Intel: Thunderbolt Belongs to Us

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ThunderboltFollowing word that Apple applied for a trademark on the Thunderbolt name, Intel has offered a little clarification since it was already credited with developing the high-speed data transfer technology. According to Intel’s senior communications manager, Dave Salvator, Apple filed for the Thunderbolt trademark, but is transferring it to Intel.

Apple will continue using Thunderbolt technology without any restrictions after the trademark transfer is complete, according to Bright Side of News.

“As part of our collaboration with Apple, they did some of the initial trademark filings,” Mr. Salvator said. “Intel has full rights to the Thunderbolt trademark now and into the future. The Thunderbolt name will be used going forward on all platforms, irrespective of operating system.”

Thunderbolt is a new expansion port developed by Intel that offers 10Gbp/s bi-directional data transfer speeds. In Apple’s implementation, it uses the same Mini DisplayPort connector that Apple relies on for external displays, but also supports hard drives and other peripherals.

Intel’s confirmation that it will hold the Thunderbolt trademark makes it look like consumers won’t have to deal with the same confusion they experienced with the various names associated with the IEEE 1394 standard. While Apple used the name “FireWire,” Sony went with “iLink,” and other companies stuck with the 1394 moniker.

Intel hasn’t, however, sorted out Apple’s decision to use a Mini DisplayPort connector with Thunderbolt, and Sony’s desire to go with a USB-style connector.

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19 Comments Leave Your Own

Damen Stephens

Thanks for the info, but it really doesn’t even attempt to address the interesting question raised by this news (surely more interesting than the news itself ?) and that is WHY would Apple perform “initial Trademark filings” for Intel ?  What do either and/or both companies gain from this (presumably convoluted) process ??  Any and all speculation welcome ...

Tiger

PLEASE go with MDP. USB ports are notorious for power issues, the dumb plastic plugs bending, etc.  The MDP has only one way it can go in and is simply more aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Too bad all ports aren’t like HDMI ports. They’re the easiest in the world to use.

mhikl

Strange that Apple would apply for the trademark to the name Thunderbolt instead of Intel, but without Intel moving quickly enough, maybe Apple had no choice. Had someone else jumped in, Apple might have had to pay a premium to get it back or be forced to choose another name. This way, it seems, whether or not Intel settles upon Thunderbolt as the universal moniker, Apple will be able to use the name.

Now the games begin with the choice of connector. Will be interesting to see how that works out. If a USB-style connector can carry the same or better load as the mini-DP connector, what might be the drawbacks and the advantages, if any? Oh and cost. Good point re cheap plastic, Damen and one way in is more practical, Tiger. All this works into the future of better hookups. The fewer kinds of connectors, the better.

Lee Dronick

WHY would Apple perform ?initial Trademark filings? for Intel ?

Because Intel would probably name it GE327 or something geeky. Apple is the one who can come up with catchy names. They worked together on the project, it was a team effort.

Damen Stephens

Because Intel would probably name it GE327 or something geeky. Apple is the one who can come up with catchy names. They worked together on the project, it was a team effort.

LOL, funny.  Although don’t forget that Apple’s input was far less than Intel’s (essentially providing the - unnecessary for the technology - mini display port and adapted the technology from fibre cable to copper so that power could also be transferred).  Ie.  The technology is still Intel’s and will appear in non-Apple computers.  This is why it is interesting that Intel either allowed (or more likely REQUESTED) that Apple apply for trademarks (which will then be tranfserred back to Intel) in certain territories.  I think it is pretty clear that it is not a case that “Intel didn’t move quickly enough to secure the trademark so Apple had no choice”.

zewazir

Intel: ...the new transfer protocol is ready!  We’re gonna call it “IEEE xyz2895b”.

Apple: Okay, we’re gonna start putting in our Macs.  But we think we’ll call it “Thunderbolt”. (Starts trade mark procedures)

Intel: “Thunderbolt”? That’s cool, and way easier than IEEExyz2895b. Can we use it?

Apple: Well, as long as we get to use the technology without any roadblocks from you, sure. It’ll make things easier in the long run.

mhikl

Little is clear in the wars between competitors, Damen. The games they play are the meat and drink of great novelists. Only time will tell what shenanigans bathe the heart of fair Thunderbolt. The safest a competitor can be is to have eyes on all sides of its head and learn never to blink. One never knows when a Stone Angel will make a dastardly move.

Tiger

Anybody’s guess how long till they come up with Lightfoot as another option?

Damen Stephens

Anybody?s guess how long till they come up with Lightfoot as another option?

Gordon, is that you ?  If they could read your mind love ...

Substance

Well someone has to say it:

Intel: “All your Thunderbolt are belong to us!”

Lee Dronick

Little is clear in the wars between competitors, Damen. The games they play are the meat and drink of great novelists. Only time will tell what shenanigans bathe the heart of fair Thunderbolt. The safest a competitor can be is to have eyes on all sides of its head and learn never to blink. One never knows when a Stone Angel will make a dastardly move.

Good one! Shakespeare lecture tomorrow at the Mission Valley Branch Library, I will be there early so as to get a good seat.

Thunderbolt is a catchy name, as is FireWire, and it doesn’t matter so much who coined it as long as it sells.

webjprgm

I hope other people all use the same connector just so “Mac” versions of peripherals don’t end up costing more (with the only difference between the models being the shape of the connector in this scenario).

I also like that mini-display port is smaller, which helps fit them better on products like laptops that keep getting smaller and slimmer.

Intruder

One never knows when a Stone Angel will make a dastardly move.

I see what you did there, Doctor.

lantzn

Damen said: Gordon, is that you?

Uh he was refering to an old 70s movie with Eastwood and Bridges.  Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.

furbies

AS others have mentioned, lets just hope that the “PC universe” doesn’t go with a different connector.

And is there a Mac out there now/soon that can handle 10Gbp/s bi-directional data transfer speeds on to and off it’s HDD ?

Pashtun Wally

WHY are people worrying about what Sony wants?  MDP was chosen, is essential to the spec, devices are in development / production.  It’s a done deal.  I don’t doubt that limitations of the basic USB plug/socket are part of the decision to not use it - and part of why USB 3 is so much slower than Tbolt.

Maybe someone should remind Sony of how that whole ‘memory stick’ thing went.

Damen Stephens

Sony won’t care - don’t forget they created the memory stick “standard” after having created Beta video, Digital Audio Tape (DAT), Minidisc and (jointly) SACD ... not exactly a great track record !!

MiltonThales

Does anyone have ANY Thunderbolt cables ?
Anyone ?  Anyone ?

Lee Dronick

Does anyone have ANY Thunderbolt cables ?
Anyone ?? Anyone ?

Not yet, but there is a website

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