More evidence points to Apple expanding mobile chip development to Florida

Greetings from Florida

New evidence has surface in the form of several Apple job postings advertising for silicon experts for the Orlando, Florida area, where the iPhone maker is rumored to be setting up a brand new shop for custom chip development. Among the seven positions advertised on the Apple Jobs web site are those specifically related to developing and testing processor and mobile graphics hardware…

Among the advertised positions: a GPU Csim/Reference Model Engineer who specializes in “modeling GPU hardware” and a GPU Drivers Engineer who would be “validating and implementing features for new GPUs” and “bringing-up iOS with GPU Driver on pre-silicon platforms”.


According to AppleInsider, these jobs listings could be “the first sign that Apple is apparently planning to start hardware development in the Central Florida area.”

Notably, Apple earlier in the month advertised for a candidate with the ability to write “low-level code to configure and control hardware,” with working knowledge of different types of sensors to add to its AuthenTec team.

As you know, Apple last summer acquired AuthenTec, a startup focused on NFC technology and smart sensors which is also based in in Florida. It is widely believed the acqui-hire points to fingerprint sensors in future iOS devices.

iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor (KGI Securities 001)

Indeed, Apple sold off AuthenTec’s embedded security group and cut off service for AuthenTec’s fingerprint tech customers, leaving the iPhone maker with exclusive rights to AuthenTec’s sensor technology and its intellectual property.

Although AuthenTec is located about an hour south of Orlando on Florida’s Space Coast, AppleInsider believes it’s unlikely that any of the newly listed job openings are related to the AuthenTec acquisition.

“But together with the addition of AuthenTec and the new Orlando-based positions, Apple’s presence in Florida is growing,” the publication observed Tuesday.

iPhone 5 keynote (A6 slide 002)

At the moment, Apple’s semiconductor teams are working alongside the wireless people under the Technologies division at Apple’s 1 Infinite Loop corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California. Technologies group is headed by SVP Bob Mansfield and was created shortly following the October 2012 management shakeup.

By the way, Mansfield is one of the four Apple SVPs named on Bloomberg’s list of top-paid corporate executives in America.

Several reports suggested the iPhone 5S could house a built-in fingerprint sensor to help authenticate mobile transactions and bolster device security.