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

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    first!
  • Reply 2 of 68
    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!
  • Reply 3 of 68
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    Usb 4.0
  • Reply 4 of 68
    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?
  • Reply 5 of 68
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rhymeswithluck View Post


    first!



    Welcome to the internet.
  • Reply 6 of 68
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 68
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rhymeswithluck View Post


    first!



    Great use of your "15 minutes" .....
  • Reply 8 of 68
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 68
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,206member
    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???
  • Reply 10 of 68
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 68
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 68
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rhymeswithluck View Post


    first!



    fourteenth!
  • Reply 14 of 68
    "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."
  • Reply 15 of 68
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 68
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 68
    ihxoihxo Posts: 567member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 68
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rhymeswithluck View Post


    first!



    This should result in an instant ban.
  • Reply 20 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post


    fourteenth!



    Twenty first!



    I pwn you all.
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