Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) manufacturing partners are already producing the company’s long-rumored smart watch, dubbed the “iWatch,” to meet the device’s expected launch by the end of this year, according to a report from China Times Tuesday.
The report, citing supply chain sources, stated that the iWatch will use a system-in-package, or SIP, design that allows multiple chips to be placed on a single module. According to the report, using the SIP model is expected to help Apple incorporate multiple sensors into a single package while keeping the device small enough to be worn comfortably on the wrist.
Unlike system on a chip, or SOC, designs such as Apple's A-series processors, the individual pieces of a SIP design can be sourced from different plants and can also be created using different semiconductor technologies, AppleInsider reported.
The China Times report corresponds to predictions from Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who said earlier this month that the iWatch could enable “massive adoption of SIP packaging technology to make the gadget slimmer and lighter.”
According to ongoing rumors, the iWatch could feature several different biometric sensors allowing the device to track health-related information. The aggregated data are said to be stored in a rumored application called “Healthbook,” which is expected to be included in iOS 8. Some earlier reports also said that the iWatch could feature a UV light-exposure sensor, provided by Texas-based Silicon Labs, to track heart rate, sleep quality, pulse and blood oximetry levels, while also providing proximity and gesture control.
In addition to health sensors, the iWatch is likely to function like other smart watches available on the market. The device is also likely to integrate with the iPhone and iPad to provide notifications and quick access to frequently used apps and services, MacRumors reported.
Rumors have it that Apple could release the iWatch alongside the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 later this year. If that speculation is accurate, the company could introduce the device at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June.