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Apple setting up shop in Florida for custom chip development

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Apple's hardware development operations are expanding to the Orlando, Fla., area, where the company apparently plans to design, build and test custom chips for future devices.

Florida


While most of Apple's internal hardware development is housed out of the company's corporate headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., a number of interesting Orlando-based job openings were noticed this week by AppleInsider. Specifically, seven positions advertised by Apple are related to developing and testing processor hardware, while another Orlando-based job seeks candidates who can develop drivers for graphics processors.In addition to the new Orlando jobs, Apple also recently purchased AuthenTec, a Melbourne, Fla.-based maker of fingerprint scanning devices.

One of the available positions called for a reference model engineer that would specialize in "modeling GPU hardware." Another mentions running the iOS platform on "pre-silicon platforms." Presumably, the jobs would be related to Apple's custom-designed silicon that powers its iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad.

In addition, a pair of other Orlando-based positions advertised are related to design verification. The jobs call for candidates who would be able to "develop verification plans, create verification test bench components, generate tests, run simulations, and debug design issues," among other tasks.

The job listings discovered by AppleInsider are the first sign that Apple is apparently planning to start hardware development in the Central Florida area.

Jobs


It's unlikely that any jobs are related to Apple's acquisition of AuthenTec, a maker of fingerprint scanning technology headquartered in Melbourne, Fla., which is located about an hour south of Orlando on Florida's Space Coast.

But together with the addition of AuthenTec and the new Orlando-based positions, Apple's presence in Florida is growing. Just last week, AppleInsider also discovered that Apple was hiring personnel for its "Melbourne Design Center," a position likely connected to AuthenTec.Orlando isn't known for silicon development, but the area is home to an AMD R&D facility, as well as "Madden NFL" developer EA Tiburon.

While Orlando is not known as a hub for silicon development, the area does have a strong presence in tech in a variety of manners. Most notably, AMD has a research, development and design office based out of the city.

Also in Orlando is Electronic Arts' Tiburon game development studio, responsible for the popular "Madden NFL" franchise. The city is also home to the media-centric Full Sail University, and houses the University of Central Florida, the second-largest university in the U.S. by student enrollment.

Apple has been designing custom processors for its mobile devices since it launched the A4 chip in the first-generation iPad in 2010. Last year's debut of the A6 CPU in the iPhone 5 featured Apple's first custom-designed CPU core, showing that Apple had taken measures to exert even greater control over its devices.
post #2 of 19
Surely Digitalclips will post photos once there is something 'to photo about'.
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post #3 of 19

No wonder if apple use their own graphics chip in 2013 mac systems or atleast by 2014 mac systems.Because they already started working on new graphics processor back in 2010 and filed about 200 patent deferred graphics patent .Near 30 veteran working on this project.

It would be great to see macroscalar processor and apples own graphics processor

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2010/10/apple-gets-the-green-light-for-a-new-graphics-processor.html

post #4 of 19

Perhaps this means AMD and Nvidia have been unwilling to adapt chips for retina Macbooks, or have presented an inadequate roadmap for it. Just like when IBM was unable to deliver either a powerful enough desktop G5 (3GHz or bust!) or power-efficient mobile G5. But that's assuming these job postings are not just for iOS devices.

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post #5 of 19
Qualcomm also has facilities in Orlando.
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post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vorsos View Post

Perhaps this means AMD and Nvidia have been unwilling to adapt chips for retina Macbooks, or have presented an inadequate roadmap for it. Just like when IBM was unable to deliver either a powerful enough desktop G5 (3GHz or bust!) or power-efficient mobile G5. But that's assuming these job postings are not just for iOS devices.

Also, Apple's roadmap for graphics processing seems to include other reasons for a quantum leap in bandwidth. The patent filing revealed the other day shows why the Lightning connector is called that, and why it had to shrink: optical I/O streams have to be moved from the phone or video player to another device, perhaps one that is worn on the head.

Rather than do this top-secret stuff in the fishbowl of Silicon Valley, they have to move to godforsaken Florida. (Sorry, digitalclips, inland Florida.)
post #7 of 19
I'm in Tampa...I'll drive over and do some scouting ;-)
post #8 of 19
Proof reading?...Not
post #9 of 19

Time to scrub the ol' resume.

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

I'm in Tampa...I'll drive over and do some scouting ;-)

Here's hoping something turns up. I wonder if the Orlando paper, if there still is one, knows anything. Or the C of C.

Edit: Of course, the Orlando Sentinel, how could I forget? But they have no story on this yet. Neither does the Orlando Business Journal. I say call 'em up. Good luck!
Edited by Flaneur - 4/16/13 at 11:11am
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Surely Digitalclips will post photos once there is something 'to photo about'.

Ironically I was in Orlando for the last few days with the grand kids and missed your post LOL. It is a two hour drive for me, I'm sure we have many AI members already there but I will keep tabs on this.

I am about to ship my 2010 MBP i7 back to Apple for a logic board replacement that is covered by my extend warranty so I hope this means Apple are looking at better Graphics systems, possible Apple made rather than NVidia which seems to be the issue with my Mac. This isn't the first time NVidia boards have caused grief for MacBook Pros.
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post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Surely Digitalclips will post photos once there is something 'to photo about'.

Ironically I was in Orlando for the last few days with the grand kids and missed your post LOL. It is a two hour drive for me, I'm sure we have many AI members already there but I will keep tabs on this.

That's funny. And Orlando is a nice place, an acquaintance of mine lives there, visited once, had a great time, especially with all the Wet n Wild and other entertainment parks.
Quote:
I am about to ship my 2010 MBP i7 back to Apple for a logic board replacement that is covered by my extend warranty so I hope this means Apple are looking at better Graphics systems, possible Apple made rather than NVidia which seems to be the issue with my Mac. This isn't the first time NVidia boards have caused grief for MacBook Pros.

Hmm, that's not good. Well, good of you to have it still on warranty. Makes you wish it was your old Mac Pro, simply popping in a new videocard is all that much easier. Well, sometime this year you will be rewarded.
"See her this weekend. You hit it off, come Turkey Day, maybe you can stuff her."
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post #13 of 19
Actually, it is not godforsaken but godinfested Florida.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vorsos View Post

Perhaps this means AMD and Nvidia have been unwilling to adapt chips for retina Macbooks, or have presented an inadequate roadmap for it. Just like when IBM was unable to deliver either a powerful enough desktop G5 (3GHz or bust!) or power-efficient mobile G5. But that's assuming these job postings are not just for iOS devices.

 

What do you mean adapt? If they need anything, it's some amount of driver tuning if anything. The 13" rmbp resolution is pretty much in line with the thunderbolt display, and everything down to an Air can drive one of those. You think NVidia chips are incapable when the 13" uses integrated only and the 15" retains graphics switching? I'm not sure what I'm missing here.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knute Rondum View Post

Actually, it is not godforsaken but godinfested Florida.


Ha! But I have been permanently scarred by Errol Morris's movie:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernon,_Florida_(film)
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

That's funny. And Orlando is a nice place, an acquaintance of mine lives there, visited once, had a great time, especially with all the Wet n Wild and other entertainment parks.
Hmm, that's not good. Well, good of you to have it still on warranty. Makes you wish it was your old Mac Pro, simply popping in a new videocard is all that much easier. Well, sometime this year you will be rewarded.

Orlando's theme parks are fun, especially the Disney ones. I never feel too old to enjoy them. I get a free entry on my birthday in June too 1smile.gif

That's so true about Mac Pro, not to mention I always had several video cards so if one went down you could always keep working ... I wonder what Apple have planned for the next generation Mac Pro, I'm hoping it's smaller and perhaps modular. I could easily see an optional expansion box for cards for those that need more cards being the answer to achieving a smaller design.
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post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

That's so true about Mac Pro, not to mention I always had several video cards so if one went down you could always keep working ... I wonder what Apple have planned for the next generation Mac Pro, I'm hoping it's smaller and perhaps modular. I could easily see an optional expansion box for cards for those that need more cards being the answer to achieving a smaller design.

I'm actually not so sure on a separate box; they've always wanted and created integrated systems. It should 'just work'. I think there's a reason the case hasn't been redesigned for the last 10 years. Well, the outside. The inside has seen quite a few changes. Perhaps they'll take the HDD s out: less heat, less power needed, less room needed.
"See her this weekend. You hit it off, come Turkey Day, maybe you can stuff her."
- Roger Sterling
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"See her this weekend. You hit it off, come Turkey Day, maybe you can stuff her."
- Roger Sterling
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post #18 of 19

I'm waiting for GPUs that can do plenty of heavy lifting through OpenCL while driving the displays. Driver support is better than it used to be, when delivering updated Mac drivers was an afterthought at best. But Apple wrote their own scaling algorithm for the current retina implementation because no one else was shipping such a high-res internal display.

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post #19 of 19
Dolly Drive is from Florida! We have a team right outside Orlando.
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