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Apple expanding Thunderbolt team for new devices equipped with high-speed ports

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Apple is unsurprisingly looking to bring its new Thunderbolt port to new devices beyond the MacBook Pro, the notoriously secretive company has revealed in new job listings.

This week, on its official corporate hiring site, Apple posted a listing for a new full-time vacancy in the role of "Thunderbolt Software Quality Engineer." The company seeks candidates with at least five years of software quality assurance testing to play a part in testing new hardware and software that will take advantage of Thunderbolt input/output technology.

The ideal candidate will have expertise in testing high-speed buses and PCI-express devices. The position will require the person to test firmware and software on new "world-class products and cutting edge technologies."

The latest job posting joins two other recent Thunderbolt-related hirings, suggesting Apple is hard at work to expand the presence of the high-speed port co-developed with Intel. In addition to a second software quality engineer, Apple is also looking to add an employee for the role of Thunderbolt Firmware/Software Engineer.

The full-time position located at Apple's corporate campus in Cupertino, Calif., will have the engineer "develop and maintain firmware for embedded controllers for Thunderbolt products." The person will craft firmware for Thunderbolt devices, as well as "corresponding Mac OS X tool and utility applications such as updaters and exercisers."

"Includes development of new products plus refinement and maintenance of past products," the official listing reads. "May develop other Thunderbolt software for Mac OS X unrelated to firmware, such as drivers, sample code, applications, libraries, and/or utilities."

The desired candidate for the firmware position would also have experience with ARM processors. That could be a sign that Apple plans to include Thunderbolt technology in future versions of the iPhone or iPad, allowing ultra-fast syncing with a Mac.



Thunderbolt technology debuted this February on Apple's newly updated MacBook Pro notebooks. Formerly code-named "Light Peak," the technology offers data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, or 20 times faster than USB 2.0, and twice as fast as USB 3.0.

Thunderbolt ports are fast enough to transfer a full-length high-definition movie in less than 30 seconds, or to back up an MP3 collection large enough to play nonstop for a full year in just 10 minutes. It is based on PCI Express, and uses the same size connector as Apple's Mini DisplayPort.

Because Intel and Apple collaborated in creating Thunderbolt, Apple will have a yearlong head start in deploying the technology on its hardware. It is expected that future updates to Mac products will add Thunderbolt ports as they are released throughout 2011.

This week, Apple was granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that describes a modified dock connector compatible with new high-speed communication standards, including Thunderbolt. The patent describes a smaller 30-pin dock connector, like the port found on existing iPhones, iPads and iPods, that would include updated communication standards, allowing power, data, video and audio signals.
post #2 of 57
All Macs with at least one Thunderbolt port by the end of 2011?

I'd say so.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #3 of 57
At last. They should put it everywhere.

Which of us is the fisherman and which the trout?

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Which of us is the fisherman and which the trout?

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post #4 of 57
To avoid a fiasco like the one with FireWire (which was a great product), Apple should include Thunderbolt in all products. And I mean it. All.
post #5 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

To avoid a fiasco like the one with FireWire (which was a great product), Apple should include Thunderbolt in all products. And I mean it. All.

I agree, this would be great in the iPod/pad.
post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

To avoid a fiasco like the one with FireWire (which was a great product), Apple should include Thunderbolt in all products. And I mean it. All.

They did that with Firewire... remember the 1st gen iPod? Until PCs get Thunderbolt, it will fail.

That said, the iPod didn't have the following that it does now. So it may force Thunderbolt into PCs.
post #7 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

That said, the iPod didn't have the following that it does now. So it may force Thunderbolt into PCs.

Exactly.
post #8 of 57
I dislike the name Thunderbolt. They should have keep LightPeak...

Is Thunderbolt Apple's name for this port or is it some sort of common name? I believe one of the reasons why FireWire died is because of consumer confusion. It was called three different names (i.e., FireWire, IEEE 1394, and iLink).

I predict that this port will die a quick death if everyone is calling it something different.
post #9 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

To avoid a fiasco like the one with FireWire (which was a great product), Apple should include Thunderbolt in all products. And I mean it. All.

Firewire *was* in every product they make, that isn't why it failed. It failed because PC manufacturers refused to pay the few cents a connector royalties on it (and let's face it, they also hated it simply because Apple was promoting it), and so wouldn't install it in their products. When USB was rapidly evolved into a product with almost as fast a throughput a few years later, the few that did adopt it dropped it, even though it had more going for it than just the speed.

The same thing *could* happen here, although I know nothing about the technical specs so I'm not sure. If the USB 3 folks could double the speed somehow, USB could still hang on in the same manner even though just like Firewire, there are many more reasons to use Thunderbolt than just the raw speed.

A cheaper, dumber, faster pipe always seems to win out because the manufacturers are all fighting each other over fractions of a penny thanks to Microsoft.
post #10 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

I dislike the name Thunderbolt. They should have keep LightPeak...

Is Thunderbolt Apple's name for this port or is it some sort of common name? I believe one of the reasons why FireWire died is because of consumer confusion. It was called three different names (i.e., FireWire, IEEE 1394, and iLink).

I predict that this port will die a quick death if everyone is calling it something different.

It's Intel's name.
post #11 of 57

censored

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post #12 of 57
Surely we are talking about mini-Thunderbolt, apple's fork of the standard?

Sorry, I can't plug that in. Has anyone got an adapter?

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Surely we are talking about mini-Thunderbolt, apple's fork of the standard?

What?
post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Surely we are talking about mini-Thunderbolt, apple's fork of the standard?

Sorry, I can't plug that in. Has anyone got an adapter?

Given that Apple's partially the one to develop Light Peak in the first place, you're trolling. Get over it.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Given that Apple's partially the one to develop Light Peak in the first place, you're trolling. Get over it.

c'mon guys, i think its a joke, not trolling. I thought it was sort of funny.
post #16 of 57
If they put it in iPhone etc then they will need to re-name sync.

I suggest: BlipSync.

Blip! - you're done.
post #17 of 57
isn't there a new Android phone called Thunderbolt?

I smell lawsuit , yeah

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

c'mon guys, i think its a joke, not trolling. I thought it was sort of funny.

speaking of trolling why not call it the iFart, just joking

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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post #19 of 57
W00t!

I'll be first in line to buy a 13" MBA with Thunderbolt and a Sandy Bridge CPU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

They did that with Firewire... remember the 1st gen iPod? Until PCs get Thunderbolt, it will fail.

All Thunderbolt needs to do to succeed is to (1) kick USB 3.0's arse and (2) have Intel not charge a fortune for the TB controller chips.

Remember, beyond the port and controller chip, Thunderbolt is basically an external PCI bus.

With a de facto implementation already underway and no royalties for use (which was the miscalculation with FireWire) I'd bet a number of PC manufacturers are going to want to get on board sooner rather than later.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

They did that with Firewire... remember the 1st gen iPod? Until PCs get Thunderbolt, it will fail.

That said, the iPod didn't have the following that it does now. So it may force Thunderbolt into PCs.

I doubt anyone will need to be forced.

This is an Intel technology, so they will just include it on the next chipset. If it's on the reference design manufactures aren't going to remove it.
post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I doubt anyone will need to be forced.

This is an Intel technology, so they will just include it on the next chipset. If it's on the reference design manufactures aren't going to remove it.

The main problem I see with adoption is that it is a proprietary Intel option and AMD has come out pretty strongly against it. If only Intel systems have it and AMD never joins up, we'll never see it become as wide spread as it could be.
post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

To avoid a fiasco like the one with FireWire (which was a great product), Apple should include Thunderbolt in all products. And I mean it. All.

What fiasco? I have it on my Macs and I have it on my drives. Works perfect. I could care less if Dell or HP doesn't use. Seriously, I.don't.care!
post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

The main problem I see with adoption is that it is a proprietary Intel option and AMD has come out pretty strongly against it. If only Intel systems have it and AMD never joins up, we'll never see it become as wide spread as it could be.

Seriously doubt that people will accept current offerings when they have the option to switch to 10Gb (soon 100Gb) transfers. AMD will see smaller sales. And good for that.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

The main problem I see with adoption is that it is a proprietary Intel option and AMD has come out pretty strongly against it. If only Intel systems have it and AMD never joins up, we'll never see it become as wide spread as it could be.

I wonder, do that many machines come with AMD CPUs? I don't think this will affect Thunderbolt adoption much. In fact, I think AMD machines will sell in lower numbers if Thunderolt takes off and they aren't present on those machines.
post #25 of 57
It seems incredibly stupid to launch a new standard (Thunderbolt) and then not include it on your flagship product (the iPad)
post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

All Macs with at least one Thunderbolt port by the end of 2011?

I'd say so.

I hope so. I'm in the mood for a mini, to play with Lion Server since it's included on the same disk now.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

If they put it in iPhone etc then they will need to re-name sync.

I suggest: BlipSync.

Blip! - you're done.

BlitzSync... (Donder und Blitzen)
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

BlitzSync... (Donder und Blitzen)

Well I was thinking of the old Max Headroom "blipverts", but then again I'm old.

Donder und Blitzen works too.
post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

The main problem I see with adoption is that it is a proprietary Intel option and AMD has come out pretty strongly against it. If only Intel systems have it and AMD never joins up, we'll never see it become as wide spread as it could be.

AMD doesn't have to join, motherboard and computer manufacturers would need to. The more urgent thing, however, is to get peripherals manufacturers to implement TBolt in devices (more storage, audio/video solutions), or to create new devices using TBolt (hubs, docking stations and else).
post #30 of 57
Hence the rumored October iPad 3 ????
post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

BlitzSync... (Donder und Blitzen)

BLITZKRIEG BOPSync
post #32 of 57
On paper, Thunderbolt's 10 gigabits/sec seems like a lot. But:

For people hoping for high performance external graphics cards, what is the bandwidth of a PCI Express x16 slot used by internal desktop graphics cards?

Even for just connecting monitors, Displayport 1.2 supports 17 gigabit/sec.

Is Thunderbolt already underpowered from the start?
post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

It seems incredibly stupid to launch a new standard (Thunderbolt) and then not include it on your flagship product (the iPad)

Beyond that TB to many of the "I" devices would be a waste if they don't speed up access to flash! A fast port to sync with is of little use if you can't write fast enough to make use of the speed.

That being said a TB enhanced iPad would be just the nuts. The new dock connector patent ought to give everyone hope that this will happen soon. One does need to hope though that it isn't simply a display port only port.
post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

On paper, Thunderbolt's 10 gigabits/sec seems like a lot. But:

For people hoping for high performance external graphics cards, what is the bandwidth of a PCI Express x16 slot used by internal desktop graphics cards?

Even for just connecting monitors, Displayport 1.2 supports 17 gigabit/sec.

Is Thunderbolt already underpowered from the start?

No, it is not. You have to put things in perspective. With 2 channels at 10Gb/s, it already has 4x the bandwidth of USB3/SATA III. But bandwidth is just one part of the specs, being based on PCIe, TBolt will offer better sustained rates (than USB3) and very low latency. It just doesn't concern storage, but also real-time applications for audio and video. It's more like FW vs USB, but 12 times faster or more. The goal of TBolt is not to offer external graphics cards. It's clear that for some applications like high performance graphics, RAID, DSP cards, TBolt won't compare to 4x, 8x and 16x PCIe slots available on tower computers/workstations/servers.
post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Beyond that TB to many of the "I" devices would be a waste if they don't speed up access to flash! A fast port to sync with is of little use if you can't write fast enough to make use of the speed.

That being said a TB enhanced iPad would be just the nuts. The new dock connector patent ought to give everyone hope that this will happen soon. One does need to hope though that it isn't simply a display port only port.

I'm afraid that the article about the patent is mistaken (it has nothing to do with TBolt), as the pins arrangement only describe displayport, USB2 and USB3. Displayport uses up to 4 lanes to offer up to 17Gb/s of bandwidth, dual-lane means up to 8.64Gb/s (DP 1.x), well enough for iDevices. 7 pins for DP is enough for 2 lanes and aux signals.
post #36 of 57
I just think it's odd that as AI says: they posted a listing for a "full time vacancy".

I can imagine a lot of slackers applying for that position, but I don't see much getting done as a result of the hire.
post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

They did that with Firewire... remember the 1st gen iPod? Until PCs get Thunderbolt, it will fail.

That said, the iPod didn't have the following that it does now. So it may force Thunderbolt into PCs.

It depends on how it's implemented. If, as is possible, it's part of the newly designed 30 pin connector, then it wont need PC support. That's because it would also be able to support USB 2 and 3, according to reports. If it's a separate port, then Apple must either know something about where support for it is going that we don't, which is likely anyway, and they no longer care, because the benefit to them would outweigh the negatives, and costs.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

No, it is not. You have to put things in perspective. With 2 channels at 10Gb/s, it already has 4x the bandwidth of USB3/SATA III. But bandwidth is just one part of the specs, being based on PCIe, TBolt will offer better sustained rates (than USB3) and very low latency. It just doesn't concern storage, but also real-time applications for audio and video. It's more like FW vs USB, but 12 times faster or more. The goal of TBolt is not to offer external graphics cards. It's clear that for some applications like high performance graphics, RAID, DSP cards, TBolt won't compare to 4x, 8x and 16x PCIe slots available on tower computers/workstations/servers.

And what about the DisplayPort portion? Apparently, the current version of Thunderbolt does not provide the full bandwidth of the latest DisplayPort standard.
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

I'm afraid that the article about the patent is mistaken (it has nothing to do with TBolt), as the pins arrangement only describe displayport, USB2 and USB3. Displayport uses up to 4 lanes to offer up to 17Gb/s of bandwidth, dual-lane means up to 8.64Gb/s (DP 1.x), well enough for iDevices. 7 pins for DP is enough for 2 lanes and aux signals.

Don't be so sure. Display port has 7 pins and is used to transmit Tbolt now on the MBP's. There is no reason yet to believe for certain it won't do so here. As Quoted from Patently Apple:

Quote:
Apple has been granted a powerful patent that packs quite the wallop. Somehow they snuck a secret patent application through the system for an all-new high speed connector that will combine at least USB 3.0 and DisplayPort. Although the patent illustrates an iPod as being one of the first to adopt this, the patent clarifies that it's for all future Mac hardware as well.

Notice the "at least"? Apple wouldn't need to put a technology in the patent it hadn't yet decided to add, or hadn't yet finished working on. The patent can always be amended later if required.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

And what about the DisplayPort portion? Apparently, the current version of Thunderbolt does not provide the full bandwidth of the latest DisplayPort standard.

That's true it doesn't support DP 1.2, nor does Apple right now, let alone the gpus in the MBPs. But let's not forget that DP 1.2 is for 3840 × 2160 displays, there are very few displays like that on the market. AFAIK, only the latest AMD/ATI desktop HD Radeon 6850 and up, are "ready" for DP 1.2.

I think that TBolt has to be taken more as a multi-purpose port than as top-of-the-line at everything, which it's not. It will offer very good performance for storage/audio/video applications as well as the connection to up to 2 DP 1.1 displays (up to 2560 × 1600). No other port in the world can do that. But PCIe slots offer more bandwidth (& different applications) and some graphics cards (can) support bigger displays.
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