Apple Watch S1 – Looking inside its entrails

We didn’t need to wait long to be able to take a look in the entrails of Apple Watch S1, which as Apple says “An entire computer architecture on a single chip“:

Apple_S1

But after open it, we can say that it is more than a ‘single chip‘ as you can see here: Apple_S1_Decapped

It is a whole minituarized board containing all kind of sub-systems (IC’s and passives) which we would expect to find in a portable wrist computer:

  • CPU: Apple APL 0778 (with GPU PowerVR SGX543) (based on Samsung’s 28nm LP process) (not yet benchmark but already claimed to be as powerful as an Apple A5 at lower clock speed to save power).
  • RAM: 512MB from Elpida
  • FLASH storage: 8GB from Sandisk/Toshiba
  • WiFi/BlueTooth: Single stream BCM43342 from Broadcom
  • NFC interface: From NXP+AMS
  • Accelerometer/Gyroscope: Brand new 6-axis from STMicroelectronics
  • Touch Screen controller: AD7149 from Analog Devices
  • PMU: D2238A from Dialog Semiconductor

Following table is an aprox. breakdown cost of whole Apple Watch 1st gen:

Apple_Watch_Costs

As you can see, it nearly looks like an old iPhone4S (2011) (without cellular/GPS) but in a tenth of original size. Before finishing, just for your fun, you can see also a X-Ray shot of it, which shows you all the component PAD’s placed in the PCB:

Apple_S1_Xray

And also a collage containing the silicon DIE’s:

apple_s1_xray2

It is pretty impressive, and only the first step in Apple Watch miniaturization process.

Apple_Watch_BluePrint

So, I am really excited to see its evolution in the coming years. 😀

‘Last Voyage’ (iOS game) – A metaphor for your senses

Last Voyage, the last release of Semidome Inc. game studio is a pure metaphor for your senses.

Last_Voyage_Logo

I already heard about them from their first game creation (Kotoro) released just one year ago; and Circo, their other game where you can have a fully free taste of their good work.

This second game production, released just one week ago and which I wanted to try by myself, denotes their good taste for details and multimedia background, which is not surprising having inside their team such kind of experienced members who worked for companies as Google, IBM, BBDO and Proximity.

In fact, it has been already selected as “Editor’s Choice” in the official Apple Store, which after so few days denotes how Special is this game.

As the game icon so well denotes, it will literally twist your head.

Last_Voyage_Icon

Its description doesn’t explain so much what will you find inside, but that makes it even more attractive and mysterious. In other kind of games, this would make me doubt, thinking that developers are trying to scam us, but this is not the case; as you will find yourself discovering new science-fiction landscapes while playing.

Last_Voyage_1

Once you download and launch it, you will see, or better say “perceive” the harmonious combination of images, animations and music working together. We could say that it is a puzzle game, but that would be very simplistic definition that detracts from this great game.

Last_Voyage_Water

It is true that you will have to solve puzzles, and even there is not any tutorial neither explanation of what to do at all, or how to begin. But doesn’t matter, don’t worry my friend. You only need to get immersed in their space universe specially created for your enjoyment and follow your instinct. Simply listen their soundtrack fully aligned with the animations, touch here and there, and as said: Don’t worry, you will not mess anything 😉

Last_Voyage_2

The game is currently composed by five chapters, or stages, each one independently designed to awaken your mind. We hope that the authors add more chapters in the future because while you play, you only wish to never end.

And as authors mention, you will have to go through psychedelic portals, solve abstract puzzles, explore grand minimal forms or race against the stars.

Last_Voyage_3

Besides, its 40 minutes original composed soundtrack is even also available in iTunes, in case you want to continue listening it during your other daily activities, or just to disconnect from the Real World.

I also recommend to plug in your headphones before beginning the game playing to enjoy at 120% the full gaming experience so handcrafted and delicately designed.

Last_Voyage_4

This is a game to be ‘experienced‘ more that to be described with words, although you can take a look to its trailer to see it in real action:

.

Anyhow, you need to feel it by yourself; Hearing, Touching and Interacting with it to fully understand what I mean, as it is a delicious and fully transcendental experience by itself 😉

For limited time, its launching price is currently only $0.99, which makes it so tempting for any iOS (puzzle) game lover, so hurry up, purchase and enjoy it before increases again.

New Technology may Double RF data capacity

In a more and mover crowded radio frequency spectrum and higher bandwidth requirements by all kind of wireless technology users: WiFi, Bluetooth, Cellular 3G/4G/5G, a new chip (called as CoSMIC) developed at the Engineering Department of Columbia University by a team of researchers leaded by Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Harish Krishnaswamy, has proven up to now, it had been thought to be impossible: Transmitters and Receivers working at same time in the same frequency band.

Full_Duplex_Chip

[Photo of the CoSMIC (Columbia high-Speed and Mm-wave IC) full-duplex transceiver IC that can be implemented in nanoscale CMOS to enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio].

You can see below how typical works a TDD vs. FDD vs. Full-Duplex Radio system:

Half_vs_Full_Duplex

“This is a game-changer”, said Krishnaswamy, director of the Columbia high-Speed and Mm-wave IC Lab. “By leveraging our new technology, networks can effectively double the frequency spectrum resources available for devices like smartphones and tablets.”

The biggest challenge the team faced with full duplex was canceling the transmitter’s echo. Imagine that you are trying to listen to someone whispering from far away while at the same time someone else is yelling while standing next to you. But, if you could cancel the echo of the person yelling, you could also hear the other person whispering far away.

“If everyone could do this, everyone could talk and listen at the same time, and conversations would take half the amount of time and resources as they take right now,” explained Jin Zhou, Krishnaswamy’s PhD student and the paper’s lead author. “Transmitter echo or ‘self-interference’ cancellation has been a fundamental challenge, especially when performed in a tiny nanoscale IC, and we have found a way to solve that challenge”.

In following video, they demonstrate the world’s first mm-Wave same-channel full-duplex wireless link using Tolga’s 60GHz 45nm SOI CMOS full-duplex transceiver IC:

.

The key innovation is that to cancel the transmitter self-interference with one part per billion accuracy, the chip needs to make a near-exact replica of the transmitter self-interference. This is hard to do especially because the transmitter self-interference or echo will distort and change as it reflects off objects in the nearby environment.

Krishnaswamy and Zhou plan next to test a number of full-duplex nodes to understand what the gains are at the network level. “We are working closely with Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Gil Zussman and his PhD student Jelena Marasevic, who are network theory experts here at Columbia Engineering”, Krishnaswamy mentioned.

This work was funded by the DARPA RF-FPGA program, and successfully shown with  in the Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2015 at San Francisco.

HOW TO easily recalibrate your iPhone6 HOME button

Even a Second generation of Home/Touch ID button has been introduced since iPhone5s, some users still have sometimes little issues with it, arguing wrong or bad behavior and usually forcing them go to nearest Apple Store to get some quick Genius technical support.

TouchID

It is true that with its launch release 1st gen at 2014, there were some initial complaints from first users, but since the last two years, Apple has improved significantly the HW and SW fingerprint recognition of it.

As you can see, although quite small (taking into account compressed technology on it), it’s not a simple push button, but a quite complex electromechanical embedded component composed by a 500ppi resolution capacitive sensor, which can scan sub-epidermal skin layers and offers 360° readability:

iPhone6_TouchID

Actually, it’s not always necessary go to an Apple Store or send it to Apple Repair Service, as you can first try the following re-calibration procedure.

The process is quite straightforward:

  1. Launch one of the native iOS8 apps from your iPhone6; let’s use newest Health app.
  2. Keep the app open, then push the Power button until the shutdown slider appears.
  3. Once there, and keeping always pressed the Power button, push and keep pushing the Home button until the iPhone screens turns off.
  4. Now, only wait until the device reboots and try yourself again if the behavior of the Home button improved.

If it didn’t improve as you expected, maybe the issue is slightly worse; you can also try to carefully clean the Metal ring border of the Home button just in case some dust accumulated on it could be blocking the pushing mechanism.

Then, if none of these tips worked, you could need to bring it to an Apple Official Repair Service; remember to check first if it’s still inside official warranty period; also something easily to check in the Apple Warranty Status official web.