The Apple M-series coprocessors are motion coprocessors used by Apple Inc. in their mobile devices. First released in 2013, their function is to collect sensor data from integrated accelerometers, gyroscopes and compasses and offload the collecting and processing of sensor data from the main central processing unit (CPU).
As of May 2017, the M-series coprocessors so far released have been the M7 (codename Oscar), the M8, the M9, the M10, the M11, and the M12. The M7 was introduced in September 2013 with the iPhone 5S and the updated version, M8 was introduced in September 2014 with the iPhone 6 and also processes data from the barometer that is included in the iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2. September 2015 brought the M9 motion coprocessor embedded within the A9 chip found in the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE and within the A9X chip found in the iPad Pro. The iPhone 7, iPad Pro 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch feature the M10 motion coprocessor. Apple included the M11 in the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X.. The most recent addition to the M-series processor line is the M12, which first appeared embedded into the A12 Bionic processor found in the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.
Chipworks found that the M7 most likely is a NXP LPC1800 based microcontroller called LPC18A1. It uses an ARM Cortex-M3 core with a customised packaging and naming scheme indicating that it is for an Apple customized part. iFixit have identified the M8 in the iPhone 6 to be an NXP device with a very similar name, the LPC18B1.
|Apple M-series coprocessors|
The NXP LPC18A1, also known as the M7 motion coprocessor
|Produced||From September 2013 to present|
|Designed by||NXP Semiconductors|
|Max. CPU clock rate||150 MHz|
|Min. feature size||90 nm|
|Product code||M7: LPC18A1|
The Apple M7, M8, M9, M10, M11, and M12 coprocessors collect, process, and store sensor data even if the device is asleep, and applications can retrieve data when the device is powered up again. This reduces power draw of the device and saves battery life. In addition to servicing the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and in M8 and later coprocessors, barometer, the M9 coprocessor can recognize Siri voice commands from the built in microphones of the device.
The M-series motion coprocessors are accessible to applications through the Core Motion API introduced in iOS 7, so they do, for example, allow fitness apps that track physical activity and access data from the M processors without constantly engaging the main application processor. They enable applications to be aware of what type of movement the user is experiencing, such as driving, walking, running, or sleeping. Another application could be the ability to do indoor tracking and mapping. In iOS 10, the motion coprocessor is used to implement raise to wake functionality reducing idle power usage.
|Apple A7, LPC18A1||iPhone 5S||iPad Air
iPad mini 2
iPad mini 3
iPhone 6 Plus
|iPad Air 2
iPad Mini 4
|iPod Touch (6th generation)|
iPhone 6S Plus
|iPad Pro 9.7"
iPad Pro 12.9"
iPad (5th generation)
|Apple A10 Fusion
Apple A10X Fusion
iPhone 7 Plus
|iPad Pro 10.5"
iPad Pro 12.9" (2nd generation)
iPad (6th generation)
|Apple TV 4K|
|Apple A11 Bionic||iPhone 8
iPhone 8 Plus
|Apple A12 Bionic||iPhone XS
iPhone XS Max
|iPad Air (3rd generation)
iPad mini (5th generation)
|Apple A12X Bionic||(none)||iPad Pro 11"
iPad Pro 12.9" (3rd generation)
Apple Inc. has developed a range of "System on Chip" (SoC) as well as "System in Package" (SiP) processors for powering their mobile consumer devices and other tasks. To meet the stringent power and space constraints common to mobile devices, these chips combine a central processing unit (CPU) with other components into a single compact physical package. Johny Srouji is the executive in charge of Apple's silicon design.Apple A9X
The Apple A9X is a 64-bit ARM-based system on a chip (SoC) designed by Apple Inc. It first appeared in the iPad Pro, which was announced on September 9, 2015 and was released on November 11, 2015. The A9X has the M9 motion coprocessor embedded in it, a new innovation not seen in previous chip generations. It is a variant of the A9 and Apple claims that it has 1.8 times the CPU performance and 2 times the GPU performance of its predecessor, the A8X.Pedometer
A pedometer is a device, usually portable and electronic or electromechanical, that counts each step a person takes by detecting the motion of the person's hands or hips. Because the distance of each person's step varies, an informal calibration, performed by the user, is required if presentation of the distance covered in a unit of length (such as in kilometers or miles) is desired, though there are now pedometers that use electronics and software to automatically determine how a person's step varies. Distance traveled (by walking or any other means) can be measured directly by a GPS receiver.
Used originally by sports and physical fitness enthusiasts, pedometers are now becoming popular as an everyday exercise counter and motivator. Often worn on the belt and kept on all day, it can record how many steps the wearer has walked that day, and thus the kilometers or miles (distance = number of steps × step length). Some pedometers will also erroneously record movements other than walking, such as bending to tie one's shoes, or road bumps incurred while riding a vehicle, though the most advanced devices record fewer of these 'false steps'. Step counters can give encouragement to compete with oneself in getting fit and losing weight. A total of 10,000 steps per day, equivalent to 8 kilometres (5.0 mi), is recommended by some to be the benchmark for an active lifestyle, although this point is debated among experts. Thirty minutes of moderate walking are equivalent to 3,000-4,000 steps as determined by a pedometer. Step counters are being integrated into an increasing number of portable consumer electronic devices such as music players, smartphones, and mobile phones.Samsung Bio Processor
The Samsung Bio Processor is an advanced system logic chip designed by Samsung Electronics in December 2015 that integrates five AFEs including bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), photoplethysmogram (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), skin temperature, and galvanic skin response (GSR) into a single chip that measures body fat, and skeletal muscle mass, heart rate, heart rhythm, skin temperature and stress level. It is designed for future fitness wearable devices. The chip is also designed to be included in "patches" that track health, and the chip design is available for other companies to use. The chip is designed for low power usage to allow it to be used in small devices with small batteries.
|Apple II family|