Earlier this month, Apple filed for a new MacBook Pro trademark. It was busy for us this month and it just seemed to be a run of the mill trademark update not worth mentioning. Then CNET's news surfaced this weekend about the possibility that the updated MacBook's could be adopting Light Peak. So back to the trademark filing we went to see if there were any clues that could support that notion. Lo and behold, there was. While I hate grabbing at straws, there certainly is one feature listed that could fit the bill – if you know how to connect the dots.
Power Converter: Possible Fiber-Optics (Light Peak or Other-Type)
Late Saturday, CNET revealed that a reliable source told them that "an announcement from Apple is expected soon about a new high-speed connection technology." The report hinted that this could mean that the next generation Light Peak could be the technology referred to and headed for the upgrade coming to the MacBook Pro, supposedly this week.
Patently Apple first revealed back in December 2010 that an Apple patent confirmed that a future iteration of MagSafe could in fact include Fiber Optics. The patent presented us with information pointing to Light Peak or Light-Peak-like technology in the works for the MacBook Pro.
In that patent report we stated the following: "Apple's patent FIG. 11 illustrates a power and data transfer system. Data received at the data connections is converted to optical data by the power and data adapter and provided to the connector insert via the fiber-optic and DC power cable. Data received at the connector insert is received by the power and data adapter, again via the fiber-optic and DC power cable. The power and data adapter could then convert this data and provide it on the appropriate connector."
The CNET report combined with the known patent information is now further supported by Apple's latest MacBook Pro trademark filing that lists "power converters" separately from "power adapters" as one of the new technologies that Apple is seeking protection for as noted below:
International Class 009: Computers, notebook computers, computer hardware, computer operating system software, power adaptors, power cords, computer batteries, remote controls, power converters, cables and connectors, instruction manuals (downloadable electronic publications).
Because of Apple's patent, we're able to reasonably understand that this simple listing of "power converters" in Apple's trademark filing could actually have a real context that we're hoping will translate into some exciting news this week. Then again, it could be overreaching. Time will tell soon enough - but it sure looks promising.
Apple's Trademark Application In-Part
Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of new trademarks with associated graphic(s) for journalistic news purposes as each such trademark is revealed by the U.S. and/or other foreign Patent & Trademark Offices. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent and/or trademark applications and/or grants should be read in its entirety for further details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.
Update February 23, 2011: Engadget reports today that Light Peak or another kind of High-Speed I/O is indeed coming to the MacBook Pro as the updated trademark suggested. Also see the MacRumors report. Interestingly Apple may have chosen to kick start this I/O using DisplayPort. Whether this eventually extends to MagSafe at a later date or is included with this updated MacBook Pro is still unknown. The point is that one implementation doesn't necessarily contradict the other over time.