A new job posting for a Software Engineer on Apple.com adds a some fuel to the rumors that Apple is considering including fingerprint technology in upcoming devices. The listing seeks a candidate who will work on software called “LabTool” that is used for sensor integrated circuits developed at Apple’s “Melbourne Design Center.” Melbourne, FL is also home to AuthenTec, the fingerprint technology company that Apple purchased for $356 million last year.
The city of Melbourne is located on Florida’s Space Coast, named for being located near the Kennedy Space Center where NASA launched Space Shuttles until the program’s retirement in 2011. The presence of NASA and various U.S. military installations has led to a number of high-tech jobs in the region.
Apple’s purchase of AuthenTec is believed to have been driven by the smaller company’s fingerprint sensor technology. The purchase fueled rumors that Apple may include a fingerprint scanner in a future iPhone.
The usually reliable Ming-chi Kuo of KGI securities first reported in January that Apple’s upcoming ‘iPhone 5S” would include a fingerprint sensor featuring the technology from AuthenTec. Kuo says the sensor will be located under the home button of the handset, and could potentially be used to authorized e-wallet transactions.
The Melbourne vacancy seeks a candidate to write low-level control firmware for “sensor ICs.” The sensor’s functions would include array control, gain control, calibration and security.
Job candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering or computer science.