Apple revealed it’s new device iPhone 11 lineups in the last months. The new device comes with lots of improvements as well as with a new component added on it to improve the performances better than previous devices. Among them, one is Apple’s U1 Ultra Wideband Chip.
It was known that Apple were using the Decawave Ultra Wideband DW1000 chip inside its new iPhones however the teardown proved that Apple’s U1 chip and Decawave chip are two different things.
Apple didn’t lecture anythings about the U1 chip when announced the iPhone 11 Series. On the other hand, it is the chips used to add a new feature of AirDrop. However, this chip has high potential as interpreted by radio frequency engineer.
“[Ultra wideband] uses a whole bunch of bandwidth to transfer data,” says William Sanitate, VP of Engineering at O & S Services. It accomplishes this by utilizing a much wider frequency spectrum than Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which both only focus on a specific frequency spectrum. Furthermore, within UWB’s frequency spectrum, it can utilize huge 500MHz-wide channels. That’s a massive jump from Wi-Fi’s 20MHz-wide channels and Bluetooth’s puny 2MHz channels. This drastically helps with bandwidth, speed, and latency.
iFixit’s blog explains that the U1 chip and UWB can be further used for various purposes. It could use UWB for data transfer when using AirDrop.
Compared to Wi-fi and Bluetooth data, Data transfer in UWB is faster due to it’s higher bandwidth and latency. If Apple extends to add UWB to Airpods it could extract location when lost.
After all, Apple had struggled this much for U1 chip the company may have further plans regarding it.