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Apple's Light Peak possibly called Thunderbolt

updated 08:25 am EST, Wed February 23, 2011

Leak shows Apple's Thunderbolt IO and 13-inch MBP

Apple's possible plans for Light Peak may have been corroborated by a spate of leaks on Wednesday. Box shots for fscklog have shown a technology nicknamed Thunderbolt that would provide "high-speed I/O" and piggyback on the Mini DisplayPort connector. An accompanying photo of a 13-inch MacBook Pro still in its protective wrapper has shown the connector being virtually identical to Mini DisplayPort but with the Thunderbolt logo nearby, although a rumored third USB port was nowhere to be seen.

While not necessarily Light Peak, the emphasis on speed would support the use of the technology and could reflect Apple's ultimate strategy. Light Peak's 10Gbps of bandwidth piped through a Cinema Display could let it support the display signal, USB, audio and other interfaces through a single cable. A chance exists that Thunderbolt is an entirely new approach.

The box shots also show specs for the 13-inch MacBook Pro that, if true, would be both more and less than expected. Apple would start it out with a 2.3GHz Core i5, giving it a major leap over both the Core 2 Duo and over the rumored 2.1GHz Core i3. It wouldn't come with the 1440x900 resolution display to start, isntead having a 1280x800 panel, but it would have the rumored 320GB hard drive. Intel's HD 3000 graphics, inherent to the Sandy Bridge chip architecture, would replace NVIDIA but should theoretically offer comparable performance to low-end dedicated graphics.

Any new MacBook Pro launch this week would be expected on Thursday and may line up with a claimed Intel press briefing the same day. New 15- and 17-inch models are anticipated and would themselves upgrade to Sandy Bridge-era Core i5 and i7 chips along with newer dedicated video, possibly from AMD. Rumors have circulated of a built-in 16GB SSD boot drive as well as up to 1TB of disk space on the larger two computers, along with a possible option to replace the DVD burner with a second SSD.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Lightpeak and USB

    The Lightpeak connector was supposed to be backwards compatible with USB style connectors, yet another connector is possibly not a good thing unless Apple is just replacing the video connector on laptops yet again; mini-vga, mini-dvi and now Thunderbolt. Thanks Apple, I now have a drawer full of adaptors!

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007


    Might as well use

    a common symbol for electrical danger. :P

  1. PRoth

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2008


    Those specs?

    Looks like it is just showing Intel's integrated graphics... and no secondary AMD or NIVIDA dedicated graphics. I don't know why, but I have this prejudice against integrated graphics... Anyone else?

  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    Re: Those specs?

    I only have a prejudice against Intel Integrated graphics personally ;)


  1. driven

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: May 2001


    Intel graphics

    Yeah, I've learned over the years, avoid Intel Integrated Graphics. That part is pretty much a deal killer for me.

    As for AMD or nVidia? I don't much care. They've both produced some good graphics chips over the years.

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