Chipworks analysis of iPhone 5s A7 and M7 chips highlights Apple's design evolution
iFixit tore down the iPhone 5s last week and gave us a peek at the innards of Apple's new phone. Chipworks has taken that analysis a step further with a detailed look at the chips that power the device.
Starting with the A7, Chipworks has confirmed that the A7 is manufactured by Samsung using the same 28nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process the Korean company uses for its new Exynos 5410 processor. It's slightly smaller than the A6 (77 percent the size), but provides the equivalent functionality of the previous-generation chip.
The M7 turns out to be an interesting component with a three-axis accelerometer, a three-axis gyroscope and a three-axis electronic compass IC. It's manufactured by NXP and sports a Cortex-M3 microcontroller. The part number for the component (LPC18A1) didn't match any on NXP's website, which leads Chipworks to believe the M7 is likely a custom chip built by NXP to Apple's specifications.
Other hardware includes a WiFi module with IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 + HS and an integrated FM radio receiver. Rather than go with a newer Broadcom chip that offers 802.11ac, Apple opted use a WiFi module that is similar to the one in the iPhone 5. There's also a Qualcomm 4G LTE modem with a Samsung LTE baseband processor and some Samsung DRAM to store the carrier information. The eight-megapixel camera module has been tentatively identified as a Sony Exmor-RS sensor, but the exact details are not yet known.
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