iFixit and Chipworks have teamed up to tear down the Apple A7 processor, M7 coprocessor, Qualcomm LTE modem, and iPhone 5s camera sensor.
Chipworks uses an Ion Beam Etcher, or IBE to take layers off a semiconducter by blasting it with atoms in an ion beam. A transmission electron microscope (TEM) is used to examine the pre-processed chips.
● It turns out that the A7′s “gate pitch” — the distance between each transistor — is 114 nm, compared to the A6’s 123 nm.
● Looking to improve on their current 32 nm process, Apple decided to make the A7 with the same 28 nm process as the eight-core Samsung Exynos 5410, the current flagship CPU for Samsung’s own Galaxy line.
● The A7 transistor level die photo reveals all one billion plus transistors on a 102 mm2 field.
You can check out the full teardown here.