Yesterday we discovered that the Apple-made Lightning to HDMI connector adapter hides an ARM CPU with 256 MB of RAM inside. Although at first it was speculated that it might fulfill some function related to AirPlay, today, an Apple engineer has taken us out of doubt by publishing a commentary in SlashDot where he details its operation and reveals some very interesting points in view of the future of the connector.
The newly discovered SoC features an XNU-based kernel that lacks a shell and simply boots up a daemon designed to accept data input from the computer it connects to via Lightning, decodes the data stream and pulls it out through the HDMI connector. Nothing more, nothing less.
The system is designed so that can be upgraded on the fly through iOS updates and since it is the adapter that does all the work, current devices with Lightning will still be able to be compatible with other connectors that have not even been designed yet . The connector will not need to be modified again, only the relevant adapter, so its life and that of the devices that incorporate it promises to be even longer than that of the old 30-pin connector.
So far the short version, for the long one you’ll have to read something else…