued shipping with legacy ports, but not Apple.
post #48 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

How can a vendor do what Apple is doing today? Do they have access to Thunderbolt controller chips? Anyway, it's a small matter really in the grand scheme of things

Yes. The full developer kit will be available to anyone this Spring, but again, don't expect to see many PC vendors rolling out Thunderbolt today because it makes far more sense to do so with Ivy Bridge. Still, the point though is that there's no exclusive deal with Apple as was just nonsense reporting by some.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

I take your point that having one port type is an advantage, but having three Thunderbolt ports at the expense of USB ports would be insane in 2011, and probably 2012 and 2013 as well. People already own USB devices, many of them. Thunderbolt won't be ready to replace USB for a good while. Also, will licensing be as cheap for a new tech like Thunderbolt as it is for USB? I don't know, just musing.

Yes, Thunderbolt now, not cheaper, not easier and no space savings. Thunderbolt, with Ivy Bridge, does mean cheaper, easier and space savings (when legacy ports are removed).

That last part is the kicker. PC vendors want cheaper, easier and space savings. They'll be driving the killing off of legacy ports and adoption of Thunderbolt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

USB unified several standards that were all existing simultaneously. PS/2 was being used for this, Serial for that etc. It was messy and they were old, not particularly practical (in a physical, disconnecting, reconnecting sense) ports. USB could just be slid in, done. People liked that.

I think you're arguing my point here. Just like USB unified several ports with a nicer to use port, Thunderbolt unifies several ports with a nicer to use port (even nicer than USB). So it doesn't matter that Thunderbolt is overkill. It's cheaper, easier and saves space, and having one type of port is nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

Also, serial was far slower than USB is today and USB really took off when 2.0 came along. There was a need for more speed for all manner of uses. There isn't any now. Only storage really needs it. Your points are good, I just think that people won't see the same problems with USB as they did with all those old 1980/90s things. They'll think 'why do I need another type of connector? USB was fine.'

I don't think people will think much of anything other than "this device, and everything else only plugs into one type of port on my computer...I like that". PC vendors will think, "great, one part to worry about and support and it costs less".

This is why the transition is going to happen sooner rather than later. Obviously not today as we just saw the 2011 MBPs be released with legacy ports, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the legacy ports removed in about 2 years.
post #49 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

What makes me think that is that I know 750MBs (assuming only 6Gbps Thunderbolt connection)

It's ten, though.

Quote:
This is not the case with Thunderbolt. There will never be a 6Gbps webcam.

Plenty of other devices and services that can use the full 10Gbps bandwidth.

Quote:
USB2 is not holding the vast majority of peripherals back. Therefore, Thunderbolt won't be needed for them any time soon, never for many of them.

Nor did PS/2, as has been said. Doesn't mean it's not going to happen, and when it does, we'll need multiple Thunderbolt ports.

Quote:
Networking could be a use. But then people have to go back to wired internet. Won't happen.

Of course, because there isn't a single person left on wired Internet.

I and millions of others have still to leave wired Internet. Ethernet is faster than Wi-Fi and will remain so for years.

Quote:
What things have hit a bottleneck other than storage? This is the crux of this argument and you haven't named any.

I have indeed. Please read again.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #50 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

Yes. The full developer kit will be available to anyone this Spring, but again, don't expect to see many PC vendors rolling out Thunderbolt today because it makes far more sense to do so with Ivy Bridge. Still, the point though is that there's no exclusive deal with Apple as was just nonsense reporting by some.



Yes, Thunderbolt now, not cheaper, not easier and no space savings. Thunderbolt, with Ivy Bridge, does mean cheaper, easier and space savings (when legacy ports are removed).

That last part is the kicker. PC vendors want cheaper, easier and space savings. They'll be driving the killing off of legacy ports and adoption of Thunderbolt



I think you're arguing my point here. Just like USB unified several ports with a nicer to use port, Thunderbolt unifies several ports with a nicer to use port (even nicer than USB). So it doesn't matter that Thunderbolt is overkill. It's cheaper, easier and saves space, and having one type of port is nice.



I don't think people will think much of anything other than "this device, and everything else only plugs into one type of port on my computer...I like that". PC vendors will think, "great, one part to worry about and support and it costs less".

This is why the transition is going to happen sooner rather than later. Obviously not today as we just saw the 2011 MBPs be released with legacy ports, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the legacy ports removed in about 2 years.

You make good points and I agree with you that if call goes to plan then Thunderbolt could replace USB in the long term, but my point is that I don't see it happening as fast as some here do and so I believe MacBook Pros will have USB sockets for a good while yet. It's far too early to be calling them legacy.

Now, in 2011, I think a hub is the most likely use of Thunderbolt for most users. What 2013 holds we'll just have to wait and see.
post #51 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It's ten, though.

Plenty of other devices and services that can use the full 10Gbps bandwidth.

Nor did PS/2, as has been said. Doesn't mean it's not going to happen, and when it does, we'll need multiple Thunderbolt ports.

Of course, because there isn't a single person left on wired Internet.

I and millions of others have still to leave wired Internet. Ethernet is faster than Wi-Fi and will remain so for years.

I have indeed. Please read again.

It isn't 10. It's theoretically 10 but only hit 62% of it's potential in the Intel demonstration. If it was 10, then my point would only be more pertinent as it would almost double the number of USB devices capable of running through a single Thunderbolt port. Discuss the points people make and stop making stupid, facetious picks at things.

I have asked repeatedly for you to name these other devices and you haven't done so. You mentioned various forms of storage, nothing else. Please read again.

You may use wired internet in your comic book store but the huge majority of consumers just do not. They world has long gone wireless. It isn't as fast, but that's the way it is. Even it it wasn't, are you likely to have a 10Gbps internet connection to your home any time soon? No.
post #52 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

I have asked repeatedly for you to name these other devices and you haven't done so. You mentioned various forms of storage, nothing else. Please read again.

Except I have. Please read again.

Quote:
You may use wired internet in your comic book store but the huge majority of consumers just do not.

This will be my last reply to you. Post again in this manner and I'll report this nonsense.

Quote:
Even it it wasn't, are you likely to have a 10Gbps internet connection to your home any time soon? No.

Because the only benefit Thunderbolt would have in networks is faster Internet speeds. Mhmm.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #53 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Except I have. Please read again.



This will be my last reply to you. Post again in this manner and I'll report this nonsense.



Because the only benefit Thunderbolt would have in networks is faster Internet speeds. Mhmm.

You simply have not. That is a fact that all can read.

Report anything you like, the person reading the report will likely be struggling to find a worthwhile point in what you write, if your posts are anything to go by.

'Ethernet is faster than Wi-Fi and will remain so for years.' You mentioned the speed, my point was originally about convenience. You laugh smugly, but you just sound snide and silly. My point never changed, you never addressed it. Please don't reply to me, you haven't had anything meaningful to say all through the debate.
post #54 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

You mentioned the speed, my point was originally about convenience.

And it is up to each individual user to determine what is more convenient: slower, wireless syncing and plugging in later to charge or faster, wired syncing with simultaneous charging.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #55 of 60
Somehow, I missed this story, I don't understand why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

The ThunderBolt Chip is possibly made with 65 or even 90nm. Hence its size. Since it is in very low production quantities and at its first incarnation. Once it get shrink to 45nm it should be much smaller.

It doesn't even look that big. The package is about the area of the the shell of a USB socket, which is pretty small,maybe 1cm^2. And the package is holding a tiny die, which looks like a few square millimeters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Have you ever bought a car? A 2011 Porsche 911 is a bit different from a 1985 Porsche 911 I suspect. I do NOT want to go back to the bad old days of Mac IIci, Mac IIsi, Mac IIfx, Performa 6120, Performa 6125, Quadra 610, Quadra 700, Quadra 660AV, Centris 610, etc., etc.

Ick, a car analogy. OK, if that's what you understand, I'll roll with that. With a car, I can find a tag in the door jamb and read it and already have enough information to quickly communicate exactly what I have without translations. The problem here is that Apple's devices are not marked with a year identifier, only model numbers, but their support information is identified by year, which is different information requiring a translation from model number to year type. Even Apple's System Profiler program doesn't give me a build date that I can find. I struggled to find some way to correlate A1293 (made up model number, maybe something real, maybe not) with "early/mid/late 20xx" and didn't find it except by going to apple-history.com and checking the model's features against the charts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You can't plug any existing device directly into a USB port, so there's no need for multiple USB ports, is there?

That's you in '97. And when the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 come out, that will be you in July of this year.

It turns out that iPad 2 didn't get a Thunderbolt connector. I doubt it is even close to saturating USB 2's practical data limits anyway, the older model was nowhere close either. It makes sense to go with the new connecting standard for iOS devices when the old connecting standard is the limiting factor, and it's not near that yet.
post #56 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

...
Ick, a car analogy. OK, if that's what you understand, I'll roll with that. With a car, I can find a tag in the door jamb and read it, and directly know enough information to communicate what I have. The problem here is that Apple's devices are not marked with a year identifier, only model numbers, but their support information is identified by year. Even Apple's System Profiler program doesn't give me a build date that I can find. I struggled to find some way to correlate A1293 (made up model number) with "early/late 20xx" and didn't find it except by going to apple-history.com and checking each model's features against the chart.
...

Yes totally agree on the point regarding how hard it is to identify particular models, and correlate with each particular support features/issues/fixes.
I work with many folks with all kinds of Macs from PPC to Intel architecture, and trying to get them to provide enough information so that I can be sure that I know which machine they actually do have is much more of a chore than it should be.
I fear it sort of makes me look like a dolt or anal in how much I have to press them for details before I know what model they really have.

I wish wish wish Apple would be (a) more consistent with model naming and numbering,
(b) wish that every machine had an easy way for the user to read the actual official model identifier off the outside of the case -- without having to turn the iMac upside down and read on the bottom of the pedestal! for example.
(c) wish that there was clear same identifier across (at least) five no, six, locations: Apple Hardware info page, Apple Store sales page, Apple Support Specs page, About this Mac, Apple Profiler, and finally on the Mac machine case itself. All five (now six) places should use the exact same identifier. Whether it is one of the alpha named 'MacBook Late 2006' or 'MacBook 2,1' or 'MA699LL/A' or 'A1181' or whatever...

You know, the conversation goes like:
Me: which Mac do you have?
Them: the MacBook.
Me: which model of MacBook.
Them: the shiny one that says MacBook on it.
Me: do you know when you bought it or how old it is?
Them: I think a year or few years back.
Me: (here we go again...) \
The Universe is Intelligent and Friendly
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post #57 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Young View Post

You know, the conversation goes like:
Me: which Mac do you have?
Them: the MacBook.
Me: which model of MacBook.
Them: the shiny one that says MacBook on it.
Me: do you know when you bought it or how old it is?
Them: I think a year or few years back.
Me: (here we go again...) \

Most of the people I help out with their Macs are college students, so I only have to ask one question to know what model they have.

"Were you born before or after the fall of the Soviet Union?"

And that gives me their purchase date and computer model.

I'm more concerned if they don't know the answer to that than if they don't know some obscure hardware information about their computers.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #58 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Most of the people I help out with their Macs are college students, so I only have to ask one question to know what model they have.

"Were you born before or after the fall of the Soviet Union?"

And that gives me their purchase date and computer model.

I'm more concerned if they don't know the answer to that than if they don't know some obscure hardware information about their computers.

So you're not taking the consideration seriously?
post #59 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

So you're not taking the consideration seriously?

What consideration? I'll likely never be able to use that question again in just a few years time; I'm making the most of it.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #60 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What consideration? I'll likely never be able to use that question again in just a few years time; I'm making the most of it.

I just don't understand how why it was a reply in this thread. It's a change in story without a segue.
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