or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › iPhone 4 gyroscope X-rayed, likely to be added to future iPad
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

iPhone 4 gyroscope X-rayed, likely to be added to future iPad

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Two new looks at the gyroscope found in Apple's iPhone 4 offer a closer examination of the technology behind the motion sensor, as well as an indication that the feature will be added to a future revision of the iPad.

Empty iPad slot hints at future gyroscope

UBMTechInsights took a look inside Apple's new iPhone 4 and found it was made by STMicroelectronics. The three-axis MEMS gyroscope is made by the same company that produces the accelerometer found both the iPhone and iPad.

Steve Bitton, senior analyst with TechInsights, noted that there is an empty slot on the iPad motherboard, perfectly sized to fit the gyroscope found in the iPhone 4. It is also located next to the accelerometer, and within proximity of the application processor.

The discovery suggests that Apple originally planned to have a gyroscope in the iPad, released in April in the U.S., but ultimately decided to leave the sensor out of the first-generation hardware.

But the pin out on the iPad motherboard doesn't match the STMicroelectronics gyroscope found in the iPhone 4 -- instead, Bitton said, it resembles a competing three-axis sensor made by InvenSense.



"When Apple's iPad first came out, the InvenSense gyro was the only three-axis digital gyro on the market, so Apple may have designed its board with that component in mind," the report said. "Indeed, Apple may have included it in the iPad initially, but may have ultimately decided against using it in either device."

iFixit offers a look inside the iPhone 4 gyroscope

iFixit has also conducted a closer look at the iPhone 4 gyroscope, with the help of Chipworks. It also revealed that the gyroscope is made by STMicroelectronics, labeled AGD1 2022 FP6AQ. The microelectromechanical system (MEMS) integrates electronic and mechanical components at a very small scale to measure the orientation of the device.



X-ray photos of the gyroscope found that it is nearly identifcal to the off-the-shelf STMicroelectronics L3G4200D model. It includes a "proof mass" that is displaced in X, Y and Z directions by Coriolis forces when a user rotates the phone. Another die found inside converts those capacitive signals into a digital form that can be interpreted by the iPhone 4.



The gyroscope allows for far more precise movements with the device. One of the first App Store offerings to demonstrate this capability is the game Eliminate:GunRange (iTunes link), a $0.99 title from ngmoco, Inc. The software allows users to conduct virtual target practice by aiming their onscreen gun with precise movements of the device, something that is only capable with the gyroscope found in the iPhone 4.

iFixit and Chiwporks also included a number of photos of other MEMS gyroscopes not found in the iPhone 4, in the interest of showing off their incredible microscopic designs.
post #2 of 27
Borg technology to be sure!
post #3 of 27
I hope the set designers of Tron (2010) used microscopic images of microchips as their inspiration.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #4 of 27
WOW, this looks pretty amazing. Too bad monetary system is holding technology back. Nano technology is such a dream.
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
post #5 of 27
I know it's not 100% related to the topic here, but I just came back from the Apple store on Regent street and held the iPad in my hand for the first tim - fantastic machine! However, I also held the iPhone 4 in my hand - so I am postponing my purchase of the iPad 'cause: when's the Retina display coming to the iPad? I will buy one then instantly!
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

I know it's not 100% related to the topic here, but I just came back from the Apple store on Regent street and held the iPad in my hand for the first tim - fantastic machine! However, I also held the iPhone 4 in my hand - so I am postponing my purchase of the iPad 'cause: when's the Retina display coming to the iPad? I will buy one then instantly!

You probably have a long wait. I doubt it will be next revision. So your looking at at least two years, and probably more.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

I know it's not 100% related to the topic here, but I just came back from the Apple store on Regent street and held the iPad in my hand for the first tim - fantastic machine! However, I also held the iPhone 4 in my hand - so I am postponing my purchase of the iPad 'cause: when's the Retina display coming to the iPad? I will buy one then instantly!

A Retina display for the iPad would be too expensive at this time. On a more fundamental level, it's doubtful that the display manufacturers could provide enough parts for Apple's iPad production quantities.

Apple's partners struggled to provide enough of the IPS displays (I believe they had already second sourced the display and qualed a third supplier after the initial launch), so much so that they delayed the international release.

My guess is that a Retina display on the iPad may be two, three, even four years away.
post #8 of 27
Can anyone shed any light on the next to the last picture. I can see that in the one Apple is using there are the "tuning forks" in the 4 corners. the last one obviously shows the 2 dies interconnected but wants up with the other one. I really don't get what we are looking at there. Cool pix for sure.

Ideas anyone? (See my edit comments - I got answers by reading the URL ref'd article.)
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

My guess is that a Retina display on the iPad may be two, three, even four years away.

LOL...thanks for your guess. I guess it's 10 years away...maybe 20.
post #10 of 27
An article that doesn't just wax rhapsodic over how much product Apple is shipping. It actually looks at the technologies of Apple. More please!
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

...I doubt it will be next revision. So your looking at at least two years...

Probably correct, but I hope not.

Maybe a smaller iPad but with a retina display that could do at least 720p if not 1080p. Quick calcs make it appear that a 7" diagonal would fit really well and give you potentially a much higher resolution device. Image size would be zoomable so you could have the rumored in between size. I don't think I would personally ever want one but I can see a use for them. Just a thought.

Personally I (guess I) can wait (if I have too) for the Retina display at ~10" diagonal for a couple yrs.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

WOW, this looks pretty amazing. Too bad monetary system is holding technology back. Nano technology is such a dream.

These things are amazing. I've worked in semiconductor manufacture for the past 15 years, and I continue to be amazed by SEM pictures.
post #13 of 27
Fielders Choice:

1. An X-rayed Gyroscope? Hold the presses, alert MSNBC & FOX News. This is huge!

2. Gyroscope, eh? With an X-ray can you see the tziki sauce, tomatoes, and pita?
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

These things are amazing. I've worked in semiconductor manufacture for the past 15 years, and I continue to be amazed by SEM pictures.

I work for a semiconductor tool manufacturer that makes the machines that are used to create these chips. off-course I am little bit proud that our machines are used to manufacture Apple chips.;-)
The development of these machines and their (future) capabilities is what makes Moore's law 'clock' tick. These machines can create structures with the thickness of 1/1500 of an human hair.
post #15 of 27
This is why I am waiting for next year's iPad. I foresee the Retina Display, the gyroscope and maybe a front-facing camera. This iPad is good. The next one, I have a feeling, will be great.
post #16 of 27
These MEMs units aren't real gyroscopes. Real gyroscopes level and orient with the mass that's spinning at high speeds. These are really positional sensors.

But with the rest of the electronics they allow US to do the positioning
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

A Retina display for the iPad would be too expensive at this time. On a more fundamental level, it's doubtful that the display manufacturers could provide enough parts for Apple's iPad production quantities.

Apple's partners struggled to provide enough of the IPS displays (I believe they had already second sourced the display and qualed a third supplier after the initial launch), so much so that they delayed the international release.

My guess is that a Retina display on the iPad may be two, three, even four years away.

I put this into more numerical terms in another thread. The short of it, even if the quadrupled the pixel count like they did with the iPhone 4 over the previous iPhones it still wouldn't be a Retinal Display despite how impressive that display would be.

While that would rock, I don't that will be feasible for several years. That includes having a cost effective "retinal display" that size and making the best use of power for a 10" display with that many more pixels.

Something else to consider is the iPad's display is only 132ppi, which is still lower than the original iPhone at 163ppi. If we take the minimum density ppi for 20/20 site of 286ppi at a 12" distance and we double the pixels on each access (4x as many tolal pixels) we still only get 264ppi. If people are complaining that 326ppi can't be refereed to as Retinal Display, then I am not sure Apple would be so bold as to call 264ppi by this new marketing term.

Still, it would be great to have that on the iPad -and- have it maintain 10+ hours of video on one charge.

Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

While that would rock, I don't that will be feasible for several years. That includes having a cost effective "retinal display" that size and making the best use of power for a 10" display with that many more pixels.

It certainly would rock to have an iPad with practically the same resolution as a 30" Cinema Display or a 27" iMac

Bring it on!
post #19 of 27
Even without a better display on the iPad (which I still think will happen), I'd rather wait for things like the gyro and the front-facing camera and maybe even higher capacity in the base model.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

An article that doesn't just wax rhapsodic over how much product Apple is shipping. It actually looks at the technologies of Apple. More please!

I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Probably correct, but I hope not.

Maybe a smaller iPad but with a retina display that could do at least 720p if not 1080p. Quick calcs make it appear that a 7" diagonal would fit really well and give you potentially a much higher resolution device. Image size would be zoomable so you could have the rumored in between size. I don't think I would personally ever want one but I can see a use for them. Just a thought.

Personally I (guess I) can wait (if I have too) for the Retina display at ~10" diagonal for a couple yrs.

There may be a cost issue in making a large, high density screen. It may also be an issue of having silicon that can drive the screen. At least with the iOS devices, Apple doesn't have to wait for the affordability of large displays or trying to get developers to support it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

These MEMs units aren't real gyroscopes. Real gyroscopes level and orient with the mass that's spinning at high speeds. These are really positional sensors.

Very true, but I would expect that Apple chose their words to be understood without too much explanation. Magnetometer is more correct than compass, but people understand what a compass is. I expect the same with "gyro" over a more accurate term. Then there is a newer technology that replaces the old, the metaphors and descriptions remain the same. Digital books really don't have pages either, nor is it technically necessary to simulate page turning or the binding and pages of a paper book.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I agree.

Me too.

Quote:
There may be a cost issue in making a large, high density screen. It may also be an issue of having silicon that can drive the screen. At least with the iOS devices, Apple doesn't have to wait for the affordability of large displays or trying to get developers to support it.

A very high cost. I spoke to someone in NEC about that, the head monitor designer, whom I know. He said that now, a display like that would cost several thousand dollars. In five years it *could* be possible for a thousand, or less.

Quote:
Very true, but I would expect that Apple chose their words to be understood without too much explanation. Magnetometer is more correct than compass, but people understand what a compass is. I expect the same with "gyro" over a more accurate term. Then there is a newer technology that replaces the old, the metaphors and descriptions remain the same. Digital books really don't have pages either, nor is it technically necessary to simulate page turning or the binding and pages of a paper book.

The industry is calling them gyroscopes, so Apple is as well. I have nothing really against it, but it's wrong.
post #22 of 27
I thought the article was about the gyro not the display. Some of you are off on a rabbit trail.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Probably correct, but I hope not.

Maybe a smaller iPad but with a retina display that could do at least 720p if not 1080p. Quick calcs make it appear that a 7" diagonal would fit really well and give you potentially a much higher resolution device. Image size would be zoomable so you could have the rumored in between size. I don't think I would personally ever want one but I can see a use for them. Just a thought.

Personally I (guess I) can wait (if I have too) for the Retina display at ~10" diagonal for a couple yrs.

In two years' time there will probably be a 12" iPad that does 1080p. Close enough for Retina Displayness

Let's see. 12" diagonal at 16:9, 1920x1080 pixels... Somebody calculate the ppi? Sorry, too lazy here to do it
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

A Retina display for the iPad would be too expensive at this time. On a more fundamental level, it's doubtful that the display manufacturers could provide enough parts for Apple's iPad production quantities.

Apple's partners struggled to provide enough of the IPS displays (I believe they had already second sourced the display and qualed a third supplier after the initial launch), so much so that they delayed the international release.

My guess is that a Retina display on the iPad may be two, three, even four years away.

I think we may see it sooner than that on a 5- or 6-inch iPad. Based on all the talk before the iPad launch about whether it was going to have a 10-inch or a smaller display, I wouldn't be too surprised to see an iPad nano next year.
post #25 of 27
Those are some awesome photos.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
Reply
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
Reply
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

In two years' time there will probably be a 12" iPad that does 1080p. Close enough for Retina Displayness

Let's see. 12" diagonal at 16:9, 1920x1080 pixels... Somebody calculate the ppi? Sorry, too lazy here to do it

1080p @ 326ppi
5.9 x 3.3, ~6.7" diagonal

1080p @ 182ppi gets about 12" diagonal.

I think 1920 x 1280 would be a better resolution though. Setting it to 16:9 assumes that its primary use is for playing videos, it's not necessarily very good for displaying photos or reading. 3:2 seems to be a better general-purpose aspect ratio.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

I think we may see it sooner than that on a 5- or 6-inch iPad. Based on all the talk before the iPad launch about whether it was going to have a 10-inch or a smaller display, I wouldn't be too surprised to see an iPad nano next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

1080p @ 326ppi
5.9 x 3.3, ~6.7" diagonal

1080p @ 182ppi gets about 12" diagonal.

I think 1920 x 1280 would be a better resolution though. Setting it to 16:9 assumes that its primary use is for playing videos, it's not necessarily very good for displaying photos or reading. 3:2 seems to be a better general-purpose aspect ratio.

I have to think a 12" iPad simply isn't going to happen. That new size requires a new SDK and new apps. I think a 5" to 7" iPad is much more likely if and when they do introduce a new size.

Current iPad is 9.7"(d) at 1024 x 768 pixels, equaling 132 ppi. Doubling that (going to 4x as many pixels like the iPhone 4) is 2048 x 1536, equaling 264 ppi. That is still about 20 ppi too low to be the commonly referred to minimum "normal" 20/20 vision.

Since this scaling makes it easy for developers I'm not sure Apple will go with some wonky size change just so they can make it a Retina Display. If they want to get to 326 ppi (for whatever reason) the resulting resolution for a 9.7" 4:3 display would be 2527 x 1900. For a 12" 4:3 display it's 3126 x 2350 and to hit the minimum Retinal Display marketing they can probably get away with 286 ppi it's 2743 x 2062.

None of those resolution ranges seem remotely viable so I think the best we can hope for is 4x the current resolution (which would awesome) but still put it below being a Retina Display.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › iPhone 4 gyroscope X-rayed, likely to be added to future iPad