iOS 8 (Health, teaser 001)

An Apple chip internally code-named ‘Phosphorous’ has been identified on leaked schematics and thought to replace the M7, a motion coprocessor which debuted inside the iPhone 5s last Fall. (Update: It’s looking like a barometer pressure sensor instead.)

It’s said to include the M7’s motion tracking functions and thought to be able to collect a number of health and fitness data from various health and fitness accessories and specialized medical devices.

This apparently includes heart rates, calories burned, cholesterol levels, blood sugar and more. It’s believed the chip works in tandem with iOS 8 and the new Health app, which allows users to enter a number of health and fitness-related data manually, or automatically collect these from various HealthKit-friendly accessories and wearables.

The below shot has been shared by Chinese Apple repair firm GeekBar on Weibo and republished by GforGames. The technical drawing clearly depicts a chip that appears to be internally code-named ‘Phosphorous’.

If genuine, it should arrive alongside the rumored Apple-designed A8 processor and make its debut inside the iPhone 6 and new iPads.

Apple Phosphorus (GeekBar 001)

Although the report shares little in terms of the specifics, it’s safe to assume that the Phosphorus will supplant the M7 to support the new Health app and Apple’s HealthKit platform for specialized devices, health and fitness accessories and more.

And if the M7 is any indication, the power-sipping Phosphorus should be able to collect data from health and fitness accessories without waking up the main A8 processor, thus helping preserve battery life.

The same source, GeekBar, previously shared alleged schematics identifying the iPhone 6’s NAND flash component, 128GB of flash storage and the Qualcomm MDM9625 modem with support for up to 150Mbps LTE-Advanced wireless networks.

The M7 motion coprocessor is literally a rebranded NXP-made LPC18A1 unit so it’ll be interesting seeing whether the Phosphorus is an existing NXP design or Apple’s in-house designed unit.

Although Phosphorous is a catchy marketing name for a chip, I believe that Apple will go with an ‘M8’ for the sake of naming consistency. Of course, an iWatch immediately comes to mind as such a low-powered chip would be needed to collect data on Apple’s rumored wearable device in a power efficient manner.

Interestingly enough, Morgan Stanley expects the iPhone 6’s rumored NFC functionality to be powered by NXP-made wireless hardware. For what it’s worth, the semiconductor company did sign a licensing agreement with a customer in the fourth quarter of last year that Morgan Stanley believes is Apple.

[GeekBar via GforGames]

  • pauleebe

    Very curious as to how this will work without an iWatch or device that is constantly tethered to your body.

    • Rowan09

      It works with any fitness app like MyFitness Pal that tracks motion. I love the addition of the M7 as it helps me with my training.

    • Carol James

      but i did not noticed any difference between my runs from my old 4s, in terms of precision

  • Anmol Malhotra

    Get ready for sneak peak of iwatch on 9th sept.. If the above rumor is true.. 😀

    • John

      How the heck did you draw THAT conclusion?

  • fingers crossed the 7M in the a5s can sdo more in the future too..

    • John

      Sorry, I’m a little slow.

      What is 7M and what is the a5s?

      • Both are what you call types, Readkit froze and it apparently did send that comment I wrote 😛

  • David Gitman

    Just few more days until iphone 6 is arriving!

    • DroidGuy360

      i bet you cant wait, you’ve probably been jacking off the past month thinking about getting your hands on all 5.5″ of it.

      • David Gitman

        No. 5.5 too huge

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  • vifish

    i own a 5s and i still dunno what apps use the m7, for running i use the nike+ running app, but i did not noticed any difference between my runs from my old 4s, in terms of precision

    turns out that the whole marketing over the m7 last year, means nothing to the 5s, the battery still sucks, and “almost” no apps use this meanless chip

    • Rowan09

      5K run meter, Myfitness Pal, and Runkeeper. It tracks how many steps per stride and cadence in 5K Runmeter and Runkeeper. In Myfitness Pal it shows how many steps you took to minus the calories from your diet.

      • John

        Add to that Fitbit does the same thing.

      • Rowan09

        Nice. I believe when you use maps and leave the car the M7 kicks in and switch to walking directions as well

      • John

        I don’t drive but if that’s confirmed, that’s pretty damn impressive.

      • Rowan09

        It does switch, but not sure of that’s the M7.

    • John

      Then you CLEARLY don’t know how the M7 co-processor works, then. The battery life that still sucks has nothing to do with the M7 co-pro, and ‘almost’ no Apps…plow many do YOU define as almost?

      • raodysseus

        And you CLEARLY are an expert on the M7 co-processor. Why bother posting with the lowly?