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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,031
17,414


A recent Apple job listing that we just discovered reveals that Apple is looking for a low level iPhone programmer with detailed knowledge of the ARM processor including its NEON vector unit.
The successful candidate will have 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 is an extended instruction set similar to Intel's SSE or PowerPC's AltiVec which can accelerate multimedia applications. What's interesting is that NEON is the marketing term for the most recent version of these extensions specifically for the ARMv7 Cortex processors. Apple presently uses the ARMv6 processor in the iPhone and iPod Touch which does not appear to offer NEON. The obvious reason for Apple to be seeking a programmer with this expertise is that they must be optimizing the iPhone OS for the new Cortex processors.

We've previously speculated that the Cortex processor would be the most likely candidate to power the next generation iPhone. The Cortex is also capable of multi-core variants though its not entirely clear how soon these will be commercially available. Palm's Pre is also based on a version of the Cortex processor. The presence of these sort of extensions could also be leveraged to provide users with faster/better multimedia functions including the rumored video recording, processing and editing capabilities.

In fact, another job listing reveals that Apple is also hiring for someone to deliver "cutting edge embedded video processing". They are specifically looking for someone with experience in real-time media and networking applications over Wi-Fi and cellular networks which would suggest an iPhone implementation. Obviously, all of these listings reflect unfilled jobs but can provide a hint into what Apple is presently working on.

Article Link: Apple Job Listing Reveals More Powerful ARM Processors and Video Processing for iPhone
 

liambresnahan

macrumors newbie
May 21, 2009
1
0
surely this would all point to a release of new hardware later than the summer? Or have I missed something?
 

DCBass

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2004
310
1
Washington, DC
Unsure...

surely this would all point to a release of new hardware later than the summer? Or have I missed something?

Macrumors has had several posts in the past regarding Apple job listings for particular technological applications. However, I haven't run across any analysis on lag time between job postings and implementation of said new technologies.

(Care to take this on, arn?)

Of course, I don't expect Apple to hire just one person for this task. I expect that they either already have a number of people working on it, and just need more (so hopefully for an iPhone this summer), or they are just starting to ramp up a team to get cracking on this, which would then be for the iPhone released next year.

Here's hoping that it's the former, rather than the latter.

Cheers,

DCBass
 

Shookster

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2009
115
108
Perhaps they are taking on more people to work on this because they run the risk of missing the deadline if they don't. That's the only justification I can see for hiring someone right now to work on the 3rd-gen iPhone which is supposedly coming out in June/July.

Either that or it is destined for a later model.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,268
5,477
Macrumors has had several posts in the past regarding Apple job listings for particular technological applications. However, I haven't run across any analysis on lag time between job postings and implementation of said new technologies.

It's a hard analysis. Job listings are very speculative as Apple usually doesn't want to show too much of their hand. All Job listings, however, don't mean that products aren't coming out forever.

I remember a ton of iPhone job listings appeared after Apple first announced the iPhone. While there was still a long lead time before the iPhone became available, obviously, Apple had been working on it for some time up until then.

The Cortex is an obvious processor for Apple to be interested in. The Pre will use it. I will be surprised if it's not used soon.

arn
 

t0mat0

macrumors 603
Aug 29, 2006
5,455
279
Home
Will be interesting to see the quality of stills and video from the next sensor - is it likely it's the neat top end Omnivision? If so, are we likely to see their TrueFocus http://www.ovt.com/products/truefocus.php and or some Scalado tech?
http://www.engadget.com/2008/11/21/scalado-demonstrates-zero-lag-cellphone-camera/

Zero lag on taking stills, and decent video, with processing capabilities enough for editing would be big - Apple could always add the editing functionality later, if they got the hardware into the phone presumably.
 

iphones4evry1

macrumors 65816
Nov 26, 2008
1,197
0
California, USA
For developing something as complex as a new iPhone, I would think Apple would begin working on it 9 months ahead of release. When the 3G iPhone came out in July, it had been already announced back in January, and that previous fall, there were already rumors surfacing. If Apple has plans to release an iPhone this July, I suspect they were working on it last fall (they likely never stopped, after designing the iPhone 3G). If they are not planning a release until Fall 2009, even if not until November, I would suspect they were already working on it back in January. And let us not forget that the current beta for the OS 3.0 has numerous evidence for future features. So, perhaps, a new iPhone for 2009 is already designed, and this job posting is really for the NEXT (summer/fall 2010) iPhone, and dozens or more people will actually be hired from that one job posting.

t0mat0, I want antishake/image-stabilization technology in the camera.
 

Dragonos

macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2008
5
0
It seems a tad late to be hiring people for the next gen iPhone if it is supposed to come out in june. Oh well I'm happy about the processor.
 

t0mat0

macrumors 603
Aug 29, 2006
5,455
279
Home
t0mat0, I want antishake/image-stabilization technology in the camera.
Agreed - Looking at the Omnia HD, which has it, and does 720p HD, I think the quote from T3 was -
"It's the worst thing about phone cameras (except for the image noise, poor low-light performance, desaturated colors and incessant motion blur): the picture delay" Isnt the i8910 a good benchmark of what expectant iPhone buyers are looking for?
 

=MuLti-CeLL=

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2009
532
0
m0biLe
This job listing is for 'software' manipulation correct?

Which means what I wonder? Could it just mean they want more people familiar with working on software for future updates for the next gen iPhone due out in a month or two?

Who knows. :rolleyes:
 

8CoreWhore

macrumors 68020
Jan 17, 2008
2,455
719
Tejas
A job listing can also be for filling a recently or anticipated vacancy. It could also be to expand the current team.
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,025
115
So is ARMv7 Cortex completely cross-compatible with ARMv6? ie. will all existing iPhone applications run unmodified on the ARMv7 and will all future applications be able to target ARMv7 and ARMv6 from 1 binary? Granted Apple could just allow Universal Binaries to support both ARMv7 and ARMv6, but it'd be more work for developers.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
17,980
5,555
Perhaps they are taking on more people to work on this because they run the risk of missing the deadline if they don't. That's the only justification I can see for hiring someone right now to work on the 3rd-gen iPhone which is supposedly coming out in June/July.

Either that or it is destined for a later model.

Think about it: Today is May 21st. If I was the right person for that job, and I read their advertisement today, it would take several months until I would be starting. Job interviews, background checks, salary negotiation, someone higher up has to agree, and then I still have to leave my old job which doesn't happen right today. That person will _not_ write software that you will find on an iPhone in June or July.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
17,980
5,555
It's a hard analysis. Job listings are very speculative as Apple usually doesn't want to show too much of their hand. All Job listings, however, don't mean that products aren't coming out forever.

I remember a ton of iPhone job listings appeared after Apple first announced the iPhone. While there was still a long lead time before the iPhone became available, obviously, Apple had been working on it for some time up until then.

The Cortex is an obvious processor for Apple to be interested in. The Pre will use it. I will be surprised if it's not used soon.

Just hypothetically: Say Apple thinks about using Neon technology, they know what it will cost, but they do not know how much performance it will bring in real life. They can easily hire someone today, give him the task to get maximum speed-up with Neon technology, and in twelve months time they check the results and either switch to a new processor or not. That would cost them less than 0.001% of their cash in order to make an educated decision instead of guessing.
 

guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,395
1,390
Wherever my feet take me…
So is ARMv7 Cortex completely cross-compatible with ARMv6? ie. will all existing iPhone applications run unmodified on the ARMv7 and will all future applications be able to target ARMv7 and ARMv6 from 1 binary? Granted Apple could just allow Universal Binaries to support both ARMv7 and ARMv6, but it'd be more work for developers.

If I understand it correctly, the ARMv7 will add new functions that the v6 does not have. This would mean universal binaries or programs optimized for the v7 won't work on the v6.
 

i.mac

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2007
996
247
New hire are meant to take on work already started so that the experts and seasoned engineers can move on to advance projects (i. e. iPhone 2010+)

The work for the next iPhone is already done by now, and new hires will get trained on the maintenance of this product (new iPhone)
 

ventro

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2006
692
0
Does anyone think the new iPhone will be able to shoot video in HD? This is the only way I see them making a big deal out of it...
 

BlackMax

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2007
901
0
North Carolina
Anybody know the power requirements for the ARMv7 as compared to the ARMv6? My iPhone is no longer making it through a full day of use on a single charge anymore. If the ARMv7 has a higher power requirement then the ARMv6, Apple will need to have to find an improved power source.
 

jellomizer

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2006
486
4
Upstate NY
surely this would all point to a release of new hardware later than the summer? Or have I missed something?

Well Yes...
1. They are looking for a position they haven't filled it yet. So any one who is applying now still hasn't started working yet.

2. In a slow economy people who are hiring will tend to hire people who are over qualified vs. under qualified. So they may not be doing work on that platform for an other year. However they can get them on staff learn about the product details work on a couple current models then when they are ready for the new chip they can use these people in that position.

3. It may not be directly an iPhone project yet. Lets get OS X optimized for these chips work out the bugs. Then when the chips reach the right price point or power usage or whatever then we can start making the iPhone for it.

4. Perhaps it is for some R&D project. Ill just say a multi-touch keyboard. That uses such a chip to keep the processing load off the main CPU.

5. Upgrade to the POS (Point of Sale) systems at the apple store.

6. Even they were to start today, they need to climatize themselves to Apple culture, and work flow. This in it self could take a couple months.
 
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