Apple Watch Likely Uses BCM4334 Broadcom Wi-Fi Chip

by

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
83 months ago
where "Enhance...enhance...enhance..." actually applies.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
baryon Avatar
83 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
83 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
83 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
83 months ago
pretty darn impressive!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Patriot24 Avatar
83 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)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
macbook pro screensaver table

Some M1 Macs Affected By Fast User Switching Screensaver Bug

Monday January 18, 2021 1:57 am PST by
A growing number of user reports online suggest some of Apple's M1 Mac models are susceptible to a Fast User Switching bug that spontaneously activates the screensaver and leaves the user unable to dismiss it. In macOS Big Sur, Fast User Switching allows users to quickly switch between user accounts without having to completely log out. Based on posts in the MacRumors forums, Apple...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...