Graphics experts who want to work for Apple might not need to move to California. The company is currently hiring several graphics-chip specialists in its Orlando, Florida, offices.
In the past week, Apple has posted seven new job listings for graphics-processing unit (GPU) engineers in Orlando. Four of the positions are listed as graphics-verification engineers and one listing is for a graphics-software engineer, and Apple is also looking for a graphics RTL (register-transfer level) designer.
These employees, in Apple’s hardware-engineering department, will likely work at Apple’s under-the-radar office in the Orlando University Center near the University of Central Florida. Apple started building out that office as a center for GPU design in 2013.
Here are a few of the skills Apple is looking for:
- Graphics architecture and programming (OpenGL/OpenCL) highly desiredGPU modeling experience and hardware experience a strong plusAdvanced knowledge of CPU or preferably GPU design architectures, VLSI circuits, and digital-logic designThree years of hands-on experience in front-end design synthesis and large-chip integration
These job listings were posted as rumors continue to fly that Apple is designing its own graphics processor for iPhones and iPads. IT blog Fudzilla reported in December that Apple had been working for years to create its own mobile GPU, although speculation over whether Apple was designing its own GPU had been going on for years.
- BI Screenshot/Google Maps
Apple is one of a few companies that designs its own processors and chips. If it were to design and integrate its own GPUs as well, then it could achieve gains in power and efficiency. GPUs are also a key part of deep-learning technologies, which some experts believe Apple should be focusing more on.
Currently, Apple buys PowerVR graphics processors for iPhones from UK-based Imagination Technologies. Apple confirmed in March that it had entered into talks to buy its GPU supplier, but did not plan to make an offer.
An analysis of LinkedIn profiles shows that Apple continues to hire engineers from Imagination Technologies, with at least five employees jumping from Imagination to Apple in the past eight months, including one manager who had spent 16 years at Imagination.
Most of those employees work on GPU device drivers in California, but one works on the kind of image processing that a self-driving car might use.