Apple’s Lightning Cable Authentication Chip Teared Down By Chipworks

The new Lightning cable introduced with iPhone 5 is much smaller than its 30-pin predecessor. Reportedly, the Lightning cable has an authentication chip aimed to stop use of third-party accessories with iPhone 5. A recent teardown of the Lightning connector by Chipworks finally revealed the mystery chip. It is an unannounced Texas Instrument (in short, TI) chip that is believed to behold the new authentication feature.

Lightning cable

A teardown completed by Chipworks was able to prove the Lightning cable includes two transistors, an NXP NX20P3, and the aforementioned TI chip.

Chipworks’ analyzed the chip by TI, marked BQ2025, and found a digital logic block containing about 5K gates of logic, EPROM (erasable programmable read only memory), and much larger driver transistors. “This is certainly all consistent with a serial communication chip including some simple security features,” Chipworks determined.

The security measures found within the TI chip aren’t discreet with technology in 2012. For example, printer cartridges use newer security measures while Lightning cable security technology is reminiscent to that in the olden days. Although past reports have indicated a few Lightning cable security failures, Chipworks says “at this time the security is just enough.”

Source: Apple Insider

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