iPhone 11 series “Apple U1” chip is internally developed

iPhone 11 Pro

A recent disassembly by iFixit confirms that the U1 chip on the iPhone 11 series was designed independently by Apple. This debunks earlier speculations that the Apple U1 chip uses the Decawave ultra-wideband DW1000 chip. The DW1000 has similar functions with Apple U1 and can provide a positioning accuracy of 10cm. According to the report, the Apple U1 chip is different from the DW1000. However, both chips uses the same standard thus the U1 can work with third-party devices that use the Decawave chip.

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Apple U1 chip
The chip was originally thought to have been licensed by Decawave. Decawave told iFixit in a statement: “Apple designed its own 802.15.4z-compatible chipset that is interoperable with Decawave’s chips.”

Apple has a couple of chips in multiple series such as A, M, W, H, T, and S. However, the U1 is the first chip in the new U series. Although the Apple U1 chip is compliant with the Ultra Wide Band (UWB) standard, making it compatible with similar chips in other devices, Apple does not seem to be a member of the UWB Alliance. This chip uses ultra-wideband technology and this ensures that Apple devices with this chip can detect each other. With the U1 chip and iOS 13, when you use the airdrop, just point your iPhone to someone else’s iPhone, the system will prioritize each other, allowing you to share files faster. Of course, this is just one of the use cases, and more applications are yet to be developed. For example, Apple has not released the Apple Tag, which can be said to be safer.

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