iPhone 11 now has uwb

This is fascinating. Do you know if Apple’s existing system leverages TWR capabilities against a single tag – possibly in relation to their new tag solution that competes with Tile? If the phone can echo for a tag, could a DWM1000 (or whatever product makes sense here) be used without needing to develop the app for the phone but rather for the Decawave device instead (i.e., the phone just plays an unwitting part in the application)?

I believe Apple’s iPhone 11 UWB can range and find a rough bearing to a tag or another iPhone 11. The FCC filing exposes the iPhone 11 has multiple UWB antennas inside it, which allows the rough bearing computation.

There’s no indication (yet) if Apple intends to provide or allow iPhones to operate with any sort of fixed infrastructure, like an anchor array.

Maybe, but without being able to decode the packets contents (they are encrypted), you cannot associate the iPhone’s ID with the packet.

You also don’t necessarily control how and when the iPhone talks to the tag. Users aren’t going to open the tag tracking app all the time for you.

The whole story will change when Samsung, Google, etc, add UWB to their phones. They will be inclined to open up for more applications and then Apple either follows suit or gets left behind.

Mike Ciholas, President, Ciholas, Inc
3700 Bell Road, Newburgh, IN 47630 USA
+1 812 962 9408

1 Like

An example of the Apple behavior when it comes to UWB openness. Apple wants to control and limit what others can do.

It would be naive for anyone to expect Apple will soon enable general 3rd party use of UWB in their products.

I predict the practical tracking of a smartphone in an area with UWB infrastructure first happens with Android when Google or Samsung provide that capability in their phones. It won’t come from Apple until they are forced to provide that feature to keep up with Android.

Mike Ciholas, President, Ciholas, Inc
3700 Bell Road, Newburgh, IN 47630 USA
+1 812 962 9408

Just look at how Apple handle Bluetooth.

Bluetooth is an old and widely used standard. But if you want your Bluetooth device to connect to an Apple product then you need to buy a special authentication chip from them for every device. And they will only agree to sell you that chip for products that have passed their product approval process.

That’s for a standard feature that everything has these days and everyone expects to just work. UWB is new and special with no wide expectation of interoprability. There is no way apple are going to open it up to anyone except possibly for a few select products made by key partners who have paid them a lot of money for the privilege.

now samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra adds some unkown new UWB chip in the phone too, not sure this chip from nxp, or decawave, or made by themselves.



I attach the next files that show the details of the UWB U1 IC used in the Iphone 11, a several important differences with the Decawave IC.

Only for curious people

U1__UWB_SoC___IoT___Product_Brief.pdf (3.8 MB)

thanks for your sharing, and wish techinsights will do similar teardown to Galaxy Note 20 Ultra too.

1.) i want to know that Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will interact with other third party UWB devices or UWB anchor devices or not ?
because from the apple documentation explained that for iphone 11 use nearby interaction api , till now the Nearby Interaction API supports interaction only between two or more iPhones with a U1 chip, such as iPhone 11., so iphone 11 will not interact or communicate with other UWB devices

2.) and now, does Galaxy Note 20 Ultra already allow the android app developer use the UWB nearby share API or not?

3.) is there UWB android API to access the UWB chip of Galaxy Note 20 ?, if there is , what is its documentation?

With dw1000, I decode packets of ipone11 successfully

to ebat ,you said that With dw1000, you decode packets of ipone11 successfully
only with DW 1000?
great ! but can you share how you did it ? i tried it but i could not, and the engineer team from decawave just answered to me , till now uwb Apple API is locked down.

how you did it ? can you share it to us ?

to ebat , how you did it ? can you share it to us ?


NXP has announced Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is using their Secure UWB fine-ranging solution.

Apple has Nearby Interaction framework to access the UWB chips in the iPhone 11 and 12. It is fairly trivial to get measurements between two iPhones.

The intention is for tag makers like tile to be able to use the API so there is promise in getting it to recognize a Decawave chip

The Framework:

PS. The bluetooth BLE stack is accessible thru Apple iOS frameworks without licence. For example any super cheap bluetooth product bought anywhere will connect to an iPhone. Connecting a physical wire to the iPhone lightening port does require the security chip.

This is apple.
In order to get bluetooth to work from a 3rd party device to an apple product you need to include a special apple bluetooth security chip (which you have to buy from apple).
In order to buy that chip you need to get apple to approve your product (which you have to pay apple for).

Do you really think they are going to make it possible for someone to use one of their new features without buying a chip from them or paying them some sort of fee per device?

1 Like

We have released beta support for Apple Nearby Interactions link.

Please go here to register and download.

The software supports Nordic 832/833 and 840 BLE MCU devices as well as support for the murata Type2AB development board

1 Like

thanks :slight_smile:

  1. ) What is the differences ?? —> between 2 links of the software Important Notice - Qorvo AND your link , DWM3000EVB - Qorvo

2.) Do I need to use SEGGER EMBEDED STUDIO IDE in order to write / program code on nRF52840 DK that has DMW 3000 EVB mount on ??

The first link is for DW3000 examples and APIs
The second link is the complete embedded application that will work out of the box with UWB (U1) enabled iPhone devices.

We provide a prebuilt binary for the various targets so Segger Embedded Studio is not needed at the start. Also, since we are using Nordic you can avail of the free Segger Embedded Studio licence offered to Nordic customers.

1 Like

regarding to your response, " We provide a prebuilt binary for the various targets so Segger Embedded Studio is not needed at the start. Also, since we are using Nordic you can avail of the free Segger Embedded Studio licence offered to Nordic customers ."
how to i upload to the DWM3000EVB ? , i have Arduino uno in my hand but after watching video tutorial and read its comments from Qorvo , Symmetry electronics (Qorvo DWM3000EVB Unboxing - Locate Objects in Real Time with Ultra Wideband - YouTube ) the instructor recommend to use nRF52840 dk and program with embedDed segger studio ide * that why i bought the nrf 52840dk and right now i have one of arduino uno and one of nrf52840 dk in my hand
and on dwm3000evb ,there is no micro controller on its board that why i ask you how to upload the API or complete embedded application as your link DWM3000EVB - Qorvo ??

Please read the documentation (DW3000 Nearby Interaction QSG) that comes in the NI download:

1 Like