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Asahi Kasei to Supply Magnetometer for New iPhone

Asahi Kasei to Supply Magnetometer for New iPhone

Posted May 20, 2009 at 10:15pm by iClarified
Apple will use Japan's Asahi Kasei to provide hardware for the magnetometer (digital compass) expected in the next iPhone, according to an AppleInsider report.

People familiar with betas of the iPhone 3.0 software developers kit recently dug up several header files attributed to the Japanese manufacturer in a directory appropriately labeled "compass." More specifically, the files identify Asahi Kasei's azimuth sensor No. AK8973, a 16-pin leadless IC package measuring 4mm square and 0.7mm thick, as the chip that will help future iPhone users determine their direction. It bundles a master clock oscillator.

The addition of a magnetometer to the iPhone is expected to open the door to some exciting new functionalities, a handful of which have already made their way to T-Mobile’s Andriod-based G1 handset, which has long shipped with a digital compass. For instance, users may be able to simply point their next-generation iPhones at an object or landmark and have an application combine GPS, accelerometer, and compass information to pinpoint what that object or landmark is. Gaming applications that interact with a user's surrounding real-time environment would be another possibility.

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Asahi Kasei to Supply Magnetometer for New iPhone
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