Apple’s Chip Development Connected to Fingerprint Tech

According to recent news, a fresh Apple job opening for a Software Engineer in Melbourne, Florida, was spotted. The job appears to be connected to the company’s interest in fingerprint scanning technology as the company seems to be searching for a candidate who will work on software called “LabTool” that is used for sensor integrated circuits developed at Apple’s “Melbourne Design Center.”

Apart from a short description, the job listing does not provide any other indication in regards to exactly what type of integrated circuits the software engineer might work on. According to certain rumors, it is likely that the position is related to Apple’s acquisition of AuthenTec, a Melbourne-based company.

Besides other products, AuthenTec produces chips that drive secure fingerprint sensors in personal computers. Not only that, but the company also makes software, hardware and applications that work with fingerprint sensors. In addition, the company offers security toolkits and VPN client solutions. This company was purchased for $356 million last year.


AuthenTec has shipped more than 100 million fingerprint sensors for integration in a wide range of portable electronics, including more than 20 million mobile phones. The list of this company’s clients is long, some of them being extremely well-known, such as Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Fujitsu, HBO, HP, Lenovo, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Samsung, Sky and Texas Instruments.

In January, the well-known analyst Ming-chi Kuo of KGI securities, asserted that Apple aims to launch this year a so-called “iPhone 5S” with a fingerprint sensor featuring AuthenTec’s technology. Besides the Authentec purchase emphasizing that Apple is experimenting with the technology, in addition to several analysts’ predictions, at this point there is not any solid evidence that Apple could include finger print sensors in the next iPhone. However, in accordance to Kuo’s statement, the sensor will be located under the home button on the handset. It has been also affirmed that it will allow users to bypass password entry and potentially authenticate e-wallet transactions.

As stated above, there is not given too much information regarding the integrated circuits the engineer is needed to work on but, obviously, the company is looking for qualified candidates who must have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering or computer science. Apple’s new Software Engineer position in Melbourne seeks a candidate that will write low-level control firmware for “sensor ICs” built at the Melbourne Design Center. These “sensor functions” will contain array control, gain control, calibration and security.

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