Lightning cable torn down, authentication chip spotted

Lightning cable torn down, authentication chip spotted 1

A disassembled Lightning cable appears to reveal an Apple authentication chip within the cable, according to an AppleInsider report. During a teardown by a reader, a chip was found directly in the signal path of the V+ wire, a location suggesting that even seemingly simple Lightning accessories will need to contain similar chips to work with new Apple devices.


The user who made the discovery claims that due to the authentication chips, early third-party Lightning connectors can’t possibly be functional and should be avoided for now. While it’s unclear as to whether those early connectors contain hacked authentication chips or no chips at all, exercising caution is a good idea for the time being.

  1. INHO, authentication is only a side benefit.

    If I am correct, and the October outing of the iPad mini and update iPad will show Lightning to be a subset of Thunderbolt. And it will be a Light Peek media.

    Where Thunderbolt has 2 10Gb/s rx/tx LVDS channels, and a low speed serial channel, Lightning will have a single 10Gb/s rx/tx LVDS channel.

    So the chip is actually a Light Peek to USB converter, or PHY, if you will. Since Light Peek was made to carry other protocols, USB is one.

    I believe, come October you will see a Lightning to Thunderbolt connecter, with an iPad connected to a 27″ cinema display. That is a guess.

    But with 10Gb/s, the iPad/iPhone would be able to support 1080p/30 3D, 1Gb Ethernet, and a few USB devices simultaneously.

    That is my guess, and seeing the chip under the over-mold, it looks like my guess may be correct.

  2. I agree with Tom. If that’s an “authentication” chip, then it’s no more heinous than a resistor/diode net. I’m fairly certain that’s a Nexperia ESD protection chip, such as the IP4340CX15.

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