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

“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,'” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“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,” Hughes reports. “In addition to a second software quality engineer, Apple is also looking to add an employee for the role of Thunderbolt Firmware/Software Engineer.”

Hughes reports, “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.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple hadn’t dumped FireWire way back when (in order to be compatible with the antiquities found in PC-land), we wouldn’t be facing such ridiculously long syncing times with our iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices today. It’s been painful for quite awhile. We fondly remember our FireWire iPods and how quickly we could fill 40GB. Thanks so much, PC luddites, for consigning us to US-fscking-B for so long. Bring on the speed, Apple!

Related articles:
Apple knifing its own FireWire baby by pushing USB 2.0 as iPod’s primary connectivity option – February 23, 2005
Apple should include a combo FireWire and USB 2.0 cable in every iPod box – February 24, 2005
Petition to Apple for iPod FireWire support posted online – February 23, 2005
Apple updates ‘iPod photo’ family with new slim 30GB model, debuts new iPod Camera Connector – February 23, 2005
Apple unveils new 6GB iPod mini for $249, 4GB model now priced at just $199 – February 23, 2005


  1. “If Apple hadn’t dumped FireWire way back when (in order to be compatible with the antiquities found in PC-land)”

    So true. Of course, although I did see a fair number of PCs with their ‘1394’ ports (usually the mini version, too) this is one instance where Apple decided to follow rather than lead.

  2. Oh how I miss Firewire sync…Its such a drag to connect my iphone or ipad and wait for everything to sync, I know so many people who dont even bother to sync their phone because it takes so long. Apple should try to set up a wireless sync system so the phone syncs at night when its plugged in and on the same wifi as the computer.

  3. so true MDN. My original iPod, a 20GB 3G, would be filled in a few minutes over Firewire. That experience has led me to buy Firewire external hard drives for Time Machine. Not sure if it’s a problem anymore with more powerful CPUs, but I had a friend with an original MacBook Pro (Core Duo), and using Time Machine over USB always used to slow his system down massively since USB uses the CPU for everything. Firewire for me never even made it hiccup.

    1. In my experience, Time Machine works much better over FW800 than USB 2.0. Much quicker to complete each incremental backup and less impact on the performance of the computer during the backup – with USB the computer gets less responsive, but with FW there is no discernible impact.

      1. That’s because USB is a serial (as the “S” says), which means that the CPU is actually getting involved in every byte transferred over the USB bus – and, because it’s a star topology rather than a real shared bus, the CPU is involved with everything.

        Not so with FW or Thunderbolt – these are block-oriented protocols, which only involve the CPU after every (very large) block of data. FW has the best advantage here, because two FW devices can communicate without involving the CPU at all.

        1. Actually, the cpu can queue a block to a UART that handles the serial transfer. I doubt Apple would be that far behind the curve on their implementation of USB.

  4. USB 2.0 was the penalty for spreading the iPod to the Windows PC masses. It was painful during the transition, but the new Thunderbolt interface should eliminate all of those legacy issues over the next few years. Even FW800 won’t be needed anymore, much less the FW1600 and FW3200 that never materialized.

  5. It was Apple that killed Firewire by not including it in the original iMac, opting to reserve it for the “high end” G3s of the time.

    Apple lead the way to USB when it could have lead the way to USB + Firewire.

    (And yes, licensing terms also played a big role. But, that was Apple’s fault as well.)

    1. So true. I felt the pain of having only USB 1.0 in that original iMac. Never mind that it was difficult to find an external USB drive that even worked properly… even if it did stay mounted it was something you’d start before you went to bed and the next day it was still going.

  6. It would have been interesting to see how things played out, if instead of switching from Firewire to USB on the iPod with the inclusion of a Windows version, Apple had left the iPod using Firewire and just put a Firewire PCI card in with each one sold.

    All the Windows users would have gotten Firewire and all the Mac users would have gotten an extra Firewire card to pass off to a Windows using friend.

    But no doubt, having to stick a card into their PCs would have scared off a certain number of Windows users and given the tech “press” something to squawk about.

  7. If Apple had insisted on reworking the FW400 port for FW800, like what was done with USB 1, 2 & 3 all keeping the same port and backwards compatibility, instead of imposing the truly awful beta port on us, and relented on the licensing a bit earlier, I have no doubt Firewire would have taken off and we would be enjoying FW3200 by now.
    Oh how I hate USB.

  8. MacDailyNews Take: ” ….. ”
    Thunderbolt is half way house for future LightPeak light signal external communications technology! Caused by Intel falling in love with it for internal communication. Proof Latest Xeon 10 core CPU has 256, REPEAT 256, NOTICE 256 connectors. WHY?
    Intel plans and is pushing LightPeak technology for its own use first. Super super fast super super cheap sever with 256 times 1T memory at 100G/s speeds. The CPU directly cooled by freon.
    Intel gains front running in the Super Computer stakes forget Cray forget IBM – Intel will be king!
    When they have achieved that they will improve Thunderbolt from electrons to photons in externals. And finally 10 years later Apple gets what it wanted in 2009 from Intel! But Intel has all the money all the kudos for new computer design all the front running with Apple again the spinster and relegated to also ran!!

  9. Wasn’t FireWire dumped from iPods and the cheaper MacBooks (for a while) in the interest of miniaturisation? I realise that technology has progressed but if the space FireWire took in iPods was an issue back then, then it would be an issue with Thunderbolt too. Of course that is assuming space was an issue in the first place and the decision to step away from FireWire was not a political move meant to appease Intel, the new CPU supplier and owner of the US standard, in some way.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.