The new Apple Watch has already received the teardown treatment by iFixit, providing an insight into what lies beneath – namely the Taptic Engine, the Digital Crown, and mostly a battery. But now ABI Research has gone further and cracked open the totally sealed S1 custom chip that is the brains of the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch innards revealed in teardown
As part of its Teardowns Market Research series, ABI shows how each component has been packed into the minuscule and weather-resistant module, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC radios.
The photo below also reveals 512 MB of RAM from Elpida, 8 GB of flash storage from SanDisk and Toshiba, and the integrated accelerometer and gyroscope sensor. The true brains of the S1 chip can be seen in the Apple processor labelled APL 0778. It’s the main CPU that makes up an already ultra compact system.
And here’s the innards before the S1 chip was cracked open.
Apple describes the Watch’s S1 as “an entire computer system on a single chip” that is encased in resin to increase its durability and withstand the elements, helping achieve its IPX7 water-resistance rating (it can withstand more than 15 minutes of submersion underwater). For scale, here’s how the main CPU looks compared to a golf ball – yes, it’s actually that small.
The Apple Watch is certainly a feat of engineering and a marvel of modern technology, regardless of your opinions over the usefulness of the device. My order is still “being processed” with another month or so before delivery, so I’m afraid that I can’t yet provide any personal insights into the utility of the watch.