iPhone 5s teardown: iFixit digs into Apple's newest phone
Erin Lodi | Published: Sep 20, 2013 at 04:18:55 UTC10
While iPhone fanatics worldwide are still lining up for Apple's new iPhone 5s, the folks at iFixit are already taking the smartphone apart.
There's plenty to see inside the new flagship iPhone, but of course we're most interested in the latest iteration of the iSight camera.
iFixit sees signs of Sony in the 5s camera module, and quotes Jim Morrison, Vice President of the Technology Analysis Group at Chipworks, as stating "the DNL markings are consistent with the markings on the camera modules housing the Sony IMX145 we saw in the iPhone 4s and on the iPhone 5. The marks on the side of the module are different, but our industry insiders tell us this is Sony's again."
As Apple has stated the pixel pitch on this camera is 1.5 µ, the sensor should not be the IMX145, but a newer variant.
iFixit has also taken a closer look at the A7 chip inside the iPhone 5s. The A7 is advertised as providing twice the performance of the 5 (and 5c)'s A6 processor.
The switch to the A7 marks the first use of a 64-bit processor in a smartphone. Based on AnandTech's review, it seems that the bulk of the A7's performance gains do not come from any advantages inherent to a 64-bit architecture, but rather from the switch from the outdated ARMv7 instruction set to the newly-designed ARMv8.
iFixit says the modern ARMv8 instruction set was designed for a 64-bit architecture. It does away with the legacy support of the last 20 years, which increases efficiency, improving performance without sacrificing battery life.
Update: Chipworks have confirmed Apple’s new A7 processor is 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."
You can learn more about what iFixit has found inside the iPhone 5s on their website.
Update: iFixit have also dug into the iPhone 5c. See what's inside the more colorful model.