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Inside the iPhone 5s

A look under the hood of the iPhone 5s suggests that Apple once again turned to archrival Samsung to manufacture the processor inside its flagship smartphone. A Chipworks teardown has found that the A7 appears to made by Samsung using its 28-nanometer process. The ARM-based A7 is the first-ever 64-bit smartphone processor.

One of the biggest questions about the iPhone 5s has been the M7 co-processor, which handles accelerometer, gyroscope and compass data. Chipworks has found that the M7 is made by NXP. The NXP LPC18A1 collects data from a Bosch Sensortech accelerometer, an AKM compass chip, and a STMicroelectronics gyroscope.

The M7 chip and the sensors that supply data to it stay active even when the iPhone 5s is not in use. Eventually the always-on chip could provide summaries and analysis of a user’s movements throughout the day, eliminating the need for a separate device like a Fitbit.

In addition to the M7 processor made by NXP, the Chipworks team identified a power management IC by Dialog Semiconductor and an audio codec and class D amplifier by Cirrus Logic, all of which it says are new for the iPhone 5s.


Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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