Apple are advertising for a low level iPhone programmer with aptitude in ARM processors and NEON vector units. The job listing suggests that the next-gen iPhone will use an ARMv7 Cortex processor rather than the ARMv6 processor as in the iPhone 3G and iPod touch, as NEON is the extended multimedia acceleration instruction set associated with the newer, faster CPU.
That would certainly fit with the most recent specification tips for the upcoming third-generation smartphone, which predict that the iPhone will have double the processing power of the current model, together with video recording and editing capabilities. NEON would certainly allow the new phone to take advantage of the ARMv7 Cortex’s increased multimedia prowess.
“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.” Apple job posting
Apple have also advertised for an embedded video processing and analysis engineer, for an unspecified team. While that might not mean that the employee is working on the iPhone, the specification that they be proficient in “cutting edge embedded video processing technologies” and have “experience working on real-time media and networking applications (WiFi and cellular networks)” does seem to suggest that the project will at least touch on mobile devices.