Feeds

Apple seeks specialist for iPhone ARM upgrade

Neon job posting

Website security in corporate America

An upgraded ARM processor may power future iPhones, if the requirements in an Apple job posting for experienced chip-level programming talent are any indication.

Spotted by sharp eyes at MacRumors, the posting for a "High Perform/Low Level Programmer" on Apple's Job Opportunities site list among its requirements "excellent understanding and knowledge of processor architecture, specifically ARM and its vector unit NEON." Responsibilities would include "designing, enhancing and improving various subsystems running on iPhone OS."

The iPhone and iPod touch are currently powered by the ARMv6 architecture. The aforementioned NEON technology is part of the ARMv7 architecture used in the single-core ARM Cortex-A8 and the multicore ARM Cortex-A9.

NEON is similar to Intel's SSE and the PowerPC's AltiVec engines - also mentioned in the job posting - in that it's a single-instruction, multiple-data (SIMD) scheme specifically designed for processing media such as video and audio. According to ARM, NEON provides twice the performance of the SIMD engine in the ARMv6 processor.

Apple being Apple, there's no way to know whether the hiring of an NEON-experienced coder is an addition to an already existing NEON-experienced team, or if this lucky guy or gal will spearhead a new effort. If the latter, his or her contributions will undoubtedly not be ready in time for the next generation of iPhones, widely rumored to appear this summer.

There's been a wide array of speculation as to what processor or processors will power Apple's next handhelds - or, for that matter, a tablet or other mobile internet device (MID). Some point to Apple's acquisition last year of chip-design company PA Semi and the recent hiring of chip-smart AMD folks to indicate that the company is creating its own chip division.

Others point to an Nvidia-supplied ARM processor, new mobile graphics chips from Imagination Technologies (of which Apple owns a hefty chunk), and even the upcoming Moorestown mobile platform from Apple's Mac-processor partner, Intel, which is scheduled for release next year.

Whatever Apple's future plans may be, this job posting gives us a glimpse into the company's current activities. No matter what's cooking in the labs of Cupertino, Apple appears to be keeping its options open and continuing work with the ARM architecture. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.