Gary Tomkins (@ChipworksGary) September 28, 2012
When Apple introduced the iPhone 5, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller noted a number of new methods being used for noise cancellation from solutions using the device’s third microphone to an updated “noise-cancelling earpiece” and the addition of wideband audio. We know from reports earlier this month that Apple is not including noise cancellation technology from Audience, as it did in previous iPhone models. While we do not know exactly what powers the iPhone 5′s enhanced audio system, Chipworks discovered a second Cirrus chip being used in its recent teardown:
Audio chips from Cirrus. We know that Audience announced that they no longer have the noise cancellation and we were hoping we could get a little insight as to what is being done in the iPhone 5. Unfortunately, without a little more depth than a die photo can provide the best we can say is that Cirrus has two design wins related to the audio (one of which we originally guessed to be a memory MCP). One has some fairly large transistors and a whole lot of logic. If someone out there knows what the Apple package 338S1077 is we would be happy to report it. Starting here may be a good place.
- Apple 338S1077 Audio CODEC. This is a wafer-scale device by Cirrus Logic. They have long held this private-label package with Apple.
- Apple 338S1117 Cirrus Audio Chip
It is very possible that Apple’s new, in-house noise canceling technology uses this new Apple-branded Cirrus chip.