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NXP, Avago nab major design wins in iPhone 6

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iPhone 6? smartphone? teardown?

The numerous teardowns that have been done on iPhone 6 have shed light on not only the inner workings of Apple's latest smartphone model, but also the stretch of supply chain that it has created, with NXP Semiconductors, Avago and Murata nabbing major design wins.

While the application processor may get most of the attention, it is the analogue, MEMS sensors and RF that are far more plentiful in the smartphone. Along with the companies already mentioned, InvenSense and Bosch Sensortec also made Apple's list of major component suppliers. Only, there appears to be no inertial MEMS components from STMicroelectronics, which was also absent from the iPhone 5s and 5c.

On the other hand, ST at least may have got some sales in to the iPhone 6 with its MEMS microphones. So far the microphone winners have not been exposed.

Design wins

Major component list, design wins in iPhone 6. Source: Techinsights

The listing from TechInsights doesn't quite give full credit to Cirrus Logic, which according to iFixit is responsible for the Apple 338S1201 audio codecand Cirrus Logic has been successful with Apple over many iPhone iterations. Nor does the TechInsights chart credit Dialogue Semiconductor plc for the Apple 338S1251-AZ power management IC although iFixit describes it as an Apple/Dialogue chip.

TechInsights didn't give a name check to an AMS chip on the back of the main logic board. The AS3923 from AMS is a booster IC that employs active load modulation to improve performance of existing NFC controllers in challenging environments such as mobile and wearables. The NFC controller design win went to NXP Semiconductors, which has garnered much comment because the NFC system is what enables Apple's system of payment by smartphone (see Payments? There's an iPhone for that). NXP also provided its LPC18B1 microcontroller as the M8 motion coprocessor sensor hub.

It can be seen that Qualcomm supplied much of the high frequency RF and the base band modem while Murata provided a module for WiFi 802.11abgn, Bluetooth and FM radio although that module may itself contain a Broadcom IC as it did in the iPhone 5 series.

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