An auto-adapting dock connector?

Discussion in 'iPhone 5' started by fury, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. fury

    fury Evangelist
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    So, the rumor is that it's only 8 pins (or 9, with the rest of the connector being ground) and the other side just exposes the same 8 pins, so that you can flip it around either way. The concern there is what features they'd cut out of it to go from 30 pins down to 8.

    Well, what if it actually uses all 8 pins on both sides, for a total of 16, and the phone auto-orients the pin configuration depending on which way you plug it in? It could be doable with software at plugin-time, if the hardware design had the appropriate routes set up.
     
  2. psylichon

    psylichon Genius
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    Certainly feasible.

    Now let's talk about what they could take out of this 30-pin layout to take it down to 17 conductors without losing too much functionality.

    pinout.jpg

    I think it's safe to say that Apple cares not about Firewire support these days, so there's 5 pins. S-Video? Who uses that anymore? Another 2 pins. 2 pins are unused and 1 is used solely to determine the function of other pins (a method they might exploit further to stretch 17 pins?). That takes it down to 20 there.

    And with the headphone jack so close to the dock connector now, will they incorporate it into the dock2 protocol, eliminating audio from the dock connector? If so, I hope they incorporate a much higher quality headphone amp because right now the dock connector provides much higher fidelity.
     
  3. fury

    fury Evangelist
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    Firewire was 6 pins (TPA+, TPA-, TPB+, TPB-, two power pins).

    Composite & S-Video can probably go (for the edge cases that still need Composite or S-Video, there are HDMI -> Composite converters), so there's another 3 gone

    They probably won't do line-in anymore, so that's 2 more.

    They can probably get rid of the two ground pins nearest the Firewire pins, too.

    Though, I wonder how they do HDMI output.
     
  4. psylichon

    psylichon Genius
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    They'd better not ditch line-in. There's a big market in the music industry for those accessories.
     
  5. fury

    fury Evangelist
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    Well, none of the iPads do analog line-in, and neither have the iPhones and iPods since 2010. You can still do USB audio in. But they stopped using those two analog line-in pins already a couple years ago
     
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  6. psylichon

    psylichon Genius
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    Oh I didn't know that! I don't use any of those devices, but I am hoping my iRig MIDI interface will still work with the adapter.
     
  7. fury

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    The iRig MIDI looks to be compatible with iPads, and iPhones as recent as the 4S, so it must not be using the analog line-in. My guess is it's putting the iOS device in USB host mode and presenting itself as a MIDI USB device. I doubt USB host mode is going away any time soon, that's how the camera connector kit does its thing.
     
  8. psylichon

    psylichon Genius
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    I'm playing my first gig this weekend with the iPad as my sole sound source (I could do it all on the iPhone... same sounds... but the live interface is better on the iPad). I've invested over $100 in hardware and apps/sounds, so I'll be a bit miffed if there isn't an easy adaptation to my new iPhone.
     
  9. fury

    fury Evangelist
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    That functionality should be relatively safe for the next iPhone. They'd have to walk through the fires of hell to take USB out, and since they're going to keep USB, they might as well keep USB host mode...
     

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