Apple yesterday posted a new job listing (via AppleInsider) looking for a software engineer to join its team of fingerprint sensor engineers from AuthenTec, which was acquired last year for $356 million.
Apple refers to the job location as its “Melbourne Design Center” located in Melbourne, Florida, which is where AuthenTec was based, and is the only Melbourne-based position currently listed on Apple’s job site. The position requires the ability to write “low-level code to configure and control hardware” and experience with firmware-hardware interaction.
Responsibilities of the position include work on the “LabTool” software used to evaluate the team’s chip work, as well as failure analysis software, control firmware for the team’s chips, and support for the team’s design verification group.
LabTool – Develop, maintain, update and optimize the “LabTool” software that is used for lab evaluation and characterization of the Melbourne Design Center sensor ICs. This includes adding new features as specified by the analog and digital design engineers. Updating the tool to work with new sensors. Automating lab test and characterization. Provide support and debug capability to all groups within Apple that use the tool.
AuthenTec late last year sold off its embedded security group following the acquisition by Apple, leaving a core of fingerprint sensing and identity management groups in place to drive Apple’s work in those fields. AuthenTec is also said to be cutting off non-Apple customers of its fingerprint sensor technology, leaving Apple with exclusive use of the technology and its associated intellectual property.
Apple has been rumored to be including fingerprint sensing technology in the iPhone 5S later this year, but there has not yet been any concrete evidence of such an addition.
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