Next Gen iPad May Include Gyroscope

Like the iPhone 4, the next generation iPad will most likely include a three-axis gyroscope. The current iPad even includes a space that looks to be just right for holding a gyroscope chip, but not the same unit used in the iPhone 4, according to EE Times.

Based on what’s missing from the iPad, it appears that Apple may have been trying out InvenSense’s ITG-3200 gyroscope chip in prototypes, but left the part out of the final design. The info comes from UBM TechInsights product manager, Steve Bitton, after conducting an iPad teardown.

“It seemed strange at the time that a product like the iPad would have been designed to not include a gyroscope but an iPhone 4 that was being designed at around the same time would,” he said.

The gyroscope chip used in the iPhone 4 is the L3G4200D from STMicroelectronics. That may be the same chip Apple will use in the next iPad, Mr. Bitton suspects.

“Apple probably chose to wait until the next iteration of the iPad to introduce gyroscope capabilities [and plans] to use ST Micro’s L3G4200D to reduce the amount of [software] development required,” he said.

Adding a gyroscope to the iPad, and also the iPod touch, makes sense because developers are already writing apps designed to take advantage of the feature in the iPhone 4. Extending that functionality to the iPad and iPod touch could make the devices even more enticing to portable gamers.

Since Apple doesn’t comment on unannounced products, however, Mr. Bitton’s ideas should be considered as speculation.