Teardown in DAC chips in Lightning EarPods & Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter for iPhone 7
September 21, 2016
Considering a number of users still prefer 3.5-millimeter accessories, Apple bundled the adapter by default, notwithstanding the new EarPods and the increasing popularity of Bluetooth headphones and speakers.
As expected, a teardown of Apple's Lightning EarPods and Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter has revealed tiny digital-to-analog converter DAC chips. However, their precise supplier is still not known.
According to Tinhte, the DAC in the EarPods was marked "338S00140 / A0QK1623 / TW," and the one in the adapter was labelled "338S00140 / A0MU1621 / TW". The "TW" may reference to Taiwan (where various suppliers of Apple are located).
It seems that the DAC chips adapter were designed by Apple's partner on similar parts Cirrus Logic. However, it appears they are manufactured by some other company. It could be TSMC (Taiwan) that also manufactures A-series processors of the firm. Cirrus supposedly reverted to TSMC from Vanguard International Semiconductor back in 2015.
It is interesting to note that the iPhone 7 is the very first product by Apple that is going to entirely abandon a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack supportive of Lightning and Bluetooth audio and it has revealed a DAC chips adapter which is another new invention of Apple.
Here is the video proof of these teardown reports, please check English subs on video.