An analyst has examined the Apple Watch supply chain in an effort to ascertain the exact spec of Cupertino’s new gadget and he reports there is nothing too spectacular about the device.
Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company says the watch sports 512MB of RAM coming from Samsung, Micron and Hynix. It also has 4GB of DRAM on board and Arcuri says the chips are coming from a number of major NAND suppliers, reports Apple Insider.
The Apple Watch is believed to feature a wireless combo chip similar to Broadcom’s BCM43342 used in the iPhone 5S. The original chip features GPS, although Apple hinted at GPS functionality only with a phone tether. The watch also features an NFC chip (limited to Apple Pay for the time being), a MEMS sensor, wireless charging from Device Technology and a few other bits and pieces.
One thing missing from Arcuri’s note is the S1 System-on-Chip. Not much is known about Apple’s first smartwatch SoC, which ships in a tiny module fully encased in resin. In any case Apple is the first player to design and build a dedicated smartwatch SoC, which may give it the upper hand in terms of power efficiency. However, that advantage may not big as big as originally expected, as Apple says users will still have to charge the watch on a daily basis.
Although smartwatches do not need nearly the same level of CPU and GPU performance as smartphones, they still have a few sensors and radios that have to work around the clock. The screen and SoC are not the only components capable of sucking a tiny smartwatch battery dry in hours. Sensors and radios don’t require nearly as much power and they don’t have a huge effect on battery life on your average smartphone.
Unfortunately the average smartwatch battery capacity is 300mAh to 400mAh, roughly one fifth to one tenth of an average smartphone battery, so the impact of sensors, radios and background processes running on the SoC scales accordingly.