Apple motion coprocessors
The NXP LPC18A1, also known as the M7 motion coprocessor
|Produced||From September 2013 to present|
|Designed by||NXP Semiconductors|
|Max. CPU clock rate||150 MHz|
|Min. feature size||90 nm|
The Apple M-series coprocessors are motion coprocessors used by Apple Inc. in their mobile devices. First released in 2013, their function is to collect sensor data from integrated accelerometers, gyroscopes and compasses and offload the collecting and processing of sensor data from the main central processing unit (CPU).
As of May 2017[update], the M-series coprocessors so far released have been the M7 (codename Oscar), the M8, the M9, the M10, and the M11. The M7 was introduced in September 2013 with the iPhone 5S and the updated version, M8 was introduced in September 2014 with the iPhone 6 and also processes data from the barometer that is included in the iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2. September 2015 brought the M9 motion coprocessor embedded within the A9 chip found in the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE and within the A9X chip found in the iPad Pro. The iPhone 7, iPad Pro 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch feature the M10 motion coprocessor. Apple announced the latest addition to its motion coprocessors, the M11, found in the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X.
Chipworks found that the M7 most likely is a NXP LPC1800 based microcontroller called LPC18A1. It uses an ARM Cortex-M3 core with a customised packaging and naming scheme indicating that it is for an Apple customized part. iFixit have identified the M8 in the iPhone 6 to be an NXP device with a very similar name, the LPC18B1.
The Apple M7, M8, M9, M10, and M11 coprocessors collect, process, and store sensor data even if the device is asleep, and applications can retrieve data when the device is powered up again. This reduces power draw of the device and saves battery life. In addition to servicing the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and in M8 and later coprocessors, barometer, the M9 coprocessor can recognize Siri voice commands from the built in microphones of the device.
The M-series motion coprocessors are accessible to applications through the Core Motion API introduced in iOS 7, so they do, for example, allow fitness apps that track physical activity and access data from the M processors without constantly engaging the main application processor. They enable applications to be aware of what type of movement the user is experiencing, such as driving, walking, running, or sleeping. Another application could be the ability to do indoor tracking and mapping. In iOS 10, the motion coprocessor is used to implement raise to wake functionality reducing idle power usage.
Apple M7, LPC18A1
Apple M8, LPC18B1
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPad Pro 10.5"
- iPad Pro 12.9" 2G
- iPad (2018)
- Apple TV 4K
- Apple A10 Fusion
- Apple A10X Fusion
- Apple mobile application processors
- Apple A7
- Apple A8
- Apple A8X
- Apple A9
- Apple A9X
- Apple A10 Fusion
- Apple A10X Fusion
- Apple A11 Bionic
- Tanner, Jason; Morrison, Jim; James, Dick; Fontaine, Ray; Gamache, Phil (September 20, 2013). "Inside the iPhone 5s". Chipworks. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- NXP 150 MHz, 32-bit Cortex-M3 microcontrollers LPC1800 (PDF) (Technical report). NXP Semiconductors. September 2010. 9397 750 17002. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- "iPhone 6 Plus Teardown". iFixit. Retrieved 2014-09-20.
- Estes, Adam Clark (2013-09-10). "How Apple's M7 Chip Makes the iPhone 5S the Ultimate Tracking Device". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- Sumra, Husain (2013-09-10). "iPhone 5s Includes New 'M7' Motion Coprocessor for Health and Fitness Tracking". MacRumors. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- Apple - iPhone 6 - Technology
- Apple - iPad Air 2 - Performance
- "iPhone SE - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
- Apple Introduces iPhone 6s & iPhone 6s Plus
- iPad Pro - Apple
- "iPhone 7 - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
- "iPhone X - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
- "iPhone 6 Teardown". iFixit. Retrieved 2014-09-20.
- Lal Shimpi, Anand (2013-09-17). "The iPhone 5s Review: M7 Motion Coprocessor". AnandTech. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- "iPhone 6s - Technology". Apple. September 8, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
- Martin, Mel (2013-09-12). "The iPhone's M7 Motion coprocessor and Maps". TUAW. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- Colon, Alex (2013-09-12). "Apple's M7 coprocessor might bring big improvements to its mapping abilities". GigaOM. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- Burns, Chris (2013-09-12). "iPhone 5S Apple M7 coprocessor "knows" when you are sleeping". SlashGear. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- Gurman, Mark (2013-09-12). "iPhone's M7 motion processor to integrate with Maps as Apple develops indoor mapping, public transit". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 2013-09-13.