One thing I would like to see!

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by Great, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. Great

    Great New Member

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    I have a SP2 256GB and I love it!

    But here are some things that I miss in my SP2. Such as GPS and LTE.

    I can live without GPS but LTE is mandatory for me.

    So I had an idea...

    What if MS release a Touch/Type cover with LTE enabled?

    Do you think it's possible?

    I would be the first to buy!:big smile:
     
  2. the_new_normal

    the_new_normal Member

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    In my lightly educated opinion, I'd say yes they can, but only by removing some functions (i.e. removing the trackpad).

    There's only a certain amount of info a cover can transmit/receive at any one time, and the keyboard & trackpad are probably using most of that already.
     
  3. jrapdx

    jrapdx Member

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    The cover is a USB device, though I don't know if USB 1, 2 or (unlikely) 3. The amount of data that can be transported through the TC2 connection could be small or large depending on USB class. The capacity of the Cover port would be interesting to know--is it possible a non-MS company could develop "covers" with additional or alternative functionality? I'd guess that probably won't happen any time soon.
     
  4. drolem

    drolem Active Member

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    I wouldn't be so sure about that.

    Looking at the voltages on the pins and resistance to GND (cover not connected):
    3.26V
    0.00V 2270 ohm
    1.72V
    0.00V 68.8 ohm
    0.00V 0.1 ohm (GND)
    0.00V 733 ohm
    the results don't seem to imply USB

    Interestingly, the readings didn't change when my SP was turned off.
     
  5. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    The Covers attach via a USB Root Hub Controller, but designed specifically for the Cover and on the Surface 2, Pro and Pro 2 have the additional spines for the Power Cover.
     
  6. Great

    Great New Member

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    So it shouldn't be that difficult to make a keyboard with LTE!
     
  7. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    My understanding from talking to the Surface Engineers the spine doesn't offer enough data bandwidth for anything but the keyboard and mouse. I guess a 3rd party could create a blade that had the radio and antenna and nothing else...

    MS is releasing a Surface 2 with LTE very shortly....
     
  8. the_new_normal

    the_new_normal Member

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    There you go, just clip on a Surface 2 in place of a cover :eek:mg::excited:
     
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  9. jrapdx

    jrapdx Member

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    You mean, the cover is nominally a USB device, but it isn't really USB? That is, a "USB" device is supposed to follow certain protocols, so if significantly deviating from those protocols, it isn't "USB", strictly speaking. If I'm following what you're saying, the Cover interface therefore isn't "USB" and my calling it USB was a bit misleading.

    Of course, I made the mistake of assuming it was USB because of the device description, classification, etc. in the documentation. I know it's an arcane point, but also shows how easily misunderstandings can arise, and while not applying to this discussion, under unfavorable conditions, could spark wild speculation spiraling out of control.

    No doubt at all that the engineers had valid reasons for design decisions made, but could it be, were MS to provide a bit more information about the Cover interface, it would save you the trouble of having to explain it yet again...?
     
  10. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    All of specs for the Cover Technology are available to companies interested in developing blades for the Surface family, there is even an SDK.

    One the Surface 2 there are 3 Root Hubs, 2 appear to be USB 2 ( but remember that doesn't mean USB High Speed, but also incorporates the old 1.1 standard). On the Pro 2 there are 2 Root Hubs, one 3.0 and the other 2.0.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  11. drolem

    drolem Active Member

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    I just checked and the Type Cover shows up as a USB device in Device Manager, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's using USB signaling.

    It looks a bit challenging to scope those lines, but maybe I can get some trace on them.
     
  12. javispedro

    javispedro Member

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    It's definitely not standard USB. Yes, they show up as USB devices, but on GNU/Linux at least you can clearly see it's all under the same "composite USB device" (which houses the wacom, sensors, etc. If the cover is attached, it appears as interface 3 of this device).
    Also unplugging/plugging does not make any USB device appear/disappear; rather, this "composite" device briefly resets.
     

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