MacBook Pro Update: Intel Sandy Bridge, SSDs, Lightpeak

Jayesh Shinde 21 Feb 2011

There's a strong indication from various sources that Apple's MacBook Pro lineup is due for an update very soon. In fact, as little as a week remains between Apple refreshing its MacBook Pro laptop offering to the latest Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs and debut Light Peak among other interesting features, according to reports around the Web.

Reports about a MacBook Pro refresh featuring Intel's Light Peak surfaced in November last year. But there's renewed buzz around Apple's MacBook Pro laptop lineup, increasing the likelihood of a possible announcement in the near future.

According to Digitimes' Taiwanese manufacturing sources, Apple will launch upgraded version of MacBook Pro laptops within this month on the Intel Sandy Bridge processor platform. Digitimes and AppleInsider suggest existing MacBook Pro laptop's supply tightening around the world, they're pulled off the shelf -- another indicator of an imminent updated launch.

There's no reason why the updated MacBook Pros shouldn't launch with Intel's Sandy Bridge chips, but since Intel discovered a design flaw in Sandy Bridge's design subsequently after launch have raised doubts of Sandy Bridge's shipments. But AppleInsider's sources confirm that the updated MacBook Pro laptops will ship with the latest batch of Sandy Bridge chips which are unaffected by the design flaw uncovered in Intel's first shipment.

Light Peak is a high-speed optical fiber technology developed by Intel to connect several devices including peripherals, display monitors and external drives -- all through a single, standard cable. Light Peak will enable speeds up to 10Gbps -- SATA 3.0 allows 6Gbps, USB 3.0 allows 4.8 Gbps, for example. Light Peak will start appearing on devices in 2011, according to Intel. Again, no reason why Apple shouldn't debut it on the new MacBook Pro laptops.

Other uncomfirmed reports suggest the new Apple MacBook Pro laptops will feature SSD-only versions, like the MacBook Air ultraportables. BGR goes one step further to suggest there'll be an OS-only SSD in the new MacBook Pros for faster load times with other data stored on a regular hard drive. The MacBook Pros will also sport larger glass-top touchpads or trackpads, especially with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion promising increased gesture support.

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