Apple and the graphics giant Nvidia have had something of a rocky relationship, with the Cupertino company switching between Nvidia’s and AMD’s graphics chips for Mac desktops. Most of the Macs currently shipping use either integrated graphics from Intel or discreet AMD chips, but that could change in the coming years.
As first spotted by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Nvidia is seeking software engineers tasked with helping produce “the next revolutionary Apple products.” According to the job post, the role would require “working in partnership with Apple” and writing code that will “define and shape the future” of graphics-related software on Macs.
There are three current job listings on Nvidia’s database referencing Apple, with the latest one appearing last week. All three job listings for the Santa Clara, California-based company cite software development for the Mac, while one specifies an Nvidia Mac graphics driver team, pointing to the potential of Nvidia chipsets returning to the Apple computers. Nvidia and Apple both declined to comment.
One of the ads is for a Metal and OpenCL software engineer who will be working within a team of exceptional and passionate engineers to implement and extend Metal Compute and OpenCL on the Mac.
As Gurman hinted, Nvidia most likely needs these GPU experts and software engineers for developing macOS graphics drivers for some of its GPUs that could end up in future Mac models.
Macs have always been dissed for slow and poorly supported graphics. indeedI, most of the high-end graphics cards are unavailable to Mac owners who crave graphics power and performance. Apple itself does not write its own graphics drivers and is reluctant to officially support the latest and greatest graphics cards for gaming.
Here’s Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang discussing GPU technology’s capability and its role in artificial intelligent applications at the Nvidia GPU Technology Conference 2016 which kicked off on September 21 in Taiwan.
While discreet Nvidia chips are unlikely to end up in future Mac notebooks due to space constraints, it would make sense to use them in a future Mac Pro model, higher-end iMacs and it could also make a nice fit for a next-generation 5K Thunderbolt Display with integrated graphics that the rumor-mill thought Apple was building at some point.
Nvidia’s latest Pascal-based Tesla P4 and P40 GPUs feature improved performance and response time and can detect and sense images, texts and voices. These GPUs will begin shipping next month.