MacBook Pro 2016: USB Port Type-C, OLED bar, Touch ID … The rumors confirmed!

MacBook Pro 2016: USB Port Type-C, OLED bar, Touch ID … The rumors confirmed!

The MacBook Pro 2016 should really be innovative. Bloomberg mentioned its features in a very detailed article.


Earlier in the day, MeltyStyle confided to you that the IPhone 7 could be formalized on September 7, also chosen by Sony for its Playstation 4 Neo. So the new Apple smartphone is really not very far away. But for the MacBook Pro 2016, which is particularly interested in Apple addicts, it will probably take longer to wait. This is in any case what Bloomberg says through an article by the talented Mark Gurman. The opportunity for former 9TO5MAC reporter to come back to the rumors about the computer, and to confirm some of them. According to him, the MacBook Pro 2016 will be very different from previous generations.


For the past four years, the MacBook Pro has not evolved much. But with version 2016, this should change drastically. If we believe Mark Gurman, the new Apple Computer would be more thin and lighter than its predecessors, as has already been mentioned. It would incorporate an OLED bar above the keyboard, which would use the Organic Light-Emitting diode technology. This would replace the function keys for more convenient use. In addition to a USB Type-C Port, the new MacBook Pro would also be equipped with a Touch ID button, placed at the power button level. Finally, it could embed an AMD Polaris graphics chip to seduce the gamers. Pretty attractive features, right? To be confirmed, you will probably have to wait until the end of the year. So what do you say?
What is the difference between USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB Type-C (3.1)?

What is the difference between USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB Type-C (3.1)?

It was 1997 when it began to hear about a single connector that would be able to connect different types of devices to computers using only one type of cable and one respective port.


It is so that, as time passes, ports like COM (often used for modems and other types of devices), LPT (for printers) and PS2 (usually for mouse and keyboard) have practically disappeared and have left the place to a type of port – and its connector – of which today you could not do without: the Universal Serial Bus , which we all know in confidence as USB.


Despite all we have clearly what is a USB port and cable, it is not always clear the difference between the standards that have happened over time: leaving the standard 1.1, now fallen into disuse, in this article we will find out what is the difference between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.


Our guide will analyze those that are the practical differences between the two standards, leaving voluntarily what concerns the part of circuitry and electronic design. Finally we will analyze the latest generation of USB, ie USB 3.1 with its USB connector Type-C, which aesthetically distinguishes from the previous but that retains some backward compatibility.


Step 1: Aesthetic differences


It is usually read that a device is equipped with a number of USB 2.0 ports and USB 3.0 ports: As these may seem identical, you will discover later that the USB devices of the two categories are capable of transmitting data at different speeds, as well as absorbing a different amount of electricity (and thus feeding different types of devices).


Aesthetically distinguishing a USB 2.0 port from a USB 3.0 port is simple: the classic plastic plate of the first is grey or black white, while the second one is blue or dark blue.


As for the cables, however, if the plastic plate is blue it is certainly a USB 3.0 – while for the white plate It may also be a USB 2.0 cable.

UCABL021500_1 (1)

Step 2: Energy required for power supply


To decree the big success of USB connectivity was certainly the possibility of many devices compatible to feed “alone” simply using that type of connection, going in fact to eliminate the need for an alternative electricity source (and therefore another, annoying cable).


The Power + connection combination is born in USB 2.0 and also remains in USB 3.0, but with different numbers: USB 2.0 devices can absorb a maximum current of 100 ma, while USB 3.0 can absorb a maximum current of 150 ma.


These values change considerably during the enumeration phase – the one in which the host (the operating system) identifies the type of device connected to the port: USB 2.0 devices at that stage can absorb current up to 500 MA, USB 3.0 devices can also reach 900 ma.


So, in conclusion, USB 3.0 differs from its predecessor also due to the significant increase in the power that the devices need – USB 2.0 can feed devices up to 2.5 W USB 3.0 comes up to 4.5 w (compared to 5v input)-although specific energy optimization mechanisms are under way.


Step 3: Data transfer performance


According to the standard USB 2.0 (which we remind you to have the beauty of 14 years) the maximum theoretical transfer speed is equal to 480 Mbit/s, while that of USB 3.0 (which has “only” 4 years) is more than ten times higher, or 5 Gbit/s.


Although for some types of devices this difference is quite remarkable right from the start, it is practically impossible for a USB device to actually communicate with the host using the maximum theoretical speed due to the structural limitations of the device itself.


For example, speaking of USB storage devices (which are disks, USB sticks or flash memories), the performance of the memory type itself will affect the performance of USB, preventing the attainment of the maximum transfer rate.


However, this does not take away that the difference between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 is perceived in the vast majority of cases, and this also decreed a slight difference in price – USB 2.0 devices are generally cheaper than USB 3.0.


Step 4: Backward compatibility


It seems obvious but in reality it is not at all: unlike what happens normally, you can use – with obvious limitations – both USB 2.0 devices in USB 3.0 ports is the opposite, without any compatibility issues. Both standards are absolutely compatible with each other regarding data transfer.


Clearly this will affect performance: a US device
The speech becomes slightly different regarding the current: No problem for USB 2.0 devices connected to the 3.0 ports, which will surely receive the quantity of current required; Different instead the opposite scenario: a USB 3.0 device may fail to get the power to power itself when connected to a USB 2.0 port, although this scenario is rarely found.
However, it should be stressed that USB 3.0 is interrupted compatibility with USB cables and MicroUSB 2.0 type A.
The USB 3.1 specification was presented last December 2013, and with it all its innovations and improvements in terms of energy and data transfer speed: First, USB 3.1 allows you to power devices with up to 100w (in some Chromebooks and the last Macbooks the USB 3.1 connector feeds and recharges the batteries and the same devices) , secondly, the achievable theoretical velocity becomes ten times higher than that of its predecessor, touching the 10 Gbit/S.
The most interesting novelty, however, is the connecting cable – deeply different from its predecessors – which today is on more and more devices: The USB Type-C connector has a thickness equal to that of a current microUSB, it is slightly longer and – very, very pleasing – is double-sided, i.e. it can be inserted into the door in both ways eliminating the danger of damaging it by incorrectly inserting it , which – strange, but true – has happened and happens quite often today with USB cables 2-3.0.
The USB Type-C connector is backwards compatible with USB 2.0-up ports, but not vice versa. Today, hybrid adapters and cables (USB 3.0 Type-B – USB 3.0 Type-C) are extremely popular to make the gradual transition from one standard (and its dedicated cable) to the other less “traumatic”.
Thunderbolt 3, the free revolution of Intel

Thunderbolt 3, the free revolution of Intel

The U.S. corporation announces important news for the future of the interface, which will soon become free and should therefore spread on all new PCs. A revolution equal to that of the USB port?
Rome-After following the path of the proprietary approach and the quasi-exclusive partnership with Apple, Intel has now decided to veer drastically in the free direction to the future of Thunderbolt 3: The latest generation of universal calling hardware interface will be free for OEMs, announced the Colossus of the x86 chips, and the consequences of the new approach will be felt through the entire hi-tech industry.


Thunderbolt 3 wants to be a unifying interface in a world full of doors, competing cables and standards, a technology to connect external devices to PCs and mobile gadgets that fuses in the same electrical signal the communication on the PCI Express (PCIe) and DisplayPort with a lot of power feeds to direct current for the supply of the system; The port used by the interface is USB type-C, i.e. a small connection and that more practical to use you could not.


Intel says it wants to finally integrate the Thunderbolt 3 interface directly into its future CPUs, while the technology specs will pass to the new royalty-free regime by next year. In this way, OEMs will be able to make new computer systems that are increasingly compact, light and convenient, says Chipzilla again. Also Microsoft is obviously of the game, with an increasingly extended support coming into the future revisions of Windows 10.La new incarnation of Thunderbolt 3 does tell someone that soon will arrive the time of obsolescence for the historian-and still “universal”-USB cable used of the interface homonym, yet another technological “extinction” that should bring with it the disappearance of adaptors, tangles of wires on the desk and assorted incompatibility issues.


From the point of view of Intel, finally, the future of Thunderbolt 3 provides not only hyper-fast connections between peripherals with data rates from 40Gbps, but also a new mainstream market for single-cable docks, 4k/5k photos and videos, VR experiences indistinguishable from reality and “faster than ever” storage.
MacBook Pro and iphone 7 don’t “talk”: Need an Adapter

MacBook Pro and iphone 7 don’t “talk”: Need an Adapter

Apple eliminates USB ports in favor of Thunderbolt connectors and iphone 7 owners discover they need an adapter to connect the two devices
Paraphrasing a famous quote, you could say “Cupertino, we have a problem”. Who attended the presentation of the MacBook Pro 2016 last October 27th had a little gasp thinking: “And now, how do I connect the iphone 7 to this computer?”.


Perhaps taken from their innovative thrust, Apple designers and technicians have not taken into account that their flagship smartphone connects to the PC (to make or restore a backup, for example) via a normal USB cable. This, in fact, is the “standard equipment” of every iphone sold to date. Too bad, however, that in the new MacBook Pro the USB ports have been eliminated to make room for the third-generation Thunderbolt ports (two or four depending on the model you want to buy): In their basic configuration, therefore, iphone 7 and MacBook Pro 2016 will not be able to talk to each other.


Communication problem


To connect the two devices you will need to purchase a USB-Thunderbird adapter from the official store of Apple bitten (cost 29 euro): a problem that they had already faced, in September, users who bought the iphone 7 but did not want to throw in the garbage bucket their old earphones with audio jack from 3.5 mm (present, instead, in the MacBook Pro).


A choice, to eliminate the “normal” USB ports in favor of the Thunderbolt ports (which use, instead, USB Type-C connectors), which has already raised several controversies. Some international commentators are wondering if communication problems do not exist only at the level of devices, but also at the level of development departments. And why a computer and a smartphone presented a few weeks apart from each other need an adapter to be able to connect to each other. Some speculate that both the iphone 7 and the MacBook Pro 2016 are two “intermediate devices” towards a future without ports, made of communication and wireless charging. While waiting, however, equipped with the right adapters.