A job posting on Apple’s website is looking for folks who can program for NEON on the ARMv7 processor, an instruction set for graphics applications.
The successful candidate will have excellent understanding and knowledge of processor architecture, specifically ARM and its vector unit NEON. Additional Intel SSE or PowerPC AltiVec is also very helpful. Being able to use processor micro-architecture to write and deliver fast routines is an essential attribute.
The new processor, called Cortex, comes in multi-core variants and would be useful if, say, Apple wanted to add video processing to the iPhone.
I couldn’t tell you the first thing about this Cortex chip except that it looks like a monster. Of note:
The Cortex-M3 processor provides outstanding computational performance and exceptional system response to interrupts while meeting low cost requirements through small core footprint, industry leading code density enabling smaller memories, reduced pin count and low power consumption.
Low power consumption, eh?