updated 01:17 pm EDT, Fri May 25, 2012
Intent of Israeli expansion still unclear
Apple has started hiring for two new chip engineering jobs in Israel, notes AppleInsider. The company is looking for two "SoC Backend Physical Design Engineers," to be based in the Haifa and Herzliya Pituah regions of the country. People hired for the jobs will be required to handle "physical implementation of a complete SoC [system-on-chip] from net list to tape-out," including aspects like clock and power distribution, and power and noise analysis. The openings join five others in Israel, all involving engineering. Most of these are situated in Herzliya Pituah.
Apple recently bought out Anobit, an Israeli company specializing in flash memory, and started absorbing it into its own efforts. Anobit was formerly based in Herzliya, and is now reportedly known as "HDC;" the former company's co-founder, Ariel Maislos, has served as "Senior Director, HDC" at Apple since January. In Haifa, meanwhile, Apple has a fledgling R&D facility being headed by Aharon Aharon. His LinkedIn profile mentions that he has been working on "Very Large Scale Initiatives" for Apple. The recent openings for SoC engineers, significantly, ask for people with five years of experience in "physical design of large scale SoC."
Apple's exact plans for its Israeli teams are unknown, but Anobit technology could be used to improve the efficiency of flash memory in future iOS devices. iPhones, iPods, and iPads already use custom Apple processors, and could benefit still further from optimized memory.