Apple S1 chip

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by troop231, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. troop231 macrumors 603

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    #1
    Pretty crazy all the components and traces packed into such a small area! :)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #2
    The name they've given it really "SCREAMS" version 2 on it's way.

    "S1"

    I know numbering isn't unusual, however you could not have marked it down for S2 any more if you tried.

    Amazing indeed, however in all seriousness, given what it does as a product (or rather what it does not do) that a hell of a lot of circuitry and a hell of a lot of components for what little it does do.
    When you think of the very low chip count of other devices.
    I wonder why they had to break it down into so many parts on the board?
     
  3. troop231 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #3
    Maybe the next one will be called R1. Combine the two and that gives you SiRi :eek:
     
  4. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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  5. twisted-pixel macrumors 6502a

    twisted-pixel

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    #5
    As someone who has been into electronics since I was a little kid in the seventies, I remember my amazement when I saw circuit boards printed on both sides....and then my dad took me to the company he worked for where designed PCBs for IBM Computers and I saw my first multi-layered board (about 4 layers at the time I think)...and now?...wow..what they can pack onto a single board blows my mind sometimes.
     
  6. T-Will macrumors 6502a

    T-Will

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  7. FrankySavvy macrumors 65816

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    #7
    I know that its just a theory but seeing that chip makes me think it will be upgradeable. Just looks like it.
     
  8. matrix07 macrumors 601

    matrix07

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    #8
    What the S stands for anyway? I guess the A in A series could be Apple and M could be Mobile but S?

    Single Chip?
     
  9. troop231 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #9
    M7 in iPhone was for motion, and I just realized M7 could stand for matrix07 :eek:
     
  10. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

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    #10
    I believe the M is for motion :)
     
  11. matrix07 macrumors 601

    matrix07

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  12. troop231 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #12
    'Small' So this S1 means: Small One :D
     
  13. matrix07 macrumors 601

    matrix07

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    #13
    Mm.. Could be. :)

    And S2 will mean you two are both very small. :D
     
  14. troop231 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #14
    The '2' would stand for Too in this case. Small Too :D
     
  15. kxxxxxxxx macrumors newbie

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    #15
    SOC(system on chip) 1
    or
    Samsung 1
     
  16. troop231 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #16
    Samsung never 'Won' anything :p
     
  17. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

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    #17
    I was just looking into this today. IIRC correctly, the CPU (and whatever other components are on the same die) is fabricated using 28nm technology.

    That's a fairly old node in the grand scheme of things, especially when the device it's being used in would greatly benefit from having something that requires less power.

    Edit: Can't wait until Chipworks tears this down!
     
  18. iCore24 macrumors 6502

    iCore24

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    #18
    Switchable I hope!
     
  19. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #19
    I originally was an upgradeable S chip proponent, manly because I thought the SS would start about $750. At a $750 starting point a $300 or more upgrade (remember it would need to be S chip AND battery) sounds reasonable but not so much on a $550 watch (never thought the Sport would be upgradable for cost reasons). Now I'm much more doubtful because of the lower price. If there is an S chip upgrade path it will likely be limited to the Edition.
     
  20. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

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    #20
    It's not practical, or even possible, to put all components in a modern piece of electronics all on one silicon die. Certain components require specific manufacturing techniques, such as DRAM, NAND flash, or MEMS devices like the accelerometer and gyroscope for example.

    Also, while Apple likely owns the IP (intellectual property) for the S1 SoC itself, integrating other manufacturers' IP would be difficult or impossible. It would also create a larger, more complicated chip that would be harder and more expensive to manufacture and would require more debugging to ensure proper operation.

    We're likely going to see chip breakdowns when the watch is actually released, but some of the stuff we're likely to see will include the main SoC (system-on-chip) itself, possibly discrete DRAM, flash, motion sensors (as discrete chips or combined into one device), combined wifi/bluetooth radios, power management controller(s), battery charging controller, and so on.

    So it all adds up. :)
     
  21. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #21
    Not unusual. For example, here's a comparison with a 2013 smartwatch from Kickstarter... which also included 3G and GPS:

    ornate_teadown2.jpg

    They already figured out the WiFi - Bluetooth chip at the upper middle of the board, just from the connection points.

    They also noted that the middle chip is the CPU, to the right is likely Flash, upper left is an RF filter, etc.

    It's not a system-on-chip. It's not even a system-in-package. It's a resin potted circuit board. You've seen them in toys and automotive applications.

    Potting protects the board from moisture and vibration. It also serves to obscure some of the chips from easy identification.
     
  22. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I believe they said in the reveal video it stands for system, since it's basically an entire computer system on a single chip.
     
  23. matrix07 macrumors 601

    matrix07

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    #23
    Many thanks. Now I can sleep. :)
     
  24. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #24
    Not on a chip. On a small board.

    It's as if you took a Moto 360 watch circuit board and poured resin over it, then gave it a name.

    So a question is, why give a circuit board a name (I mean, besides just making it sound cooler)?

    One reason could be if they planned to keep the same "Watch" name with no "2" or "3" etc suffix, and instead for the next release are going to simply say "the Apple Watch now with an S2 processor".
     
  25. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I was just quoting from memory what they said in the reveal video - I'll have to go back and watch to get the exact verbiage.

    Apple loves to give things names - makes it easier for people to be made aware of incremental upgrades. When the next Moto 360 comes out it will probably have much better internals, but they will list a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo that the vast majority of people will ignore. Apple can say "Look - here's the S2, it's moar better!"

    Giving things clear, concise names (and then sticking with them) is very important - it's surprising how many companies change their naming conventions at the drop of a hat (*cough*Microsoft*cough*).
     

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