Apple motion coprocessors

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[4][5] 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.[6][7] September 2015 brought the M9 motion coprocessor embedded within the A9 chip found in the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE[8] and within the A9X chip found in the iPad Pro.[9][10] The iPhone 7, iPad Pro 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch feature the M10 motion coprocessor.[11] Apple included the M11 in the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X.[12]. 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.[13][14]

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.[1] iFixit have identified the M8 in the iPhone 6 to be an NXP device with a very similar name, the LPC18B1.[3][15]

Apple M-series coprocessors
NXP LPC18A1
The NXP LPC18A1, also known as the M7 motion coprocessor
ProducedFrom September 2013 to present
Designed byNXP Semiconductors
Common manufacturer(s)
Max. CPU clock rate150[2] MHz
Min. feature size90 nm[2]
Instruction setARMv7-M[2]
MicroarchitectureCortex-M3[2]
Product codeM7: LPC18A1[1]
M8: LPC18B1[3]
Cores1[2]

Usage

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.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18][19][20] Another application could be the ability to do indoor tracking and mapping.[21] In iOS 10, the motion coprocessor is used to implement raise to wake functionality reducing idle power usage.

Products

Coprocessor iPhone iPad Other
Apple A7, LPC18A1 iPhone 5S iPad Air
iPad mini 2
iPad mini 3
(none)
Apple A8
Apple A8X
iPhone 6[3]
iPhone 6 Plus[15]
iPad Air 2
iPad Mini 4
iPod Touch (6th generation)
Apple A9
Apple A9X
iPhone 6S
iPhone 6S Plus
iPhone SE
iPad Pro 9.7"
iPad Pro 12.9"
iPad (5th generation)
(none)
Apple A10 Fusion
Apple A10X Fusion
iPhone 7
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
iPhone X
(none) (none)
Apple A12 Bionic iPhone XS
iPhone XS Max
iPhone XR
iPad Air (3rd generation)
iPad mini (5th generation)
(none)
Apple A12X Bionic (none) iPad Pro 11"
iPad Pro 12.9" (3rd generation)
(none)

[22]

Gallery

NXP LPC18A1

The LPC18A1, also known as the Apple M7. Manufactured week 29 in 2013.

LPC18A1-and-A7

The size difference between the A7 and the smaller LPC18A1.

NXP LPC18B1

The LPC18B1, also known as the Apple M8. Manufactured week 28 in 2014.

LPC18B1-and-A8

The size difference between the A8 and the smaller LPC18B1.

Apple A9 APL1022

The Apple A9 which has the on-die M9 coprocessor

Apple A9X

The Apple A9X which has the on-die M9 coprocessor

Apple A10 Fusion APL1W24

Apple A10 Fusion with on-die M10 coprocessor

Apple A10X Fusion

Apple A10X with on-die M10 motion co-processor

Apple A11

Apple A11 Bionic with on-die M11 motion co-processor

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Tanner, Jason; Morrison, Jim; James, Dick; Fontaine, Ray; Gamache, Phil (September 20, 2013). "Inside the iPhone 5s". Chipworks. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e NXP 150 MHz, 32-bit Cortex-M3 microcontrollers LPC1800 (PDF) (Technical report). NXP Semiconductors. September 2010. 9397 750 17002. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "iPhone 6 Plus Teardown". iFixit. Retrieved 2014-09-20.
  4. ^ Estes, Adam Clark (2013-09-10). "How Apple's M7 Chip Makes the iPhone 5S the Ultimate Tracking Device". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  5. ^ Sumra, Husain (2013-09-10). "iPhone 5s Includes New 'M7' Motion Coprocessor for Health and Fitness Tracking". MacRumors. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  6. ^ Apple - iPhone 6 - Technology
  7. ^ Apple - iPad Air 2 - Performance
  8. ^ "iPhone SE - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  9. ^ Apple Introduces iPhone 6s & iPhone 6s Plus
  10. ^ iPad Pro - Apple
  11. ^ "iPhone 7 - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  12. ^ "iPhone X - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
  13. ^ "iPad Air - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  14. ^ "iPhone XS - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  15. ^ a b "iPhone 6 Teardown". iFixit. Retrieved 2014-09-20.
  16. ^ Lal Shimpi, Anand (2013-09-17). "The iPhone 5s Review: M7 Motion Coprocessor". AnandTech. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  17. ^ "iPhone 6s - Technology". Apple. September 8, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  18. ^ Martin, Mel (2013-09-12). "The iPhone's M7 Motion coprocessor and Maps". TUAW. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  19. ^ Colon, Alex (2013-09-12). "Apple's M7 coprocessor might bring big improvements to its mapping abilities". GigaOM. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  20. ^ Burns, Chris (2013-09-12). "iPhone 5S Apple M7 coprocessor "knows" when you are sleeping". SlashGear. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  21. ^ Gurman, Mark (2013-09-12). "iPhone's M7 motion processor to integrate with Maps as Apple develops indoor mapping, public transit". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  22. ^ https://www.apple.com/ipad-pro/specs/
Apple-designed processors

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.

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