Apple Watch chips laid bare in X-ray, microscope imagery
Following Friday's Apple Watch teardown, the experts at Chipworks posted a close-up look at the parts that make it tick, including X-ray imagery of Apple's new S1 system-on-chip design.
In its own teardown, Chipworks noted that with all the new and proprietary technology Apple built in to Apple Watch, the device is the most sophisticated attempt at a wearable product to date. The firm points out that most devices on the market run on relatively old embedded chips, while Apple developed an entirely new package for Watch.
Since Apple's S1 SoC is encased in thin metal, Chipworks turned to X-ray imagery to peek inside before technicians can perform a careful and comprehensive disassembly. Initial images show a new STMicroelectronics 3mm-by-3mm land grid array (LGA) package with 3D digital gyroscope and accelerometer located in a top left corner socket.
Handling capacitive touch input duties is an Analog Devices screen controller bearing the marking AD7166. The part is not listed on the company's website, but Chipworks discovered a Product Change Notification for an "AD7166-202A Cortex M3 Based Cap" dated April 2015. That document has since been removed from ADI's website.
Finally, the firm was able to spot a Texas Instruments OPA2376 Precision op-amp in what appears to be the Apple Watch heart rate sensor module.