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Intel still owns Thunderbolt trademark, Apple just helped

updated 08:15 am EDT, Fri May 20, 2011

Intel says Thunderbolt trademark still its own

Intel moved quickly to hush claims of a Thunderbolt trademark dispute with an official response. Senior communications lead Dave Salvator in a statement late Thursday said that Apple had filed some of the early trademarks but that Intel still had the complete rights "now and into the future," he told BSN. Intel and all computer makers could use Thunderbolt anywhere, "irrespective of operating system."

Apple would transfer any trademarks if approved.

Concerns had existed that Apple had gained special rights to the name and that other companies might have to use the original Light Peak codename or something similar. Apple is virtually the only computer maker to use the term FireWire where Sony and other companies that use it either refer to it as i.Link, IEEE 1394, or other less relatable terms.

Side-by-side with the clarification, Salvator also mentioned that later Thunderbolt cables using an optical path for data instead of copper could still carry power. The implementation would still need an internal wire for power but could still theoretically scale beyond the current all-copper technology. Intel has usually mentioned optical cables transmitting data over longer distances as well as having more flexible cables and more headroom; Thunderbolt could eventually scale up to 100Gbps.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. viktorob

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2011


    Power over wire limitation

    This limitation can be override using a wall transformer for the other device, so theoretically, you will be still able to extend several meters your cabling using the optical connection.
    But so far, even for copper thunderbolt, there are no devices on sale yet, and external hard drives only transfer 153 Mbits /sec, you will have to use a very large array to use the complete channel for thunderbolt, so in the meanwhile, a USB3 to Thunderbolt converter could be great, some body, please?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Power over wire

    No, you just shove in one or two copper wires in the cable, that's all.

    And don't hold your breath waiting for a USB3 cable. As we know, USB3 is dead in the water. That's why Apple doesn't support it.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009



    Nice try Apple.

    - Sent from my Android Device

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