Chipworks has done an impressive amount of investigative work on the Apple Watch and has managed to determine that the device appears to incorporate a BCM4334 Wi-Fi chip from Broadcom.

Chipworks spotted the chip in the video introduction of the Apple Watch, which shows Apple's custom designed S1 Apple Watch chip in separate layers. Based on screenshots from the video, Chipworks determined that one of the chips towards the top of the processor resembled a Wi-Fi chip. The pattern specifically matched up with the Broadcom BCM4334.

broadcomwifichip

The Wi-Fi chip on the S1 compared to the Broadcom BCM4334

What really caught my eye is the part located in the centre at the top. The pattern of contacts beneath it shows that it is a wafer-scale package flip-bonded directly to the board. To me, that pattern looks like a WiFi chip layout. [...]

So we then compared the pattern on the board to the most likely Broadcom WiFi chips. The pattern of contacts matches a BCM4334 single-chip dual-band combo device.

The Broadcom BCM4334 is a single-chip dual-band combo that combines 802.11 a/b/g/n with Bluetooth 4.0 and an integrated FM radio receiver. It's been used in the iPhone and iPad, and in Samsung devices in the past, and it's designed for minimal power consumption in a compact size.

Though the Apple Watch appears to contain its own dedicated Wi-Fi chip, Apple indicates that it will not be able to connect to Wi-Fi on its own. The Apple Watch will instead rely on the iPhone's Wi-Fi connection, perhaps using its internal Wi-Fi for communicating with a paired iPhone under certain circumstances.

It is impressive that Chipworks was able to determine a part from the Apple Watch just from a video, especially because the device is still months away from shipping to consumers. According to Apple, the watch will be released in early 2015, with prices beginning at $349.

Top Rated Comments

farewelwilliams Avatar
126 months ago
where "Enhance...enhance...enhance..." actually applies.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
baryon Avatar
126 months ago
Yeah it caught my eye too in that video. I immediately thought "hey that looks a lot like the contact arrangement pattern of the BCM4334 Broadcom WiFi Chip".
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Parasprite Avatar
126 months ago
There are some sad people out there spending all their days looking at chips..

And eventually ending up in hospital due to lack of proper exercise and a high-salt diet. :D
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MeFromHere Avatar
126 months ago
Fm radio is obselete all stations are hd now

Well that's certainly not true in my area.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cariacou Avatar
126 months ago
pretty darn impressive!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Patriot24 Avatar
126 months ago
The more we learn about the S1, the more impressive it is going to be. It is an amazing piece of component design and miniaturization. We tend to take these things for granted in today's world.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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