Bosch’s 6-Axis IMU in the Apple iPhone X Complete Teardown Report 2018 –

The 6-Axis IMU in the Apple iPhone X Complete Teardown Report”
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This report includes a detailed physical analysis, with process
description and manufacturing cost analysis. A complete comparison with
Bosch Sensortec’s BMI160 is also provided, along with a comparison with
InvenSense and STMicroelectronics’ latest 6-axis IMUs.

With the introduction of Apple’s latest products in Q4 2017, Bosch
Sensortec is now the undisputed leader in MEMS IMU for consumer
applications. Indeed, Bosch completely crushed the competition by
replacing InvenSense inside the newest iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and
supplanting STMicroelectronics for the Apple Watch Series 3. These three
new design wins give Bosch hundreds of millions of unit sales per year.

This new Bosch Sensortec component is likely a custom 6-axis IMU made
specifically for Apple. It is exactly the same component found inside
the iPhone 8, iPhone X, and Apple Watch Series 3. One major improvement
is the incredibly thin profile achieved by Bosch, with a total thickness
of only 0.6mm compared to 0.9mm for the industry standard. This
thickness was probably an Apple request in order to fit with the small
form factor of the Apple Watch Series 3’s cellular functionality. To
achieve this low profile, Bosch changed the packaging structure used for
its preceding product, the BMI160.

On the design side, Bosch Sensortec made significant changes –
particularly for the accelerometer, where the old single-mass structure
was abandoned for a new structure achieving better sensing properties.
The micromachining manufacturing process, unchanged by Bosch Sensortec
for many years, was also revised, with a new process for both
accelerometer and gyroscope.

Finally, a new ASIC die was designed to fuse the data from the
accelerometer and gyroscope, and probably to deliver even lower current
consumption and other functionalities.

Key Topics Covered:

1. Overview /Introduction

Executive Summary

Reverse Costing Methodology

2. Company Profile

Bosch Sensortec

Consumer IMU Market

Apple iPhone X, iPhone 8, and Watch Series 3 Teardown

3. Physical Analysis

Synthesis of the Physical Analysis


View and dimensions


Wire bonding process


Physical Comparison

Bosch IMU sensor evolution

Comparison with IMUs from InvenSense and STMicroelectronics

4. Sensor Manufacturing Process

ASIC Die Front-End Process and Fabrication Unit

MEMS Accelerometer Process and Fabrication Unit

MEMS Gyroscope Process and Fabrication Unit

Packaging and Final Test Fabrication Units

5. Cost Analysis

Synthesis of the Cost Analysis

Yields Explanation and Hypotheses

ASIC Component

Wafer front-end cost, probe test, thinning and dicing

ASIC wafer and die cost

MEMS Accelerometer Die

MEMS Gyroscope Die

LGA Packaged Component

Companies Mentioned

  • Apple
  • Bosch
  • InvenSense
  • STMicroelectronics

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