CNBC has published a new report that highlights recent job listings from Apple and what they could mean for future products. Specifically, the report cites three job listings from this summer that relate to sensor processors and fitness sensors, which CNBC believes could hit at a future chip dedicated to processing data from health sensors like on Apple Watch.
From today’s report:
Apple has a team exploring a custom processor that can make better sense of health information coming off sensors from deep inside its devices, job listings show.
The effort hints at Apple’s ability to pump out custom chips on as-needed basis, reflecting a greater level of vertical integration than other technology companies. Building custom chips for narrow functions can help Apple add new features and improve efficiency of its hardware while protecting its intellectual property from would-be imitatotrs (sic).
Apple currently designs the whole system in package, or SiP, that powers the Apple Watch, and ships coprocessors on iPhones that are used for tasks like step tracking. Apple Watch even includes a mix of supplier parts and Apple chips designed for specific tasks like improving wireless connectivity to other accessories and more.
CNBC‘s report suggests Apple has even more sensors planned for the future — in addition to the heart rate and motion tracking sensors — which would benefit from new chips that read their data.
Reliable supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted in recent months that the next generation Apple Watch — likely due next month — will include enhanced heart rate tracking features and a refreshed design with a larger display. Exactly what enhanced heart rate tracking means is still murky.
CNBC says Apple declined to comment, but the report does add that it’s possible the job listings could be for current biomedical sensors and not new ones.