Apple Watch Series 3 Teardown

Posted: September 13, 2017, Updated October 17, 2017
Contributing Authors: Daniel Yang, Stacy Wegner

We have completed the Apple Watch Series 3 teardown. We were especially interested in its cellular functionality, and whether the LTE chipset supplier is Qualcomm or Intel. Our findings are presented in the following paragraphs.

Apple Watch Series 3 Teardown - Back
Apple Watch Series 3 Teardown
Apple Watch Series 3 Teardown - Open
Apple Watch Series 3 Teardown - Seperated

Inside the Apple Series 3 Watch

The Apple Watch Series 3 we examined is a 42mm Sport Band Model A1861 with GPS + Cellular.

The Apple S3 is still a System in Package (SiP). Our col-sm-12 col-lgleagues in the lab did a great job getting photos of the components inside the S3.

Board Shot

Baseband Processor

Congratulations Qualcomm for winning the LTE chipset socket. The LTE Baseband (Modem) die in the Package on Package (PoP) is HG11-NG162, which can be decoded to the Qualcomm MDM9635M, a Snapdragon X7 LTE Modem.

We have seen this LTE Modem in Apple iPhone 6S/6S Plus, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, etc. The PoP also has a Samsung K4P1G324EH DRAM die.

DRAM

We found die marks H54T6D63M, which is the same die from the SK Hynix H9HKNNNDBUMURR-NLH LPDDR4 SDRAM in an Apple iPhone 7 Plus phone purchased in Germany. We think that the H54T6D63M is a 768MB LPDDR4 SDRAM.

NAND Flash

There are four identical Toshiba NAND Flash die FPV7_32G, which means that the Apple A1861 GPS + Cellular Series 3 watch has 16GB flash capacity.

Power Management ICs

We have confirmed that the Qualcomm PMIC is PMD9645. We think we have also identified the Apple/Dialog PMIC.

Applications Processor

At the Apple event on September 12, Apple announced their Series 3 watch is installed with a new dual-core processor. We suspect that the die underneath the SK Hynix DRAM is the new Application Processor.

W2 Chip

Apple also announced that the Series 3 watch is installed with an Apple-designed W2 chip. We have confirmed that the Apple 338S00348 is the W2 chip, which provides Bluetooth functionality. The floor plan of the W2 chip has changed significantly from its predecessor, the W1: the RF transceiver is more complex, and the memory blocks have been removed in the W2. As an aside, TechInsights previously analyzed the W1 chip in the Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones and Apple Airpods.

RF Components

RF Components

RF Components

The board below has a few RF devices. We have confirmed that the Universal Scientific Industrial (USI) 339M00034 is the Qualcomm WTR3925 RF Transceiver. We found that Apple used the same Qualcomm Modem and RF Transceiver here as in the iPhone 62 smartphone, which is not a surprise.

On the board, there are an Avago AFEM-8069 Front-End Module, Skyworks SKY 78198 Power Amplifier Module (PAM), and a USI module which is the Qualcomm QFE3100 Envelope Tracker.

MCU

STMicro ST33G1M2 is found in the Series 3 watch. It is a 32-bit ARM SC300 MCU.

Analog Devices

Analog Devices

Others

The 343S00092 should be the Capacitance Touch Screen Controller from Analog Devices. There is a Capacitance Sensor Controller AD7149 from Analog Devices too. Both two components are the same as in the Apple Watch Series 2.

Analog Devices 343S00092
Analog Devices AD7149