Spotted by MacRumors (opens in new tab) in an internal build of iOS 13, this secondary chip would apparently be used to detect an iPhone’s position, orientation and movement, without having to engage the main chipset.
If that sounds familiar it’s probably because current iPhone models already do this using an M-series motion coprocessor, but this new one would apparently use data from far more sensors to build up a much more accurate picture.
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Where the current M-series chip uses data from the compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, and microphones, the R1 coprocessor would apparently also grab information from an inertial measurement unit (IMU), Bluetooth 5.1, ultra-wideband (UWB) and the camera (including motion capture and optical tracking).
Track your stuff and upgrade AR
This would all apparently be used to help your phone locate Apple Tags – which are another thing Apple is rumored to be launching today. These are thought to be like Tile trackers, in that you could add one for example to your keyring or your bag, in order to locate said belongings if they ever go missing.
The Rose coprocessor would also apparently help with processing People Occlusion in ARKit - that is to say, putting people and virtual objects together in an augmented reality scene in a convincing way.
What the source isn’t certain of is whether this new chip would replace the current motion coprocessor (which mostly uses its data for fitness and mapping purposes), or whether the two would work hand in hand. Having just the one chip would make sense though, since it sounds like functionally the R1 is simply a massively upgraded version of the motion coprocessor.
It’s also speculated that this new chip could launch as the R13, so that the naming would match up with the main A13 chip we’re expecting in the iPhone 11 range. That also seems likely, though by no means guaranteed.
TechRadar is set to be reporting live from the event, and you'll be able to follow along with our iPhone 11 launch liveblog that is already up and running. We'll be giving you all the latest details as they happen in the run up to the launch as well as when it starts at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST.