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Apple iPad Pro 2020 seems to lack the U1 Ultra Wideband chip seen on iPhone 11 series

Apple iPad Pro 2020 was launched last month as an incremental update. While it adds new LiDAR scanner and faster A12Z chipset, it seems to have skipped the U1 UWB chip.

  • Published: April 8, 2020 9:04 AM IST
Apple iPad Pro

Apple launched the iPad Pro 2020 alongside the updated MacBook Air last month. The iPad Pro comes with a new Apple A12Z chipset and LiDAR scanner on the back. While it is an incremental update over the previous iPad Pro, it does seem to lack a new feature. With the launch of iPhone 11 series last year, Apple added a new U1 Ultra Wideband chip. It seems that the new iPad Pro models do not feature this same chip. Also Read - Apple iPad Pro 2020 with A12Z chipset, 6GB RAM shows 9% GPU boost over predecessor

The U1 UWB chip enables spatial awareness but it is not mentioned in the tech specs page for the new iPad Pro on Apple’s website. The iPhone maker also did not mention the new iPad Pro featuring this chip in its press release. There is no evidence of a U1 chip being there in the iPad Pro. As MacRumors notes the direction AirDrop feature enabled by the U1 chip is also not present on the new iPad Pro models running iPadOS 13.4. Another evidence being the lack of ultra wideband toggle that was added to iPhones with iOS 13.3.1. Also Read - iPhone 11 Review: The one to get

There is a possibility that Apple has disabled the U1 chip on the new iPad Pro models. It could be enabled once Apple releases its AirTags for tracking lost items. The teardown of the new iPad Pro by iFixit noted that they are yet to find physical evidence for the U1 chip. The teardown experts have also confirmed that they don’t see any sign of the chip even after removing the RF shielding from the new iPad Pro’s logic board. Also Read - iPhone 11 Pro Review: Apple’s best just got better

Further evidence comes in the form of FCC filings that list operating frequencies. The listing shows that all iPhone 11 models operate at 6GHz range and the 7-8GHz range. MacRumors further notes that the rules “for these frequencies points to “Subpart F — Ultra-Wideband Operation.” According to TechInsights, the U1 chip transmits on two different frequencies of 6.24GHz and 8.23GHz. In comparison, the FCC filings for the new iPad Pro show it operates within a max frequency range of 5GHz for WiFi.

Apple has not confirmed whether there is an U1 chip inside the 2020 iPad Pro models. It is also not clear whether hyperlocal location mapping makes any sense on such a device. However, the ultra wideband chip got caught up in controversy for constant data location. Apple then added the toggle to disable the use of U1 Ultra Wideband chips. It may have either deemed it unnecessary on iPad Pro or disabled it for future use.

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  • Published Date: April 8, 2020 9:04 AM IST


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