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Apple's new 9-pin Dock Connector for iPhone 5 may support USB 3.0 - Page 2

post #41 of 61
This article contains speculation I've had for awhile... ever since I heard it was going to be 9 pins. I'm a little disappointed AI wasn't able to confirm any of it with any sources. The dock connector had lots of options because it had so many pins-- they could add new meanings to pins, retire old pins, etc. With only 8 pins I suspect it's just going to be a straight-up USB 3 port and not a self-configuring port like bsimpsen suggests.

I suspect being electrically compatible with USB 3 is going to mean a huge number of third party devices will appear quickly, sanctioned by Apple or not...
post #42 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

This article contains speculation I've had for awhile... ever since I heard it was going to be 9 pins. I'm a little disappointed AI wasn't able to confirm any of it with any sources. The dock connector had lots of options because it had so many pins-- they could add new meanings to pins, retire old pins, etc. With only 8 pins I suspect it's just going to be a straight-up USB 3 port and not a self-configuring port like bsimpsen suggests.
I suspect being electrically compatible with USB 3 is going to mean a huge number of third party devices will appear quickly, sanctioned by Apple or not...

It looks like USB 3.0 has a minimum of 9 pins to a max of 11 pins in the current standard. I hope it's not just USB 3.0 because that's going backwards multiple steps from they offered back in 2003. It means for there to be standard video and/audio out cables the cables will have to be intelligent enough to convert the signal.

One could make a case that these uses aren't that popular and by removing from the device you save space and cost in each device sold but I can't imagine the savings are great enough to warrant such complex cabling.

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post #43 of 61

Connecting a few dots in a different way.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

As it is I'm really thinking these pins will be multi functional. For one introducing a new port without analog out just seems beyond stupid.

+

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirdir View Post

I can't imagine Apple is dropping audio/video etc. support over the connector. All existing accessories would be obsolete. Not a big deal if it's a dock for $50 but I wouldn't like to see support for an almost new car gone
By the way, what do we need USB3.0 for? Most people don't sync over cable anymore and I guess apple will be guiding us towards the cloud anyway.

+

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimpsen View Post
[bolding added]

Whatever interface this new connector supports now, it will be capable of supporting other interfaces in the future. The circuitry inside iOS devices is capable of recognizing and reconfiguring as needed, just as the iPod Shuffle headphone connector automatically switches between analog headphone signals and digital USB signals.

+

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post
It's not impossible that the new connector could be configured to use different pins in different modes, but that isn't news, as that's how the existing connector works. HDMI itself requires 19 pins, VGA 15. When you connect a cable, you can extract either. Clearly it isn't using a dedicated pin assignment as 19+15 > 30 already. 

 

But with AirPlay, why would you want to connect your iPhone to your TV with a fancy cable that costs nearly as much as Apple TV?

 

And analog what out? The headphone gives you analog audio. You want analog composite video? For what, to hook up your VCR? It's 2012. 

 

Another article I read focused on Apple's purportedly moving the headphone jack to the bottom of the phone, right next to the new 9 pin jack.  Other than satisfying J. Ives' aesthetic, I couldn't see why - it'll have to be upside down in your pocket, for example - and require a rethinking of case design in general with no obvious benefits to me.  So this article was speculating that Apple could have two connectors - one that just used the port for most uses, and another (which could be introduced later or never if there turn out to be engineering workarounds) for special applications requiring more discrete signals and whatevers - a connector which would bridge the headphone jack with the new 9 pin dock. 

The article further speculated that if the New iPad got a minor refresh to the new dock to make everything going forward compatible with all future accessories, finding out that the headphone jack was in the same exact alignment on the updated Pad and the expected iPad "Stewart Smalley" ("It's cute enough, it's functional enough, and doggone, people just like it.") would reinforce this theory.

Anyway, pooh-pooh away, but makes more sense than anyone expecting to see TB on an iDevice any time in the next several years.....  ....and if you do, most of y'all are missing the path IMH(amateur)O: 

 

Intel fully intends to compete with ARM designs across the whole mobile device space over time - however many iterations and however much they have to invest.  They've proven that in other areas of chippery.  And they have the heft and the resources to get competitive from behind.  In this regard, it will be interesting to watch how well the upcoming and then especially the next follow-on Win 8 atom tablets perform (not necessarily how well they sell, but to evaluate them across the whole set of metrics that will demonstrate what they might have to offer Apple's future products).

Further we ALL know that Apple's always had its OS's running on multiple architectures in its development labs for at least as long as there have been viable alternative chip families - which is what made the transition to Intel from PPC go so well, and that from the 68000 to the PPC go at all.  So who wants to bet a Ben Frank that Apple hasn't had parallel development versions of iOS running on Atom (and likely other) SOCs since both have existed??

Further, Apple's own chip-related acquisitions are all fabless, meaning they're not invested in any manufacturing process, rather add their own special sauce to reference designs - which "happens" to ARM's at this time, so their custom adds are still basically being fabbed on ARM lines with lots of core ARM features (and limitations), so who's to say that, say, the "Apple A8" won't be built on an Intel line if Intel's products at the time offer the most bang for the buck going forward?? 

What they've done with computers three or four times they can also do with iDevices.

 

Which ipso facto would make the "by then wildly popular" TB interface a trivial add rather than a not really required for now engineering tour de force feat on Apple's part. 

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post #44 of 61

I believe the opposite of the "we think we know what the phone looks like, therefore we know absolutely everything about the phone; this keynote will be boring" nonsense, but…

 

If this thread or its predecessors are any indication, Dock Connector 2 is shaping up to be the true star of the event.

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post #45 of 61

After reading through these posts it seems to me that the iPhone 5 will NOT be USB 3.  Unless.

 

Unless the phone has all new everything inside, including faster SSD chips and controller.  Otherwise what would be the point?  USB 2 is already fast enough.

 

Side note: I just synced some songs to my gen 3 iPod via Firewire and marveled at the speed of such an old device.  I use it with a speaker system for my morning wake up.  It may outlive me.

post #46 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It looks like USB 3.0 has a minimum of 9 pins to a max of 11 pins in the current standard. I hope it's not just USB 3.0 because that's going backwards multiple steps from they offered back in 2003. It means for there to be standard video and/audio out cables the cables will have to be intelligent enough to convert the signal.

Apple could probably get away with using 8 pins for USB3, as the standard plug has two grounds. Apple could combine the two grounds and use just one pin instead of two.

I also hope it's not USB3. If it is, you can guarantee a jump in accessory prices as they'll have to have fairly complex digital circuitry in. Especially for HDMI and VGA. The processing will need to be done externally to the iDevice, I.e. in the accessory, instead of in the phone with its existing hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

Another article I read focused on Apple's purportedly moving the headphone jack to the bottom of the phone, right next to the new 9 pin jack.  Other than satisfying J. Ives' aesthetic, I couldn't see why - it'll have to be upside down in your pocket, for example - and require a rethinking of case design in general with no obvious benefits to me.  So this article was speculating that Apple could have two connectors - one that just used the port for most uses, and another (which could be introduced later or never if there turn out to be engineering workarounds) for special applications requiring more discrete signals and whatevers - a connector which would bridge the headphone jack with the new 9 pin dock. 

Hah, I suggested this just a few minutes ago in a different thread, it'd mean the connector would effectively have 13 pins. The headphone connector could be changed (via signals from the attached accessory) from the amplified headphone output to cleaner line level output. Or maybe as part of some kind of video out standard.
Quote:
 
Intel fully intends to compete with ARM designs across the whole mobile device space over time.
I don't think Apple will be switching to Intel mobile chips any time soon. They just aren't as good as ARM ones yet, especially in the power usage department. I'm not sure if they use x86, but if they do it's a slow and inefficient architecture. The RISC arch of the ARM chips is much more efficient.

Apple had it relatively easy changing from PPC to Intel, but I'm not sure they'd be able use Rosetta style emulation on a mobile chip without causing huge performance and battery issues. Especially with backgroundable apps. Apple would hit the dreaded fragmentation wall rather hard with an arch change on iOS. But I too have no doubt they've got an Intel iPhone at Cupertino somewhere.
post #47 of 61

To be honest I just assumed anything that utilised the new doc connector would be USB 3.0. I never assumed it would be TB as not enough PCs have the port. I guess we will all find out very soon.

post #48 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I don't think it will be "official" support even if it's there. Apple will never use those stupid bright blue connectors and thus it will technically fail the spec.

Do the Connectors have to be blue? I understand it is a designers way of making the new technology easily identifiable but does it contribute tot he functionality at all? Since the tech is backwards compatible with 2.0 ports I would assume that the colour on the cable itself is not necessary and I agree that (if so) apple would avoid it at all costs.

post #49 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Slow progress for USB 3.0 so far


While a variety of PC makers have added USB 3.0 support to their computers, many well ahead of Apple (which only started supporting USB 3.0 on new Macs this summer), the new standard hasn't aggressively taken off. Many new PCs sport two sets of USB connectors: one only supporting USB 2.0 while special blue-colored ports handle the faster USB 3.0. Apple's newest Macs support both standards on all their USB ports.
PC adoption of USB 3.0 peripherals was also stymied by the fact that Microsoft's Windows 7 didn't support USB 3.0 from the start, as well as growing pains related to buggy drivers, chipsets and motherboard BIOS that have all hampered the new specification's launch much the same way that the original USB failed to rapidly take off in the mid 1990s.

 

Oh look, FUD about Windows and PCs. PCs have transitioned to USB 3.0 no slower or less smoothly than they transferred to USB 2.0. It's a complete non-issue.

 

One of the reasons for the iPhone 5 to support USB 3.0 over Thunderbolt is the prevalence of USB 3.0 on PCs. A key barrier to the original iPod becoming a success was that it only supported FireWire - a connection rarely seen on PCs. Apple aren't going to make that mistake again.

post #50 of 61

Bring Thunderbolt or at least USB 3.

post #51 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I would greatly prefer a cable that branched to both Thunderbolt and USB from Dock Connector 2.

 

I like the way Tallest refers to the new connector as "Dock Connector 2", as it sounds to me like the sequel to a blockbuster movie.

 

Dock Connector 2: This time it's personal!

post #52 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Plenty of people think Thunderbolt.

 

It's part of the Ivy Bridge spec natively. Why did you think they WAITED until they could not go without adding it?


 

 

I doubt that. It's an iPhone event. Apple won't be updating every single product they make on the same day. I should probably start telling people THAT in advance…

 

 

I would greatly prefer a cable that branched to both Thunderbolt and USB from Dock Connector 2.

 

Really? Plenty of people with little foresight thought Apple would make its next flagship product, the new iPhone, only compatible with Thunderbolt so just 7% of the worldwide PC market could sync their phones at home? No way, thats silly. They're adding USB 3, reluctantly, because its the fastest connection available to all new computers. Thunderbolt wouldnt work as a sync cable for iDevices as the cables cost too much and Windows doesnt care enough for it. AND it's not backwards compatible. PS, half the reason USB 3 wasnt added until Jobs passed away is probably that he wanted to push Thunderbolt as a standard. When the rest of Apple took charge, they agreed that wasn't going to happen and finally decided to just push ahead with USB 3.

 

Apple doesn't need to upgrade every single product, they've upgraded all the laptops, now they just need to do a quick roundup of updates before the iphone announcement, which will cover new iMac specs and new Mac mini specs, including USB 3, ready for the new cable standard for iDevices.

 

And finally, every single iPhone being bundled with an expensive 2-headed cable so that a small percentage of iPhone users can sync slightly faster...not gonna happen, USB 3 provides more than enough speed for syncing.

post #53 of 61
It's probably just a custom port that includes USB3 (for data) and MHL (for video), and maybe allows for higher power for recharging.

Given how stupid the micro-USB3 standard connector is (the third one pictured in the article) this makes plenty of sense.

Indeed it looks like USB3 connectors are really crippled by having to also be backwards compatible.
post #54 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

 

If you do a Google search of USB 3.0 and Dock Connector, you don't currently see any matches. Lots of people have been speculating about Thunderbolt however.


Then I'm way ahead of the curve, I need to make my own blog

post #55 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Oh look, FUD about Windows and PCs. PCs have transitioned to USB 3.0 no slower or less smoothly than they transferred to USB 2.0. It's a complete non-issue.

One of the reasons for the iPhone 5 to support USB 3.0 over Thunderbolt is the prevalence of USB 3.0 on PCs. A key barrier to the original iPod becoming a success was that it only supported FireWire - a connection rarely seen on PCs. Apple aren't going to make that mistake again.

I don't understand that quote either. Say its adoption is slow all he wants, but it is still far better than Thunderbolt's stable of options. Now USB 3 is built into new Intel chipsets, that's a wagon train that's not going to slow down. Also, there are hundreds of good USB 3 drives, many at a price close to the USB 2 versions, or simply replaced the USB 2 predecessor at the same price. There aren't even a dozen Thunderbolt drives available, and all of them quite pricey. The variety issue wont change without fixing the cost issue, and the cost issue won't change by wishing it away. Just the cable costs $50 and I've yet to see a drive that doesn't cost $100 more than a non-Thunderbolt equivalent of the same brand and product family.

FireWire on the iPod was intentional, and I don't think it will be repeated. One, they needed to constrain the market to only Macs to convince the music industry to give their music store experiment a try. Second, USB 2 wasn't going to be available for a couple years yet. I doubt there will be a Thunderbolt iOS device this year. USB 3 is more realistic, though I'm not even sure that is necessary given how slow single chip NAND devices are.
Edited by JeffDM - 9/12/12 at 5:45am
post #56 of 61

i've always thought that Thunderbolt support for the iPhone and iPad would be handled by a dongle from the iDevice that supported TB  passthrough (both in and out) so the iDevice wouldn't need to be the last device on the daisy chain. Also, the dongle would interface the iDevice with USB.

 

It may be too costly for a single iDevice... But it would make sense for something like this:

 

 

http://www.gadgetmac.com/news/griffin-multidock-the-ultimate-ipad-multi-charging-station.html

 

 

Oh my... an iPad RAID... 

 

 

There are existing accessories that interface Thunderbolt and ISB:

 

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/belkin-updates-thunderbolt-express-dock-with-trio-of-usb-3-0-ports/1690

 

For enterprises: storing, charging and syncing a large number of iPads is an issue they need to deal with.

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post #57 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

My god AI has broken a record today for totally obvious posts. Slow news day it is.
As it is I'm really thinking these pins will be multi functional. For one introducing a new port without analog out just seems beyond stupid.
As for TB, would people get a grip it is an entirely different class of port compared to USB. the arguement about Intel is bull crap anyways, Apple would not adopt such a port without the option of alternative processors even if they had to implement the bridge chip themselves. Right now though I suspect the port is simply more power hungery than Apple wants to deal with.

 

Speaking of totally obvious posts (!)

 

It's not impossible that the new connector could be configured to use different pins in different modes, but that isn't news, as that's how the existing connector works. HDMI itself requires 19 pins, VGA 15. When you connect a cable, you can extract either. Clearly it isn't using a dedicated pin assignment as 19+15 > 30 already. 

 

But with AirPlay, why would you want to connect your iPhone to your TV with a fancy cable that costs nearly as much as Apple TV?

 

And analog what out? The headphone gives you analog audio. You want analog composite video? For what, to hook up your VCR? It's 2012. 

 

"the arguement about Intel is bull crap anyways"

 

No it's not. Show me a Thunderbolt interface on a non-Intel host system.

 

What you're missing is a massive user category, those people who use their iDevice while in a car.

 

Many commuters simply plug in their iPhones while driving, and at no other time. This is enough to keep the device charged. At the same time, they like to listen to music/news/podcasts/etc from their device. While a wireless or usb based audio connections are supported by some cars, this support is not typical. Even when present, the support is incredibly unreliable as compared to the brutal simplicity of a wired analog connection.

 

Using the headphone jack for that connection is inferior because it isn't integrated with the same plug that is already being used to supply power.

post #58 of 61
Originally Posted by newcode View Post
I like the way Tallest refers to the new connector as "Dock Connector 2", as it sounds to me like the sequel to a blockbuster movie.

 

Dock Connector 2: This time it's personal!

 

And watch, watch, just you watch, absolutely NO ONE will yell at me for calling it "Dock Connector 2" instead of its "proper name" if it gets called something different.

 

Almost as though there's a double standard going around that only applies to me and only SOME of the time.

 

I call it Dock Connector 2 because Apple called it MagSafe 2. There won't ever be a MagSafe 5, so the naming conventions here don't need discussed whatsoever.


Originally Posted by MDJCM View Post
Really? Plenty of people with little foresight thought Apple would make its next flagship product, the new iPhone, only compatible with Thunderbolt so just 7% of the worldwide PC market could sync their phones at home? No way, thats silly.

 

The implication is not that it would ONLY have Thunderbolt support. The implication is that it would have Thunderbolt support.

 

…Windows doesnt care enough for it.

 

No, they're waiting for it to be forced on them by Intel through inclusion in the chipset. Just like… 

 

PS, half the reason USB 3 wasnt added until Jobs passed away is probably that he wanted to push Thunderbolt as a standard. When the rest of Apple took charge, they agreed that wasn't going to happen and finally decided to just push ahead with USB 3.

 

…Apple waited for USB 3 to be forced on them through inclusion in the chipset. It has nothing to do with Jobs. The "rest of Apple" agreed to nothing, otherwise Thunderbolt would have been removed, not increased.

 

Thunderbolt is backward compatible with virtually any port. The existence of a dongle is the only barrier.


And finally, every single iPhone being bundled with an expensive 2-headed cable so that a small percentage of iPhone users can sync slightly faster...not gonna happen, USB 3 provides more than enough speed for syncing.

 

It happened with the iPad for an even smaller percentage of iPod users. Ludicrously smaller percentage, in fact. Not saying it will happen, just that your logic doesn't follow.

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post #59 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDJCM View Post

And finally, every single iPhone being bundled with an expensive 2-headed cable so that a small percentage of iPhone users can sync slightly faster...not gonna happen, USB 3 provides more than enough speed for syncing.

If you're going to post with an axe to grind, at least get your precedence right. When Apple supported USB and Firewire, at most, they included two different cables in the box, one USB and often one Firewire. The two-headed USB/Firewire combo dock connector cable was an accessory you could buy separately, it was never included in the box. FW was just something made necessary at the time because USB was 11Mbps and not 480 that it was now.

I'm with you that Thunderbolt is unlikely, the practical considerations just aren't there yet, if ever. If Apple ever does it, it's probably not this year, and probably not next year either. Assuming it does. It might not be totally necessary, Apple still has FW ports on their computers despite dumping them from the iPod line. I think we can recognize that TB has a different usage model.
Edited by JeffDM - 9/12/12 at 9:07am
post #60 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


If you're going to post with an axe to grind, at least get your precedence right. When Apple supported USB and Firewire, at most, they included two different cables in the box, one USB and often one Firewire. The two-headed USB/Firewire combo dock connector cable was an accessory you could buy separately, it was never included in the box. FW was just something made necessary at the time because USB was 11Mbps and not 480 that it was now.
I'm with you that Thunderbolt is unlikely, the practical considerations just aren't there yet, if ever. If Apple ever does it, it's probably not this year, and probably not next year either. Assuming it does. It might not be totally necessary, Apple still has FW ports on their computers despite dumping them from the iPod line. I think we can recognize that TB has a different usage model.

 

Personally, I think Thunderbolt will come, and using the same connector. Remember how Thunderbolt cables are "chipped" so that in the future optical cables and connectors would still be compatible with existing "wired" cables and connections? The same type of thing can and will be done here. 

post #61 of 61
Well would you look at that, I along with many others was right all along. USB 2 on iPhone 5. Oh and no Thunderbolt!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Personally, I think Thunderbolt will come, and using the same connector. Remember how Thunderbolt cables are "chipped" so that in the future optical cables and connectors would still be compatible with existing "wired" cables and connections?

The chip is tuned for each cable to improve communication, nothing to do with the future optical cables. With fibre TB cables, the optical transceiver would be in the connector, not the socket.
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