The latest chapter in the miniaturisation of increasingly smart consumer electronics lies in the hands of chip packagers, an indispensable group of firms whose role in the supply chain alone is worth $27 billion. […]
To serve this market [chip packagers] have come up with an assembly process known as System-in-Package (SiP).
“SiP bundles a ton of components into one simple plug-n-play, almost like a Lego block,” said Taipei-based semiconductor analyst Randy Abrams at Credit Suisse. […]
“The SiP inside the Apple Watch was unprecedented,” Vice President Jim Morrison of analysis firm Chipworks told Reuters. Chipworks found as many as 40 chips in the hermetically sealed pod, more than double any other package it had seen before.
The article doesn’t quite say it, but Apple is heavily customizing, if not designing, much of its own SiP, the “S1”. Why? As I wrote back in March:
This degree of customization is the right call – because it affects everything that’s supposed to make a smartwatch appealing and valuable: size, functionality, performance, battery life, and upgradeability.
So, it’s the start of a new era of post-PC, post-smartphone devices. Most device makers opt to use, or have to use, the “Lego” they can procure. Except Apple.