Job listings suggest Apple might take its chipmaking to the next level

Dan riccioAppleDan Riccio, Apple senior vice president for hardware engineering

Graphics experts who want to work for Apple might not need to move to California. Apple 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, 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 desired
  • GPU modelling experience and hardware experience a strong plus
  • Advanced knowledge of CPU or preferably GPU design architectures, VLSI circuits, and digital logic design
  • 3 years of hands on experience in front-end design synthesis and large chip integration

These job listings were posted as rumours 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.

Apple's orlando officeBI Screenshot/Google MapsApple’s Orlando office is in this complex.

Apple is one of a few companies that designs their own processors and chips. If it were to design and integrate its own GPUs as well, 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 purchases 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 8 months, including one manager who had spent 16 years at Imagination Technologies.

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.

NOW WATCH: ASSAULT RIFLES AND BATH SALTS — John McAfee tells the inside story behind his outrageous viral video

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.