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Apple patents MagSafe adapter with integrated fiber optics

updated 09:15 pm EST, Thu December 2, 2010

Cable hints at Light Peak support

The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent for a new power adapter that integrates fiber optics for data transfer. Images associated with the filing appear to show a MagSafe connector modified to carry a single fiber-optic cable or multiple channels. Rather than terminating the cable at a power adapter, the system utilizes a data adapter with connections for USB, RJ-45, and DVI.

Although the patent filing does not explicitly refer to Intel's Light Peak technology, the revamped MagSafe adapter could presumably be used to support a number of data transmission methods based on optical transmission. A separate patent filing from Apple also referred to a data transmission line that would be able to operate on buses that do not supply power.

Light Peak promises speeds much faster than USB 3.0, with data transfer rates starting at 10Gb/s and scaling even higher as the technology continues to develop. The technology also aims to serve as a replacement for connections such as USB and HDMI, minimizing the number of ports built directly onto notebook housings.

Apple has yet to confirm plans to release a fiber optic-equipped MagSafe system. [via AppleInsider]









by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Cronocide

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    Well

    I'm still waiting for magnetic USB plugs. Or magnetic light peak, perhaps?

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -4

    Good...

    This isn't precisely what I wrote Steve Jobs about. I wrote suggesting a simple MagSafe replacement replacement for that awful RJ-45 Ethernet connector, but I'll be happy to settle for fiber optics instead as long as the connection is easy to make and break.

    Interestingly, the Steve Jobs representative who called told me that Apple didn't want to mess with a standard. That was interesting, since almost everything Apple does with connectors but USB is upsetting some standard.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Re: Good

    suggesting a simple MagSafe replacement replacement for that awful RJ-45 Ethernet connector,

    Yes, that god awful rj-45 connector. What with it's plug that connects it into a port and everything.

    Most people would rather have a magsafe type connector, with it's ability to lose your network connection and drop whatever task you were in the middle of, rather than take the five seconds needed to secure the cable so you don't yank your computer off your desk or something.

    Or is it for some other reason that you are connecting/disconnecting a network cable so much that using the standard cable is the bane of your existence?

    Not that I understand the issue, because if running the cable is such a burden, you could just use wi-fi to do your networking, couldn't you?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    patents

    Do we really need to hear about every patent application that Apple files? I mean, how many actually turn into something? And yet, here we are, more exciting articles about what it 'could' mean about this or that.

    h***, the patent was filed in 2007. But we're supposed to believe Apple was already working on their concepts for LightPeak and power supplies back some 5 years ago. Yeah, let's go with that.

  1. CantAffordIt

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    HP just announced a magnetic USB connector

    Check out the phone HP just announced, called the HP Veer. It has a magnetic connector for the standard micro-usb signals. Very cool. I'm trying to figure out whether HP patented this...

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