Intel August 10, 2015

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Intel recently announced plans to bring its professional-class Intel Xeon processors to notebook computers for the first time. The Xeon family of chips is notably only used by Apple in $2,999 and up Mac Pro desktop computers. According to Intel, the high-performance processor will make its way to portable computers starting with processors based on the next-gen Skylake architecture. Specifically, the Xeon E3-1500M v5 family will be the first to bring contemporary workstation power to portable computers, while Intel promises “the right balance of power and mobility” for the upcoming chips. But would Apple ever use Xeon chips in MacBook Pros? expand full story

Intel July 28, 2015

Intel has just announced a new breakthrough in computer storage technology developed in collaboration with Micron that is 1,000 times faster than the current-generation NAND flash chips upon which modern solid-state drives are built. The tech is called 3D XPoint (that’s “crosspoint”), and is the first new type of non-volatile memory created since 1989.

Incredibly, 3D XPoint isn’t just a theoretical product being developed, or an end-goal for a current project. It’s already in mass production and is expected to go on sale in 2016. Intel says the technology will enable a whole host of new applications, ranging from real-time disease tracking to 8K-capable gaming PCs if built into GPUs.

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Intel June 2, 2015

The USB-C port first introduced by Apple in the new 12-inch MacBook looks likely to be used across the MacBook range as Intel has adopted the standard for Thunderbolt 3.

Thunderbolt was developed to simultaneously support the fastest data and most video bandwidth available on a single cable, while also supplying power. Then recently the USB group introduced the USB-C connector, which is small, reversible, fast, supplies power, and allows other I/O in addition to USB to run on it, maximizing its potential. So in the biggest advancement since its inception, Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at 40Gbps, fulfilling its promise, creating one compact port that does it all. 

Apple was an early adopter of the Thunderbolt standard, which allowed a single port to be used for both high-speed data transfer and DisplayPort monitor connections. Intel’s integration of the two standards would allow Apple to replace the Thunderbolt port in the MacBook Pro range while still maintaining full compatibility with existing peripherals …  expand full story

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Intel March 27, 2015

Intel March 14, 2015

Lightning and USB Type-C Connectors

Yesterday on his Talk Show podcast, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber suggested that his Apple sources told him that Apple invented USB Type-C. Known for often insightful but always ‘not negative‘ Apple commentary, Gruber sometimes peppers his stories with info he’s gained from inside Apple which he calls “little birdies” (that admittedly haven’t been 100% recently, but used to be spot on).

The quote, taken from TheTechBlock about 54 minutes in:

I have heard, can’t say who, but let’s call them “informed little birdies”, that USB-C is an Apple invention and that they gave it to the standard bodies. And that the politics of such is that they can’t really say that. They’re not going to come out in public and say it, but they did. It is an Apple invention and they do want it to become a standard.

That’s a bit weird, because if Apple did invent USB Type-C, it would seem like a no-brainer for replacing Lightning. But Gruber noted in a post earlier this week that he didn’t think Apple would replace Lightning with USB Type-C.

I think the answer is probably “No, Apple is not going to switch the iPhone and iPad to USB-C”. I think Lightning is a more elegant design, including being slightly thinner. And I think Apple likes having a proprietary port on iOS devices.

But, if they did move iOS devices to USB-C, then you could charge your iOS devices and MacBook with the same cable. And within a few years, all phones and tablets from all companies would charge using the same standard.

A few minutes of research into the matter yields a wealth of data about the genesis of USB Type-C and while Apple does play an active role, it appears they had a lot of help – to put it charitably… expand full story

Intel February 3, 2015

Seagate will discontinue its lineup of Thunderbolt storage products in favor of pushing Thunderbolt under its premium LaCie brand, 9to5Mac has learned.

A company spokesperson confirmed the move noting that the product life cycles for the company’s USM technology, which allowed integration of interfaces like Thunderbolt through adapters, is “coming to a conclusion.” expand full story

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