The iPhone 6 will have a new co-processor code-named “Phosphorus”, dedicated to motion and health data
0. phoneArena 25 Aug 2014, 06:05 posted on
It's another day, another iPhone leak here at Phone Arena, and this time the word is that the upcoming iPhone 6's A8 processor will have a new pal to share additional processing with. The iPhone 5s's M7 motion co-processor will be succeeded by a new chip code-named "Phosphorus"...
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2. darkkjedii (Posts: 19372; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Release the beast. September hurry up.
9. frydaexiii (Posts: 1425; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
Really, has anyone ever taken a survey or poll on how many people actually use their phones for health purposes? Are people so unhealthy that the next advancement for mobile is health?
23. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3607; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
Kinda sounds like Motorola's X8 processor setup.
25. xondk (Posts: 1131; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)
I am confused, why would you need a co processor for what is basically simple data retrieval via whatever interface said health gadget needs. Why would you need to offload such data which is even on the complex devices sent as a simple data stream that is really easy to process.
Unless it is a co processor made to give it extra calculation abilities? which would indicate a weak main processor? data retrieval from connections of any kind isn't something that should need that much processing, only compatibility for the various connection types gadgets need?, though in regards to motion I can see a little con, that being slightly less latency on the hardware side, however I have my doubts that it will translate to less delay on apps using motion.
30. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3607; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
I'd imagine they're low power cores to allow for actions to be executed without having go involve the main processor, just like Motorola's X8 system does for their active display and Touchless control features. It saves battery by not having to use the main processor.
34. xondk (Posts: 1131; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)
hmmm could be, could be, though in most situations you are using the main cores anyway, so the actual saving is very little, most but not all.
26. HamzAmin (Posts: 81; Member since: 15 Aug 2014)
They also have to somehow beef or add a processor to enable the "hey siri" feature without the need of being plugged in. I mean if they keep it that way it'd be stupid to introduce that feature. I think they introduced it because it will be a key feature for iPhone 6 / iWatch... but the phones before can't do it without losing MASS battery because how it sucks off the processors.
27. HamzAmin (Posts: 81; Member since: 15 Aug 2014)
So here's what's in the schematic in the article:
TLDR: This is a barometric pressure sensor, and most definitely not a processor of any type. I think it's safe to assume that we can expect a pressure sensor in the next iPhone- many other phones have found uses for them.
The first thing that threw me off- if this was the M7 or some kind of other 'processor', it would tend to communicate with sensors in a master-slave fashion over a serial protocol like SPI or I2C. It would also need some kind of data link back to the A7 (or A8 or whatever), most likely another serial line. That's not present in this diagram.
The stuff on this schematic is labelled like SPI, or a similar protocol. The line coming in from the top left is labeled MOSI- this stands for master out, slave in- it's a serial data line (going one way). It's connected to the SDI pin of the chip (serial data in), meaning that this chip must be a slave to the master SPI controller, and not the M7 or successor.
It is common to have multiple 'slave' chips hooked up to the same master (sharing data lines, one MISO and one MOSI). The master selects which chip it wants to talk to with a CS line (chip select). This is the line at the bottom left, the only one with 'PHOSPHORUS' in the net name. Since that CS line would be selecting PHOSPHORUS, and PHOSPHORUS is a slave, that tells me that PHOSPHORUS must be whatever this chip, probably a sensor (see more below!).
OSCAR was the code name of the M7, and the serial lines are labelled such that they go from sensors (e.g. the IMU) to the M7. I'm not making much of the fact that the serial lines going to this chip have labels saying they go from OSCAR (the M7) to the IMU, but are actually connected to this chip- I think they are probably just shared serial lines.
The chip pictured has the part number BMP282. I'm 99.99% sure this is a Bosch barometric pressure sensor, similar to this part BMP280 . Variants of one part often have slightly different part numbers- if Apple got Bosch to customize the chip for them with different packaging, or a slightly different measurement range, that would explain the difference in part number.
Here's what Bosch says the BMP280 chip is commonly used for:
* Enhancement of GPS navigation (e.g. time-tofirst-fix improvement, dead-reckoning, slope detection)
* Indoor navigation (floor detection, elevator detection)
* Outdoor navigation, leisure and sports applications
* Weather forecast
* Health care applications (e.g. spirometry)
* Vertical velocity indication (e.g. rise/sink speed)
Spirometry is measuring breath/lung function.
38. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1717; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
But....but that iFan said the health features on the S5 were gimmicks and useless... i'm so confused :(
41. pongkie (Posts: 533; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)
ahhh siri now can tell me if i gained 5 pounds