Apple to build a custom health processor for monitoring biometric data: Report

Job listings hint that Apple will build a completely new biometric chip or upgrade the existing one.

Apple has been interested in the healthcare market and is now exploring the possibility of a custom processor that will help in processing biometric data from its range of devices. We already know that the company designed such chips for the iPhones, but according to a report by CNBC, a job listing reveals that custom processors for Apple’s Mac line of computers will soon see the light of day.

The Apple Watch Series 3. Image: tech2

The Apple Watch Series 3. Image: tech2

Building a custom chip will definitely mean that Apple will add new features to its health applications.

Apple listed a job posting on 11 July which was identified by the publication, in which Apple’s Health Sensing hardware team said that they were “looking for sensor ASIC architects to help develop ASICs for new sensors and sensing systems for future Apple products,” and that they “have openings for analog as well as digital ASIC architects.”

Apple's job listing for ASIC architects. Image: Apple Job Search

Apple's job listing for ASIC architects. Image: Apple Job Search

While it is not clear from the description, what the sensors will measure, it can be guessed that they are related to the human body because the health sensing hardware team published it.

There’s more that adds to the evidence, at least according to CNBC. A posting that they identified on 1 August revealed that Apple is looking for an engineer who can “help develop health, wellness, and fitness sensors.” When we searched for the job posting, however, we couldn’t find it on the company's job search portal.

Further, a June 2018 job listing shows the team was looking for someone working with optical sensors. Currently, the Apple Watch uses a custom optical sensor for measuring heart rate.

Apple' s job listing for an engineer working with optical sensors. Image: Apple Job Search

Apple' s job listing for an engineer working with optical sensors. Image: Apple Job Search

The possibilities are that either Apple is looking for new hires to improve the current biomedical chips or build a completely new one. From what we can gather, looking at the information of the job listings, it hints towards the latter.




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