Wanted: analog dragon slayer
Apple is looking for a few good electrical engineers.
I recently complained bitterly about the quality of the analog circuitry, particularly the power supply, in the Power Mac G5 and, more recently, in the Mac Book Pro. Although the G5 power supply issue dates back to August of 2003 for me, it looks like Apple preempted my post about it by a week or so. In the comments to my "Apple versus the analog monster" post, an alert reader pointed me to the following Apple job listing1, dated February 24, 2006.
Title: Sr. Power Design Engineer
Req. ID: 2572276
Location: Santa Clara Valley, California
Country: United States
Req Date: 24-Feb-2006
The candidate will be responsible for electrical design of DC-DC converters and AC/DC power supply development for Mac desktop and mobile products. Duties require design knowledge of high density dc-dc circuit design and layout; activity involves troubleshooting, evaluation and testing; hands-on lab experience is essential.
The primary task of this role will be the architecture, specification, design, hardware implementation and verification testing of various power systems. The candidate should have a very good understanding of analog fundamentals in the design of power electronics. Extensive evaluation of designs from multi-national vendors and interface with their technical teams is required. The candidate will also be involved with cross-functional product teams in managing the development of the power electronics subsystems.
A highly motivated, organized and self managed individual contributor is needed to fill this role. Some international travel is required.
- BSEE or equivalent required (MSEE preferred).
- Design knowledge of off-line power supplies and adapters including Power Factor Correction.
- Great understanding of analog fundamentals in the design of power electronics.
- Hands-on lab experience is a must.
- Project management experience with multi-national vendors.
Like the earlier Finder job listing, this seems a little late to me. The Power Mac G5 signaled Apple’s analog woes loud and clear three years ago. But better late than never, I suppose. As in the case of the Finder, I wonder how long it’ll take before this job listing leads to some customer-visible results.
This article originally appeared at Ars Technica. It is reproduced here with permission.