What’s this mystery chip inside iPhone X?


Right to Repair
iPhone 11 could look very different on the inside.
Photo: iFixit

Two battery cells and a “mystery chip” are some of the surprises under the hood of the iPhone X.

iFixit added the new Apple flagship handset to its teardown database and disassembled one to give users a glimpse of the X’s inner magic.

If you just paid a grand and you are nauseous at the thought of seeing a gorgeous iPhone X in pieces, you just might want to look away. But the curious will enjoy iFixit’s thorough report on what its techs found.

The iPhone X also contains a miniature motherboard that is double-stacked and is 30 percent smaller than the board in the iPhone 8 Plus, according to the report. Apple hasn’t used a dual-layer logic board since the very first iPhone 10 years ago, the unnamed author of the report said.

“The miniaturized logic board is incredibly space efficient,” the report said. “Ounce for ounce, even an Apple Watch has more bare board.”

The two battery cells, iFixit realized, was not for extra capacity but for space utilization. “Two cells allows for more creative shapes and placement, to best take advantage of the space left over by shrinking the logic board,” the report said.

The mystery chip, highlighted in green, maybe circuitry that communicates with charging features.
Photo: iFixit

IFixit techs think the “mystery chip” is a version of the 1610 tristar IC, circuitry that communicates with the phones charging function. The chip is between the Taptic Engine and lower speaker. More testing to follow.

As introduced on the iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone X opens sideways and is likely going to be standard, according to iFixit.

A broken screen on the iPhone X can be easily fixed, but given Apple’s use of glue and the delicate intricacies of circuitry, “board-level” repair will be nearly impossible, iFixit said.

“Something tells us Apple doesn’t really want us (or you) tinkering in here,” the report said.

For in-depth analysis and more pictures, check out the teardown report on the iFixit website.

The vertical dual-lens back-facing camera of the iPhone X.
Photo: iFixit