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

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    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 it?s 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.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    recrec Posts: 217member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    "......."
  • Reply 6 of 32
    ringoringo Posts: 328member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post


    I think it?s 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.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    jb510jb510 Posts: 124member
    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...
  • Reply 8 of 32
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,281member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,510member
    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
  • Reply 11 of 32
    .....
  • Reply 12 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 32
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,510member
    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.)
  • Reply 14 of 32
    definetely today. the Apple store at our European (portugal) side is already closed.

    http://www.maccouch.com/2011/02/happy-birthday-steve/
  • Reply 15 of 32
    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?
  • Reply 16 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    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?"
  • Reply 19 of 32
    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!
  • Reply 20 of 32
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    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.
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