Apple looking for cable that works with iOS devices, Macs
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Apple looking for cable that works with iOS devices, Macs

A new Apple patent (number 20110225812) shows that Apple is working on all-in-one data and power cable that can charge and transfer files between iOS devices and Macs.

The "Power Adapters for Powering and/or Charging Peripheral Devices" patent includes a housing that contains electrical components associated with the power adapter. The power adapter also includes a data port provided at a surface of the housing. The data port is configured to provide external power to the peripheral device. The inventors are Daniele Deiuliis, Andrew Bert Hodge, Jeffrey L. Robbin, Stanley Car Ng, Eric W. Anderson and Anthony M. Fadell.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "The present invention relates to apparatus and methods for powering peripheral devices. More particularly, the present invention relates to improved techniques for powering and/or charging peripheral devices through a data transmission line.

"The invention pertains to power adapters that allow a user to power and/or charge a peripheral device such as a portable electronic device without requiring any additional cables or connectors. The invention also pertains to a connection method for powering a peripheral without requiring a host, peripheral or hub to remain powered on. The connection method allows peripherals to operate on buses that do not supply power. The invention is particularly suitable for peripheral devices that utilize IEEE 1394 FireWire technology (e.g., ports, connectors and data transmission lines).

"The invention relates, in one embodiment, to a power adapter. The power adapter includes a power connection. The power adapter also includes a data connector assembly electrically coupled to the power connection, the data connector assembly providing at least one combined power and data connection, wherein the power provided by the combined data and power connection is used to operate or charge a peripheral device.

"The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a power adapter for a portable electronics device. The power adapter includes a housing that contains electrical components of the power adapter. The power adapter also includes a data port provided at a surface of the housing. The data port facilitates providing external power to the portable electronics device via the data port.

"The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a power adapter. The power adapter includes a housing configured to enclose electrical components associated with the power adapter. The power adapter further includes a power plug capable of electrically coupling to a power source and at least a portion of the electrical components. The power adapter also includes a data port positioned within the housing.

"The data port is configured for receiving a data connector of a data transmission line capable of transmitting both data and power therethrough. The data port is electrically coupled to the power plug so as to provide power through the data transmission line when the data connector of the data transmission line is received by the data port and when the power plug is electrically coupled to the power source.

"The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a data processing system. The data processing system includes a host device capable of processing data through a first data connection. The system further includes a peripheral device capable of processing data and receiving power through a second data connection. The power is configured to operate or charge the peripheral device. The system additionally includes a power adapter having a third data connection for providing the power when the power adapter is electrically coupled to a power source.

"The system also includes a data transmission cable capable of transmitting both power and data therethrough. The data transmission cable is configured to transmit data between the first data connection and the second data connection when the data transmission line is coupled to the host and peripheral devices. The data transmission cable is also configured to transmit the power from the third data connection to the second data connection when the data transmission line is coupled to the peripheral device and the power adapter.

"The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a method of powering a computing device. The method includes receiving a first power from a power source via a power connection. The method also includes outputting a second power to the computing device via a data connection.

"The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a power adapter. The power adapter includes a connector assembly having a first data connection capable of transmitting data to and from a host device, and a second data connection capable of transmitting data to and from a peripheral device and power to the peripheral device. The power is used to operate or charge the peripheral device."

-- Dennis Sellers

 
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