iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus use two accelerometers for better power management

Apple is using two accelerometers in both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Chipworks has discovered in its extensive teardowns of the two handsets. The first is the three-axis BMA280 accelerometer, made by Bosch, and the second is believed to be InvenSense’s six-axis MPU-6700.

The inclusion of two discrete accelerometers may initially seem odd, given the extra room and cost needed in order to put them both into the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but in reality it makes more sense than you think.

What this means is that for gaming and other applications that require “sophisticated inertial sensing capabilities,” the iPhone will use the InvenSense. But for more simple tasks, like rotating the screen to match its orientation or tracking footsteps, the iPhone will use the Bosch.
This remarkable engineering trick results not only in less power consumption, but also a more streamlined user experience. The Bosch accelerometer has a significantly faster cold start up time than the InvenSense—3ms vs. 30ms, respectively—meaning users see less of a delay.

The inclusion of two different accelerometers is the kind of thing that sets Apple apart from the competition. It could easily have gotten away with using just the one, but instead opted for two because it’s more elegant.

[Chipworks via MacRumors]


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