Wanted: Faster, More Powerful iPhone Processor Architect + Embedded Video Engineer


MacRumors has come across an Apple job listing for someone with:

excellent understanding and knowledge of processor architecture, specifically ARM and its vector unit NEON. Additional Intel SSE or PowerPC AltiVec is also very helpful. Being able to use processor micro-architecture to write and deliver fast routines is an essential attribute.

Neon, they remind us, is the brand name for the ARMv7 Cortex, the next-generation of the processor Apple uses in the current iPhone and iPod touch.

What's not yet clear is whether Apple will tap the multi-core potential of the ARMv7 Cortex to really shift multimedia performance into the mobile stratosphere. However, another tantalizing glimpse into the iPhone's potential future is revealed in a second job listing, this one for an engineer with:

Experience developing embedded image and video processing solutions. Experience developing embedded image and video analysis solutions. Experience working on real-time media and networking applications (WiFi and cellular networks).

Of course, we won't keep our fingers crossed too hard for those iTunes Replay, personalized podcast streaming, or remote DVR access patents Apple has teases us with in the past...

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Wanted: Faster, More Powerful iPhone Processor Architect + Embedded Video Engineer


Hmmm.... if they have only just started looking for an NEON SIMD specialist then its unlikely that we'll see a Cortex-based iPhone in June or July. Sigh :(
I also highly doubt that Apple will be using a multi-core ARMv7 (Cortex-A9 MPCore) anytime soon. I reckon most applications made for the iPhone won't be able to effectively take advantage of multiple cores.
The single-core 600 MHz Cortex-A8 (like the OMAP3 used in the Palm Pre or the Pandora) is already 3x more powerful than the 400 MHz ARM11 CPU in the current iPhone. I think this is a good compromise between processing power and battery life. More general-purpose cores would make the chip larger, more expensive and power hungry.
BTW, NEON is a SIMD extension to the ARM instructions set just like AltiVec is a SIMD extension to PowerPC instructions set and SSE is a SIMD extension to Intel x86 instructions set. Using NEON instructions should reduce the power required to decode audio and video.
Wikipedia has a lot of good information on ARM. Take a look:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_architecture

This is a bit off subject but I wanted to know if anyone could enlighten me on this. Yesterday I was at the Sony store an saw a 12" OLED screen for $2500. Can someone tell me how Apple can feasibly include a 3.5" OLED screen in a device that is going to cost $199 (I realize that includes a carrier subsidy)? When you include all of the high-tech components in the iPhone 3G and add (without taking anything away) a compass, OLED screen, increased storage capacity, perhaps a better battery (yes, I type this assuming the iPhone spec rumors are true)... How can a device with these specs remain at $199, I do not under stand this and in fact, I find it hard to believe that the new iPhone will include these screens. I think they will stick with LCD for at least one more cycle.