Go Back   MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old May 9, 2013, 11:23 AM   #1
MacRumors
macrumors bot
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Apple's Lightning Connector Detailed in Newly-Published Patent Applications




As noted by AppleInsider, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published three Apple patent applications related to the company's Lightning connector introduced on its iOS devices late last year.

Perspective view of Lightning connector
The first application describes the hardware itself, while two nearly identical applications outline the adaptive technology used to assign pin functions. The only difference between the latter two applications appears to relate to one describing implementation on an electronic device while the other addresses its use on an accessory.
Quote:
The present invention generally relates to connectors for connecting two devices. Specifically, certain embodiments of the present invention relate to reversible connectors with configurable contacts. [...]

Embodiments of the present invention provide techniques for dynamically configuring contacts of a host-side connector that is associated with a host system. In one embodiment of the present invention, a contact in the host-side connector is capable of being assigned one of several functions. The function to be assigned to the contact (and other contacts in the connector) may depend on the accessory coupled to the host system and the signals provided/used by the accessory. For example, when an audio only accessory is coupled to the host system, at least one of the contacts on the host-side connector can be configured to carry audio data.
Example pin-out diagram of Lightning connector
As part of the hardware-focused patent, Apple shares several examples of implementations for the Lightning connector, including the Lightning Digital AV adapter, Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader, and even an as yet unreleased Lightning dock of similar design to the company's iPad dock for the first-generation iPad with its 30-pin connector standard.

Apple's three patent applications published today were filed in November and December of last year, but are continuations of similar applications filed on September 7, 2012, five days before the company officially announced the standard as part of the iPhone 5 introduction. The patent applications can, however, be traced back even further to several provisional patent applications filed by Apple in November 2011.

Article Link: Apple's Lightning Connector Detailed in Newly-Published Patent Applications
MacRumors is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 11:24 AM   #2
Skika
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Lightning >>> 30-pin
__________________
MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone
Skika is offline   12 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 11:29 AM   #3
iapplelove
macrumors 68000
 
iapplelove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Coast USA
Nothing more exciting than cable technology
__________________
15" MBP/iphone 6 Plus 128gb/ipad Air 64gb/ipod nano/apple tv 3rd gen.
iapplelove is offline   5 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 11:34 AM   #4
MultiMediaWill
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Illinois
Can I buy this patent and make apple move to usb?
__________________
MacBook Pro 15" 2011 , 2.2 GHz Quad i7, 750GB SDD, 8GB RAM
iPhone 6 Plus 64gb
MultiMediaWill is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 11:37 AM   #5
Mackan
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by MultiMediaWill View Post
Can I buy this patent and make apple move to usb?
Yes you can.
Mackan is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 11:43 AM   #6
tjcampbell
macrumors 6502a
 
tjcampbell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vancouver
Exactly how I imagined it.
__________________
My latest comedy videos
http://www.funnyordie.com/tommycampbell
IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1035174/
tjcampbell is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 11:44 AM   #7
Kaspersky
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Warsaw
Wireless for God sake!
Kaspersky is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 11:48 AM   #8
ThisIsNotMe
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Seems like something ridiculously over engineered.
ThisIsNotMe is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 11:50 AM   #9
Unggoy Murderer
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Livingston, Scotland
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaspersky View Post
Wireless for God sake!
How do you charge wirelessly? Sure, you could go down the Lumia 920 route, but it bulks up the device, and I'm pretty sure Apple won't want to make the device fatter.
__________________
27" iMac, i7 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM 13" MBP 2.66 GHz, 8GB RAM 3rd Gen iPad 64 GB Wifi+4G, iOS 7 iPhone 5 32 GB, iOS 7 Mac Mini 2.00 GHz, 2GB RAM
Unggoy Murderer is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 11:53 AM   #10
bungiefan89
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaspersky View Post
Wireless for God sake!
Because having a giant pad on your desk to rest your phone on for charging is so much more convenient than a little plug, right?
__________________
27" 2011 iMac, 3.4 GHz, 12GB RAM, 2GB VRAM - Late 2009 Macbook, 2.26 GHz, 4GB RAM - iPod touch 32GB 4g
bungiefan89 is offline   10 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 12:08 PM   #11
brand
macrumors 68040
 
brand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: 127.0.0.1
Quote:
Originally Posted by bungiefan89 View Post
Because having a giant pad on your desk to rest your phone on for charging is so much more convenient than a little plug, right?
Plus with wireless your not actually getting ride of everything, the Micro-USB port is still there taking up room.
brand is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 12:17 PM   #12
cuda12
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Miami, FL
Quote:
Originally Posted by bungiefan89 View Post
Because having a giant pad on your desk to rest your phone on for charging is so much more convenient than a little plug, right?
Wireless charging right now may not be a very useful addition to the iPhone, but I'm sure Apple is looking at ways to improve the technology. Cables like this are impressive, but having a phone that doesn't need cables is much more so.
cuda12 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 12:22 PM   #13
PracticalMac
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Why so complex just to simply CHARGE your device?
EDIT: For devices designed simply to charge the iDevice, no data function at all, like some 30 pin devices do (ie: car chargers with built in 30 pin cable)

(all the data abilities is fine by me, just the charging the device part)
__________________
FireWire 1394 Intelligent network guaranteed data transfer, 1500mA power, Ethernet compatible
Read: 160 files, 650MB total, FW400 70% faster then USB2
Write: 160 files, 650MB total, FW400 48% faster

Last edited by PracticalMac; May 9, 2013 at 12:45 PM.
PracticalMac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 12:23 PM   #14
OrangeSVTguy
macrumors 601
 
OrangeSVTguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Northeastern Ohio
Quote:
Originally Posted by bungiefan89 View Post
Because having a giant pad on your desk to rest your phone on for charging is so much more convenient than a little plug, right?
Not with witricity.
__________________
Browsing the forums from my Powerbook G4
OrangeSVTguy is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 12:26 PM   #15
chrisbru
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by PracticalMac View Post
Why so complex just to simply CHARGE your device?

(all the data abilities is fine by me, just the charging the device part)
So that everything can be in one connector. Would you rather have a charging port and cable separate from a cable/port that does everything else?
chrisbru is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 12:33 PM   #16
Habakuk
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Vienna Austria Europe
Come on Apple, I NEED a Lightning/HDMI connection w 1080p!!! (Apple TV/AirPlay is okay but it's too slow for games.)
__________________
Hurry up! Selected & time-limited iOS App Store FREEbies and sales
(German-language blog; but you'll find all links, pics and videos)
Habakuk is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 12:36 PM   #17
jayducharme
macrumors 68020
 
jayducharme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The thick of it
I'm confused as to why the connector is so complex. The plug has eight pins on either side, but the jack only has eight pins on a single side. It seems that if the function of the pins on the plug were identical on each side, everything should work just fine. Even though the old dock connector had 30 pins (most of which were never used), I'm not sure what flexibility Apple is gaining by having adaptive Lightning connectors. I would think eight non-adaptive connectors would be able to carry all the needed power and data.
jayducharme is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 12:43 PM   #18
PracticalMac
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbru View Post
So that everything can be in one connector. Would you rather have a charging port and cable separate from a cable/port that does everything else?
No no no.

Because of the complex circuit, a simple charging doc or charging cable will now cost $10 more.

I can point out a number of simple charging adapters for the 30 pin that has no data ability, why should they. With the Lighting now you need to spend more to get the circuits just to charge the phone (no need for any data transfer.)
__________________
FireWire 1394 Intelligent network guaranteed data transfer, 1500mA power, Ethernet compatible
Read: 160 files, 650MB total, FW400 70% faster then USB2
Write: 160 files, 650MB total, FW400 48% faster
PracticalMac is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 12:51 PM   #19
newagemac
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayducharme View Post
I'm confused as to why the connector is so complex. The plug has eight pins on either side, but the jack only has eight pins on a single side. It seems that if the function of the pins on the plug were identical on each side, everything should work just fine. Even though the old dock connector had 30 pins (most of which were never used), I'm not sure what flexibility Apple is gaining by having adaptive Lightning connectors. I would think eight non-adaptive connectors would be able to carry all the needed power and data.
Because this is what allows the connector to work no matter which side you plug in. Probably my favorite feature of the Lighting connector. Nice little innovation IMO.
newagemac is offline   6 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 12:55 PM   #20
TyPod
macrumors 68000
 
TyPod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: And Yourself?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisIsNotMe View Post
Seems like something ridiculously over engineered.
I thought the same, but it's all probably necessary! Crazy how much engineering goes into such a small, lame product.
__________________
01010100 01111001 01101100 01100101 01110010 00100000 01001100 01101001 01100100 01100100 01101001 01100011 01101111 01100001 01110100 powerhourplaylists.com
TyPod is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 01:05 PM   #21
BruceEBonus
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Derbyshire, England
Send a message via MSN to BruceEBonus
They introduced the 'revolutionary' Lightning connector whe their ideas ran out. A pointless, unecessary and expensive "upgrade". Their next innovation was to reduce the size of their winning innovation under Steve Jobs. The iPad Mini. Now New (post Jobs) Apple are stumped for leading ideas after th best they could 'upgrade' the 'new' iPhone 5 by increasing the screen size and the camera resolution. So. In two years. Bigger screen phone. Smaller screen iPad. Pointless connector change. Er ...that's it. Not good.
Curse you for scrapping the company, New Apple
BruceEBonus is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 01:13 PM   #22
Jamo12
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
Quote:
Originally Posted by Habakuk View Post
Come on Apple, I NEED a Lightning/HDMI connection w 1080p!!! (Apple TV/AirPlay is okay but it's too slow for games.)
Lightning to HDMI connector. Outputs 1080p. Expensive as balls
__________________
|iPad mini 32GB+data|
I don't have my computer anymore
Jamo12 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 01:13 PM   #23
flux73
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: May 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by bungiefan89 View Post
Because having a giant pad on your desk to rest your phone on for charging is so much more convenient than a little plug, right?
I could see wireless being very useful in a car where I'd rather not have cables running.

What would be really cool for car use is a magnetic phone with wireless charging. So if you imagine a flat surface on the center console panel, you just place your phone on it. No cables, it's being charged, and it serves as a screen for GPS, Podcast/music control, Siri, etc etc. You can do all that now, but it's pain and very un-elegant with all the little contraptions you need to setup.
flux73 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 01:17 PM   #24
Crzyrio
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Maybe I am mis understanding this but the possibilities with this connector seem quiet endless if each pin can dynamically be assigned a different function.
Crzyrio is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2013, 01:34 PM   #25
Treq
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Santa Monica, CA
I'd love a low friction one. That way I can lift it out of the dock with one hand.
Treq is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Siri Photo Search System Detailed in New Apple Patent MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 29 Dec 30, 2013 10:56 AM
Apple Maps App with Interactive Data Layers Detailed in New Patent MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 46 Dec 20, 2013 10:34 AM
Geofencing to Unlock Vehicle Functions Detailed in New Apple Patent Application MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 74 Dec 16, 2013 02:07 PM
Newly Published Apple Mapping Patent Details Route Feedback System, Real-Time Accident Reporting MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 99 Aug 19, 2013 10:20 AM
Apple's Strict Requirements for Its Third-Party Lightning Accessory Program Detailed MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 174 Feb 26, 2013 10:28 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:46 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC