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Asahi Kasei to Supply Magnetometer for Next-Gen iPhone?

AppleInsider claims that Japanese manufacturer Asahi Kasei will be providing the magnetometer (digital compass) for the upcoming next-generation iPhone. This is based on header files found in the latest iPhone 3.0 beta.

People familiar with betas of the iPhone 3.0 software developers kit recently dug up several header files attributed to the Japanese manufacturer in a directory appropriately labeled "compass." More specifically, the files identify Asahi Kasei's azimuth sensor No. AK8973, a 16-pin leadless IC package measuring 4mm square and 0.7mm thick, as the chip that will help future iPhone users determine their direction. It bundles a master clock oscillator.

Magnetometers have become more prevalent in handheld devices and one was used in a demo of Google's Map application for the Android that allows users to physically move the device around to change the street view.