Next-generation iPhones likely to focus on internal improvements.
A7 Processor Manufactured by Samsung, M7 is Standalone Processor From NXP
Among its discoveries, Chipworks found that the A7 chip is manufactured by Samsung, a big win for that firm after rumors surfaced earlier this year that Taiwan Semiconductor Company (TSMC) might win the contract for the new chip. Code discovered in iOS 7 back in July did suggest that Samsung would remain the primary manufacturer for the A7.
Chipworks also found what it believes to be the M7 motion coprocessor, which iFixit dubbed the "magical" chip because it couldn't be found on the logic board during the original teardown. Instead, the M7 is a discrete processor from NXP:
Luckily, we’ve been able to locate the M7 in the form the NXP LPC18A1. The LPC1800 series are high-performing Cortx-M3 based microcontrollers. This represents a big win for NXP. We had anticipated the M7 to be an NXP device based on input from industry analysts and our partners and we are happy to see this to be the case.Chipworks will be continuing its teardown throughout the day.
The M7 is dedicated to processing and translating the inputs provided to it by the discrete sensors; the gyroscope, accelerometer and electro magnetic compass mounted throughout the main printed circuit board. Traditional Apple techniques lead us to believe that the these discrete sensors will most likely be STMicroelectronics for the accelerometer and the gyroscope while the electro magnetic compass would again be an Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM). We have since confirmed the compass to be AKM’s AK8963.