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

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    All Macs with at least one Thunderbolt port by the end of 2011?



    I'd say so.
  • Reply 2 of 56
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    At last. They should put it everywhere.
  • Reply 3 of 56
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 56
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 56
    timuscatimusca Posts: 120member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 56
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 56
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 56
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 56
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 56
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,931member
  • Reply 11 of 56
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    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?
  • Reply 12 of 56
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PXT View Post


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



    What?
  • Reply 13 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 56
    joelsaltjoelsalt Posts: 827member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 56
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,692member
    If they put it in iPhone etc then they will need to re-name sync.



    I suggest: BlipSync.



    Blip! - you're done.
  • Reply 16 of 56
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    isn't there a new Android phone called Thunderbolt?



    I smell lawsuit , yeah
  • Reply 17 of 56
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    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
  • Reply 18 of 56
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 56
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 56
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    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.
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