A few days ago, Apple sent us our tracking number indicating that our shipment would arrive today, Friday, April 24th. We were pleasantly surprised to be a recipient of a Watch today considering the stir Apple created a while back when they flipped availability dates from today to “May-June”. Kind of like Christmas.

A much anticipated gadget

The Watch has been long anticipated. It will be interesting to see what impact this device has on the market, considering that ever since Apple introduced the iPhone 3GS, Apple has had a way of causing the consumer flood gates to open and creating a surge in consumer demand for toys. Look at the smartphone industry today, nearly 2 B units per year. Currently the wearables market sits at around $25 B per year with the potential to grow to $50 B by 2017. Could this Watch change this?

Click here to view image.

Click here to view image.

Click here to view image.

Click here to view image.

Click here to view image.

Click here to view image.

Click here to view image.

Market Understanding:

Wearable devices We here at Chipworks have examined dozens of wearables over the past few years and, while very cool, the consumer demand has just not been there. The abandonment rate for wearables is considerable enough that the market may only ever be a niche application (when compared to smartphones for example). However, of all the wearables we have examined throughout the past, the Apple Watch will be the most sophisticated we have seen to-date. Previous wearables have employed chips that have been around for years. Nothing very exciting. Will the sophistication of the Apple Watch enable features that overcome the abandonment rate of its predecessors? Only time will tell.

X-ray vision

Before getting too deep into the Watch, we took an X-ray of the watch in its entirety to see how the chip layout and count compare to our previous understandings from the launch. There is a lot of silicon in this device.

Click here to view image.

STMicroelectronics gyroscope and accelerometer

At the top left corner of the S1 module we were expecting to see a motion sensor from InvenSense, but, surprise surprise, we have a brand new STMicroelectronics 3 mm x 3 mm land grid array (LGA) package featuring a 3D digital gyroscope and accelerometer. The package marks feature the letter C followed by a three digit numeric 4,5,1. Great job on STMicroelectronics for this socket win.

Click here to view image.

Analog Devices touch screen controller

Another surprise to us in the Watch is the socket scored by Analog devices for capacitive touch screen controller on which we observed package markings of AD7166. The ADI site does not list the AD7166 as a standard part number, however we did come across a link to a Product Change Notification (PCN) showing import and export documentation (on the analog devices website)

Click here to view image.

Click here to view image.

Texas Instruments

OPA2376 Another clearly visible device is the Texas Instruments OPA2376 Precision, low noise, low quiescent current Opp Amp:

Click here to view image.