First Look Into Apple’s Fancy New Force Touch Track Pad

MacBook Pro 13″ Retina Force Touch trackpad: Not what you expect. After Apple’s surprise announcement of the new 12″ MacBook, with its shiny renders and proudly touted pressure sensitive, haptic-feedback-equipped trackpad, we were expecting to find an identical trackpad implementation in the new MacBook Pro 13″ Retina. And we were surprised. While the MacBook-to-be looks like it’s going to feature a weight-saving “I” shape, with the four springy force sensors jutting out from a central beam, our teardown revealed that the new 13″ Pro’s implementation is quite different: A solid aluminum plate, with four springs punched out of it. Heavier and beefier, and perhaps technologically completely different—we’ll just have to wait for the MacBook’s release to see.

Due to the gluey mess of a battery, soldered RAM, and other proprietary problems, the MacBook Pro 13″ Retina Display Early 2015 scrapes the bottom of the barrel with a 1 out of 10 on the repair scale.

Oh, and we have a puppy. His name is Gus. We love him.

MacBook Pro 13

Teardown Highlights:

• Apple’s “Taptic Engine” is powered by an array of electromagnets that rapidly push and pull against a metal rail mounted beneath the trackpad, to create a tiny “buzz” of feedback with each click (and a second buzz for a “force click”).

• Based on the wiggly pattern of traces stuck to the metal tabs, we’re pretty sure the magic pressure sensors in the new Force Touch trackpad are tiny strain gauges. Mounted on flexing metal supports, they detect the amount of flex on each—and based on that, the force from above.

• This looks familiar… The all-new and twice-as-fast flash memory has the exact same ICs as the one found in our recent teardown of the MacBook Air 13″.

  • Chips:
    • Intel SR26K Dual-Core i5-5257U processor with Intel Iris Graphics 6100
    • Cirrus 4208-CRZ HD audio codec
    • Intel DSL5520 Thunderbolt 2 controller
    • Texas Instruments TI 58872D
    • Fairchild Semiconductor DE46SY
    • SK Hynix H5TC4G63AFR 4 Gb (512 MB) DDR3 SDRAM
    • Texas Instruments/Stellaris LM4FS1EH SMC controller
    • Broadcom BCM15700A2
    • Texas Instruments HD3SS213 DisplayPort differential switch
    • Samsung S4LN058A01 PCIe 3.0 x4 AHCI flash controller
    • Samsung K4E4E324ED 512 MB LPDDR3 DRAM
    • Samsung K9LDGY8S1D-XCK0 16 GB flash storage
    • Parade Technology PS8401A HDMI jitter cleaning repeater
    • Genesys Logic GL3219 SDXC card reader controller
    • NXP Semiconductors PCA9501 8-bit I/O expander