One of the major feature updates for the iPhone 4 included a gyroscope. There are two applications that a gyroscope can be used for: keeping an object in balance and providing precise positioning data. Obviously, the intended application in an iPhone is improved positioning and control of software objects. One of the questions I had about the iPhone 4 was whether there was something (very tiny) spinning inside of the iPhone or if the device was solid state. Until now, I had no idea that solid state gyroscopes existed. Engineers at iFixIt, with help from Chipworks‘s Electron Microscope, have done a teardown of the iPhone 4’s MEMS based Gyroscope.
The pictures and lessons on how Gyroscopes work is fascinating. Their article not only educates on how Gyroscopes work, but compare a spinning gyroscope to a MEMS based gyroscope. The summary is, the iPhone and compact mobile devices like it, are packing some of the highest levels of technology we have on our planet. Think about that the next time you are sending someone “just a txt.”