On October 7, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a continuation patent application from Apple that may reveal their intention of integrating the MagSafe power connector into future portables such as the iPhone or iPad. Apple put the pedal to the metal on this continuation patent filing which was only filed in June of this year. Is someone in a rush or something?
MagSafe Connectors on Future Devices
According to Apple's patent, "the connector 62 may be a power connector such as the MagSafe power connector manufactured by Apple Inc. of Cupertino, Calif. The MagSafe power connector utilizes a magnetic attraction to help retain a corresponding connector thereto." You could see connector 62 in Apple's patent figures 8A and 8B above which is part of the device noted in patent figure 7. That could be an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
In Apple's patent FIG. 12 we see an exploded perspective view of a connector arrangement 100. The movable connector base may also include a connector region 136 that contains a protruding member 138 having one or more electrical contacts 140. In the illustrated embodiment, there are 5 contacts situated in a line. The pin layout may correspond to the pin layout of the MagSafe Power connector manufactured by Apple Inc. of Cupertino, California.
Apple credits Chris Ligtenberg, John DiFonzo and Brett Degner as the inventors of patent application 20100254111, originally filed in Q2 2010.
Other Noteworthy Patent Applications Published Today
Other minor Apple patents published today include two by the title "Brightness Control of a Status Indicator Light" under patents 20100253228 and 20100253239 as well as a patent titled "Time Synchronization of Multiple Time-Based Data Streams with Independent Clocks," under patent 20100257396. The others are continuation patents.
We don't see any patent by the title "Integrated Touch Sensitive Display Gate Driver," at the Patent and Trademark Office as another site is claiming this morning. However, if someone in the outlands happens to have the patent number of this title, please contact us using our contact form that is listed under our banner.
Update Oct 8, 2010: The patent in question was found under patent 20100253638. In a nutshell, the patent may be advantageous to a future display used in touch based version of a MacBook or iMac. The "Integrated Touch Sensitive Display Gate Driver," would be able to turn off the power to the touch component to save on voltage when not in use. That would be more advantageous in an MacBook application where power savings would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to Jonny Wu for sending us the associated patent number overnight.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary integrated touch sensitive display with switchable gate driver circuitry proximate to an active display/touch area of the display. Integrated touch sensitive display 20 could include active display/touch area 12, LCD driver 14, touch controller 16, and gate driver 18. The components could be electronically connected to or in communication with each other.
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