It looks like Apple could be working on a custom health chip designed to process biometric data in a variety of the company’s future devices, according to a job listing first uncovered by CNBC.
Designing proprietary silicon isn’t exactly a new thing for Apple, so there’s likely truth to the rumour. The company currently makes custom processors for the iPhone. Rumours have also been swirling that Apple is working on its own silicon for its Mac line of computers and laptops, with a loose release date set for 2020. The Apple Watch also features the tech giant’s custom S3 silicon.
Further, Apple’s A11 Bionic chip, the processor featured in the iPhone X and iPhone 8, includes a specially designed ‘Neural Engine’ that ensures biometric-related processes like FaceID and Animoji, run smoothly. The 2018 MacBook Pro also features a custom T2 chip signal processor that handles the laptop’s microphone, speakers and cooling fans.
These job postings hint that Apple could have plans to create even more proprietary silicon, only in this case with a focus on health data, including a custom chip that handles processes like heart rate and managing battery efficiency in the Apple Watch.
The listing, which has since been removed by Apple, describes what the position entails.
One post says the following: “We are looking for sensor ASIC architects to help develop ASICs for new sensors and sensing systems for future Apple products. We have openings for analog as well as digital ASIC architects.” Another states that Apple is looking for someone to “help develop health, wellness, and fitness sensors.”
Of course this is all just speculation, but it looks like Apple plans to bring more accurate health tracking features to the Apple Watch and possibly even the iPhone, given that developing its own custom hardware would allow the company to retain more control over how health data is gathered.
Along with new versions of the iPhone, Apple is also expected to reveal a new Apple Watch and a revamped iPad Pro at its upcoming September hardware event.