The U1 chip wasn’t mentioned at all in Apple’s press release of the iPad Pro 2020, and the spec sheet didn’t mention it either. But iPadOS 13.4 code suggests its existence (via 9to5Mac).
iPad Pro U1 Chip
Apple didn’t make a huge deal of the U1 chip in the iPhone 11 announcement, either. It’s a chip that enables ultra-wideband radio spectrum to provide precise spatial awareness. UWB can be used to locate devices indoors and pinpoint locations with a higher degree of accuracy than GPS or Bluetooth.
Applications for this can include indoor mapping, device location with Find My and AirTags, sharing content with AirDrop by pointing the device towards another U1-equipped device, directionally-aware suggestions, and more. Apple calls it “GPS at the scale of your living room.”
We can expect to hear more about this chip and its capabilities in the future. For now though, Apple is keeping quiet. My thought is that it will be a big deal for augmented reality, and we’ll see it included with Apple Glasses.