Apple's 'One More Thing': The M7 motion coprocessor of the iPhone 5S

Along with the highly anticipated announcement of the iPhone 5S came an unexpected add on; Apple has thrown in a new M7 motion co-processor as well.

The highly anticipated Apple event is finally over, and the company unveiled two new devices, the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S. The specifications of the latter, though, have come with an unexpected add-on. Each new iPhone 5S, along with a top-of-the-line A7 chip, will also sport a new M7 motion coprocessor.

What is a motion coprocessor, you might ask? Apple has basically strapped this beside the A7 chip to pick up data from the device’s accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. This in turn will reduce the work-load on the A7 chipset, ensuring better power efficiency. It also means a better app experience in those apps which use data from sensors. 

 Apple's 'One More Thing': The M7 motion coprocessor of the iPhone 5S

The one benefit not shown on this slide is battery savings (Image Credit: Engadget)


The M7's CoreMotion APIs allows developers to take advantage of the M7's features. This can be used in any number of applications, but the chief focus will be fitness and healh apps. The M7 coprocessor will constantly monitor the motion data generated from the iPhone, even when the device is asleep. This allows the phone to know whether the user is walking, driving a car or standing still. Apps that have to use the accelerometer can get all the data through the CoreMotion APIs and the phone's accelerometer doesn't end up hogging battery. 

All in all, the M7 coprocessor seems to be a nifty add-on to the iPhone 5S package, although an actual hands-on time is necessary before we can actually comment about how much power is actually being saved. The iPhone 5S will begin rolling out to markets from September 20.

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