M7 Motion Co-Processor Does Exist, And It’s Not Made By Samsung

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Presumably thanks to hangovers caused by excessive in-flight drinking on the flight formthe U.S to the antipodes, the iFixit folks managed to not find the M7 chip inside the new iPhone 5S during their teardown before the weekend, leading to speculation that the chip didn’t even exist. Conspiracy!


And as with any drunken adventure, lost things start to reappear when the dawn finally rises. The M7 chip is there alright; it just doesn’t have a big "M7" label on the front. According to the Chipworks’ blog, the M7 still carries its factory label: NXP LPC18A1.


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> Luckily, we’ve been able to locate the M7 in the form of the NXP LPC18A1. The LPC1800 series are high-performing Cortex-M3 based microcontrollers.



The M7 is a separate chip then, but (as Apple already made clear on the iPhone 5S product page) it processes the data from the MEMS sensors on the main A7 chip, letting the iPhone 5S’s big brain stay asleep while the low-power M7 works tirelessly in the background. These sensors – compass, accelerometer, gyroscope – are mostly the same as in previous iPhones, with the exception of the new Bosch Sensortech BMA220 3-axis accelerometer. According to Chipworks, this is the first time a Bosch component has been found in an iDevice.

The A7 is made by Samsung, just like previous iPhone brains, despite Samsung’s continued and shameless ripping off of Apple’s designs in all other areas. I guess there’s no decent alternative yet.

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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