Apple Looking Forward Expanding Amount of Devices with Thunderbolt

Apple Patents New Proprietary Connector, Expands Thunderbolt Team

by Anton Shilov
04/06/2011 | 09:54 AM

Apple is looking forward additional members of quality engineering team in a bid to expand the amount of devices with Thunderbolt interconnection. Besides, Apple has patented a new proprietary connector that integrates both USB 3.0, DisplayPort and other protocols.


Apple is seeking a Thunderbolt software quality engineer, who will be responsible for qualifying Thunderbolt firmware and software. The engineer needs to have specific experience writing tools for and testing firmware and software. The SW QA role in this position includes creating tools to assist in validating software and firmware tests, building automated suites, hands-on functional testing, bug reporting/regression, maintaining test guidelines, and project QA status reporting.

The team headed by the engineer will be a key part in driving Thunderbolt software quality, involving new hardware and software, a clear indication that Apple wants Thunderbolt to be a part of wide range of devices. Initially, Apple will likely equip its Macintosh personal computers with Thunderbolt, but eventually the company may implement TB interconnection onto other devices.

Separately, AppleInsider web-site revealed that Apple has been granted a patent on "reduced size multi-pin male plug connector", which incorporates USB 3.0 and DisplayPort lanes and "one or more new high-speed communication standards", which potentially means that it can support Thunderbolt/PCI Express transfers. The connector is aimed at "new electronic devices such as media players", but is naturally not limited to them. Given the fact that personal digital media players, such as Apple iPod are essentially become extinct, the connector - which has all chances to become proprietary to Apple - will likely be found on next-generation iPad tablet and iPhone smartphone.

As high-definition video/photo/audio become more popular among end-users and large amounts of data become part of daily routine, consumer electronics gadgets need to adopt new data transfer mechanisms with high speeds. As a result, it is fully logical for Apple to incorporate Thunderbolt into its personal computers and introduce new data ports for its consumer gadgets.

Apple did not comment on the news-story.