Patent signals that Thunderbolt port coming to iOS devices?

Patent signals that Thunderbolt port coming to iOS devices?

Summary: It was understood previously that Apple's participation in the development of the Thunderbolt interconnect was a backseat collaboration with Intel. However, according to a recent Apple patent application, the company appears to be taking a greater hand in Thunderbolt development. The result may be faster sync and faster power charging.

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Common knowledge was that Apple was taking a backseat participation in the development of the Thunderbolt interconnect — used on the latest Macintosh models technology and on the Apple Thunderbolt Display — called a technology "collaboration" with Intel. However, according to a recent Apple patent application, the company appears to be taking a greater hand in Thunderbolt development. The result may be faster sync and faster power charging.

The Patently Apple site this week discussed a patent application for the use of Thunderbolt on mobile devices. It would require a new cable and physical connector, which will be reliable and handle heat.

Before going into the details of this main patent in their series of three, it should be noted that Apple states in their secondary patent application that "the present invention, connection may also be a new type of connection."

For example, "a connection may be provided between a portable media player and a display, a computer and a portable media player, or between other types of devices." Of course if this is to apply to future iOS devices, as suggested in the quote above, Apple will have to reengineer the connector to be flat enough to fit a USB-type of device slot. The good news is that transferring data to and from an iOS device will be lighting fast as will recharging.

Topics: Legal, Apple, Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility

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5 comments
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  • Hopefully we'll have connectionless charging and 1000x wireless sync before

    any of this matters. If that wast the case then the EU should hold this up for standardization like they did for usb charging. Connectors suck no matter what the form factor. No more proprietary docking crap. No more rip off licensing fees.
    Johnny Vegas
  • RE: Patent signals that Thunderbolt port coming to iOS devices?

    I would have preferred USB 3 from them, since it would help in compatibility between the many existing devices I already have that are USB, as well as the new (and very fast) 3 drives that I am buying for some of my Windows laptops, since I have to use both. Also the lack of eSata capability in Mac laptops is sort of lame. All major Windows laptops for business use have them, and they seem to work fast and fine. There seems to be no interest in the Windows world for TB at this time, and I think that's a factor of the laptop makers rather than MSFT, which likely already has a driver for it. While I appreciate the forward looking aspect to this, is it destined to be a dead end? Just in the Apple store yesterday. No TB devices, other than Apples. You'd think there would be some by now.
    8string
  • RE: Patent signals that Thunderbolt port coming to iOS devices?

    Combine Thunderbolt bandwidth with a MagSafe-style magnetic connector and you have possibly the best wired synch cable possible.
    ssaha
    • RE: Patent signals that Thunderbolt port coming to iOS devices?

      @ssaha
      I think you have great idea. I see that in Fig. 8 in Patently Apple webpage (http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2012/01/apple-patents-reveal-thunderbolt-is-headed-for-ios-devices.html) that they have provisioned this into the Thunderbolt patent.
      However the main issue would be making this universal so that not only Apple device has it, similar issue that Firewire which Apple had for systems but only few PC's had, but to PC & other systems like USB.
      phatkat
  • RE: Patent signals that Thunderbolt port coming to iOS devices?

    All major Windows laptops for business use have them, and they [url=http://katalog365.cz/sport,zabava,a,zivotni,styl/kasino,s,177/]seem[/url] to work fast and fine.
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