AMITIAE - Friday 1 May 2015

Cassandra: Apple Watch Components - Taptic Engine Problems and S1 Teardown by ABI Research

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


Although it is not expected to arrive in this part of the world (apart from a few grey imports) for a few months, there is some considerable interest in the Apple Watch. Recent reports - both good and bad - tell us a lot more about what goes on inside this wearable device.

A key component is the "Taptic Engine" but it has been found that many of these critical components made by AAC Technologies are failing. Rather than ship them, Apple destroyed the defective watches. Currently Apple has to rely on Nidec for these parts (Jeff Gamet, The MacObserver).

Another unusual development with the Apple Watch is the S1 processor. It is totally encased in silicon, so not easy to examine. There has been some speculation on what is hidden inside the S1 and this week, ABI Research have opened one up to reveal about a dozen parts inside, including the custom-designed Apple APL 0778 processor.

ABI list, the "Broadcom (BCM43342), Dialog PMU, NXP (NFC controller), and AMS (NFC booster) connectivity, IDT wireless charger receiver, Elpida RAM, SanDisk / Toshiba Flash memory, STM sensors, and a couple ADI capacitive touch solutions. . ."

Jim Mielke of ABI Research says, "The design is an obvious variation from Apple's smartphones, with many high-end functions/chips included that normally would not be found in a simple watch."

Full details and an image are available in the article from ABI Research, Apple Watch Insides / PCB Details Revealed for the First Time

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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