One of the most interesting components from the recently released Apple iPhone 11 line of phones is one that Apple has said very little about; the Apple U1 Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip. So far, Apple has said only that the chip enables directional AirDrop functionality, but we expect to find the U1 in many upcoming Apple products.
UWB (Ultra-wideband) is a short-range radio technology that precisely pinpoints and measures distance between other UWB equipped devices.
UWB is not a new concept for Apple; they applied for a patent on “Ultra-wideband radios for time-of-flight ranging and network position estimation” in 2006, and have applied for at least three related patents since.
TechInsights has previously analyzed UWB devices, including the DecaWave DW1000 die found inside Estimote Beacons. The Apple U1 TMKA75, as it is formally known, is a slightly smaller die than the DecaWave, with 33% of its size dedicated to memory, 33% to digital, and 33% to analog functionality.
While UWB is not a new technology, this is the first time we have seen it inside a mobile phone. The Apple-designed U1 chip only communicates with other U1 chips, and we look forward to finding it in a number of upcoming Apple devices.
Download the TechInsights brief on the Apple U1 TMKA75 Ultra Wideband chip. The brief includes several detailed die photos, a comparison of the U1 to the Decawave DW1000, an overview of UWB technology, and details of the analysis we have planned for this part.
Apple U1 UWB Chip Analysis
Download TechInsights' brief on the Apple U1 UWB Chip, complete with die photos, a background on UWB technology, and details of our planned analysis for this part.