Now that the Apple Watch is out in the wild, we’re starting to see teardowns of its internals. iFixit has shown us the Taptic Engine, Digital Crown and tiny battery, but it wasn’t able to pry open the little computer that runs the entire device, the S1.
It turns out that the Watch’s system-on-a-chip is truly the feat of engineering Apple made it out to be. It also reveals a couple of tidbits about the Apple Watch we didn’t know yet, like that it packs the same amount of RAM as the iPhone 4.
ABI Research managed to crack open the S1 and identify its components. The Apple Watch has 512MB of RAM, (or 4GB of SRAM), 8GB of flash memory and an impressively integrated accelerometer/gyroscope sensor.
“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, VP Engineering at ABI Research and head of the TeardownIQ group. “Judging by the complexity of the printed circuit board (PCB), 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 team at iFixit wasn’t able to get into the S1 because they didn’t have the right tools to loosen the “tiniest tri-wing screws” they’d ever seen. Apple calls the S1 an “an entire computer system on a single chip,” and it’s enclosed in resin to aid the Watch’s water resistance.