The Apple Pencil; A lot of semiconductor content in something so small!

Posted: December 23, 2015

Last month we purchased an iPad Pro and an Apple pencil to understand what devices were being used by Apple in this new tablet and stylus solution. This story is not about the iPad Pro, but about the Apple Pencil.

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STMicroelectronics Micromirrors, Microvision, and Sony Bring Pico-Projection to the Pocket

Posted: December 3, 2015

Contributed by Dick James

Recently we got our hands on a Sony MP-CL1 mobile projector, or as they are more commonly known these days, a pico-projector. It’s a pretty compact device being a tad under 6” long, a tad over 3” wide, and a tad over ½” thick (145 x 77 x 13 mm), and weighs in at 210 gm (~7.4 oz.), so it will definitely fit in all but the smallest purses, or make a hefty shirt-pocket full.

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Advanced CMOS Essentials

Chipworks Advanced CMOS Essentials (ACE) will provide you with the critical data you need – quickly and economically. The ACE folder contains hundreds of SEM and TEM images and is supported by an executive summary highlighting unique features, materials analysis and critical dimensions.

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Knowles KMM1 Microphone ASIC

The KMM1 microphone module has been seen in several products that Chipworks has torn down, including the 12" Apple MacBook Pro.

Chipworks has performed a detailed circuit design analysis on the ASIC die (from the MacBook Pro) which is manufactured in a four metal, double polysilicon 250 nm Bi-CMOS process. 

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Microsemi or Skyworks: Who’s the best suitor for PMC-Sierra?

Posted: October 23, 2015

Contributed by Ray Angers

Microsemi Corp. (Aliso Viejo, California) trumped Skyworks’ (Woburn, Massachusetts) $2 billion bid for PMC-Sierra this week with their offer of $11.50 per share, or about $2.2 billion. Sunnyvale, California based PMC-Sierra provides semiconductor and software solutions used in ‘big data’ networks, the networks built by customers such as Google, IBM, HP, and others to meet the growing mobile data and internet demands. So why do Skyworks and Microsemi both want PMC?

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The Case for Circuit Patents

Posted: August 24, 2015

Contributed by John Sullivan

While actively analyzing patents used in litigations in U.S. district courts and the ITC, Chipworks, identified an interesting trend:

75% of the patents analyzed are considered systems patents or patents that combine several separated blocks or tasks to create higher level improvements.

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Apple Watch and ASE Start New Era in SiP

Posted: August 14, 2015

Contributed by Dick James

Back in April the Apple Watch appeared in our labs, and of course we analyzed it to see its contents. That set us some challenges, since inside the case we have the S1 “chip”, as Jony Ive called it in the launch last year. As you can see, it occupies most of the space inside the case, so it’s a pretty large chip; normally only the likes of IBM or Nvidia make chips this large.

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