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© iFixit Electronics Production | September 23, 2013

Apple's A7 Made by Samsung, M7 Made by NXP

There was mighty speculation among the internet as to the manufacturer of Apple’s new A7 processor.
We uncovered it last night during the iPhone 5s teardown, but now Chipworks has taken it one step further. Through the magic of decapping an IC, their internal shots revealed the A7 to be made by Samsung.

From Chipworks: "We have confirmed through early analysis that the device is fabricated at Samsung’s Foundry and we will confirm process type and node later today as analysis continues. That being said, we suspect we will see Samsungs 28 nm Hi K metal Gate (HKMG) being used. We have observed this same process in the Samsung Exynos Application processor used in the Galaxy S4. Our engineers will be deprocessing the Apple A7 as soon as they can to confirm this or they can provide different information."

The M7 Processor — an NXP Design Win

Further digging by Chipworks gave us the identity of Apple’s mysterious M7 processor, a chip that was conspicuously absent from last night’s iPhone 5s teardown. It’s an NXP LPC18A1 device that was buried beneath a neoprene-looking cover.

From Chipworks: "The M7 is dedicated to processing and translating the inputs provided to it by the discrete sensors; the gyroscope, accelerometer and electromagnetic compass are mounted throughout the main printed circuit board. Traditional Apple techniques lead us to believe that these discrete sensors will most likely be STMicroelectronics for the accelerometer and the gyroscope, while the electromagnetic compass would again be an Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM). We have since confirmed the compass to be AKM’s AK8963."
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All images have zoom function. © iFixit & Chipworks respectively.

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