Apple Watch teardown reveals S1 chip and supplier details

The Apple Watch has now been taken apart, revealing the guts that power Apple’s first wearable.

The teardown comes courtesy of the TeardownIQ team at ABIResearch, offering new info about the fledgling smartwatch.

The biggest surprises are centered around the manufacturers behind many of the Apple Watch component.

The accelerometer and gyroscope, for instance, were developed by STMicroelectronics. Prior to launch, it was predicted that InvenSense would produce these components.

It was also surprising to see that the touch controllers were manufactured by ADI and the wireless charging chip came from IDT.

ADI has struggled to get its components into mobile devices in the past three to five years, so an Apple Watch entry is a big win for the firm.

Apple Watch teardown

At the heart of Apple’s S1 system-in-package is the main processor, which we now know carries the model number ‘APL 0778’.

Bundled on top of the processor is a 512MB SRAM chip, which is built by Elpida, a major Japan-based memory manufacturer.

Sitting alongside the processor is an 8GB flash storage chip, which comes courtesy of SanDisk and Toshiba. No surprises there.

We also get a glimpse of the Broadcom Wi-Fi/NFC module, which resides in the top centre of the Apple Watch.

To its left is the STM-built accelerometer and gyroscope that we mentioned earlier, whilc the right carries the NFC controller and NFC signal booster, built by NXP and AMS respectively.

Related: Apple Watch vs Android Wear

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,” said Jim Mielke, ABI Research’s VP Engineering.

He continued: “Judging by the complexity of the printed circuit board, and the number of parts on the PCB, one might think the Apple Watch is a full-fledged cellular connected watch but in fact connectivity is limited to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC.”

The Apple Watch was made available for pre-order on April 10, and began shipping to customers on April 24.

Unfortunately, alleged issues with the Taptic engine’s vibration motor mean many customers have suffered shipping delays.

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