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iFixit's iPad teardown finds huge dual battery, 256MB of RAM in A4

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 
Investigative work by the team at iFixIt has revealed a series of interesting details about the iPad's internal details, including a large battery and RAM incorporated within its A4 System on a Chip.

The company's teardown reveals that the iPad's battery has 5.5 times the capacity of the iPhone. It's actually two battery packs wired in parallel, the company reports, providing a total of 24.8 Watt-hours. "In contrast," the report notes, "the iPhone 3GS has a 4.51 watt-hour battery and the MacBook Air has a 40 watt-hour battery."

On average, the device "sips just 2.5 Watts. That's 1/5 the power of a compact fluorescent bulb," the report states. Even so, the larger battery demands more charging power than standard USB ports provide. It needs its included 10 watt charger, and won't charge while syncing with a standard USB-equipped Mac or PC.

A4 includes system RAM

"The A4 is a Package-on-Package (PoP), with at least three layers of circuitry layered on top of each other," the site notes. Apple's "A4 is packaged just like the iPhone processors, microprocessor in one package and two memory modules in the other package. They're all sandwiched together in a very nice and thin PoP.

"The iPad RAM is inside the A4 processor package. Confirming this took quite a bit of sleuthing: we had to partner with Chipworks to X-ray the processor. The X-ray revealed two layers of RAM. In addition to the ARM processor, the A4 package contains two stacked Samsung dies. We will be releasing a detailed analysis of the A4 in conjunction with Chipworks in a few days."

The A4 contains "256MB of memory per die, for 512 MB total" the company's teardown notes. That's twice the system RAM of last year's iPhone 3GS and third generation iPod touch.

Update: iFixit updated their report to note that the iPad actually incorporates the same 256MB of system RAM as the iPhone 3GS.



Physical features

"The rear case is machined from a single billet of aluminum, increasing weight but greatly improving the rigidity of the device," iFixIt reports, adding that "the empty void in the upper right corner [of the WiFi-only model] is where the cellular communications board would go in the 3G iPad."

The iPad's "touch circuit design is more similar to the old 2G and early 3G iPhones than the current 3GS," the teardown revealed. "Chipworks informed us that 'there is so much room in the iPad that Apple didn't need to use small chips, just the right ones and cheap ones.'"

Additionally, the rumored slot that was once imagined to be for a camera "is actually taken up by the ambient light sensor." iFixIt also noted that the iPad's "glass panel is quite thick: about 1.18 mm, compared to the iPhone's 1.02 mm thick glass. This is necessitated by the panel's large size."

The WiFi antennas on the iPad are mounted facing both the front corner and the back, where they penetrate through the solid aluminum back via the window provided by the black plastic Apple logo.
post #2 of 88
X-raying the processor? Wow, that's wicked. So it isn't an XIP (eXecute In Place) architecture after all.
post #3 of 88
Let's have the new Macbook Pro's, please. Or I'm going to abandon Apple.
post #4 of 88
not surprised about the dual batteries. apple did claim 10 hours of video. i dont see much advancement in technology in the ipad compared to other UMPCs. Apple "organizes" hardware better than all others and test the OS rigorously again the hardware so that there is always a better user experience. waiting for the 3G version and the telcos to rip me another AHOLE with their BS.
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post #5 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moloch View Post

Let's have the new Macbook Pro's, please. Or I'm going to abandon Apple.

Patience. Apple will release them in due time - but not the same day as the iPad!
post #6 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitro View Post

not surprised about the dual batteries. apple did claim 10 hours of video. i dont see much advancement in technology in the ipad compared to other UMPCs. Apple "organizes" hardware better than all others and test the OS rigorously again the hardware so that there is always a better user experience. waiting for the 3G version and the telcos to rip me another AHOLE with their BS.

Isn't that the truth.

I have a iPhone with a data package I barely use close to my limit, but I can't tether and will be forced into a another 3 year long agreement. (Canada)

No thank you and the bottom line reason why I won't be getting one, not matter how good it MAY be.
post #7 of 88
I'm a little confused. I was able to charge my iPad through my mac's USB port without issue. I was very surprised to see these reports that it requires it's AC adapter to charge.
post #8 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodstains View Post

I'm a little confused. I was able to charge my iPad through my mac's USB port without issue. I was very surprised to see these reports that it requires it's AC adapter to charge.

You can charge through the USB, just faster with the AC plug.
post #9 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodstains View Post

I'm a little confused. I was able to charge my iPad through my mac's USB port without issue. I was very surprised to see these reports that it requires it's AC adapter to charge.

Hi-power USB will charge it, not regular USB

See here
post #10 of 88
Interesting about the 512 MB RAM; other sites are reporting (via benchmarking and such) that it only has 256 MB. Though 512 MB sounds more reasonable to me...
post #11 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Patience. Apple will release [the Macbook Pros] in due time - but not the same day as the iPad!

I swear by Zeus I'm going to gnaw my left leg entirely off any moment now.
post #12 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headrush69 View Post

Isn't that the truth.

I have a iPhone with a data package I barely use close to my limit, but I can't tether and will be forced into a another 3 year long agreement. (Canada)

No thank you and the bottom line reason why I won't be getting one, not matter how good it MAY be.

i'm curious who your provider is. as far as i know tethering is included with most data plan in canada (for now).
post #13 of 88
The K4X2G643GE RAM part number also infers that iPad is now using a 64-bit memory bus compared to the 32-bit memory bus used in the iPhone and other smartphones. The doubling of memory bandwidth is useful for the CPU, but even more important for the GPU since it shares system memory and bandwidth. This would definitely help explain why the iPad is so graphically impressive despite the much higher resolution.
post #14 of 88
The news about the light sensor... bad news. That means it wasn't ready for a camera, perhaps not shipping now because of production or supply problems, but instead that the design was actually so flawed as to not include one at all. Impossible to understand how they could be so short-sighted.

There's a huge legion of apps that would be enabled by front-facing cameras; another equally large set by a rear-facing camera; then there was the leaving off of an IR emitter... completely crazy for a device Jobs envisioned as "coffee table resident." It's almost as if they had a meeting and someone said "let's cut down the utility here... we'll need an upgrade path."

And then there is this weird insistence upon sticking *only* with AT&T for 3G; a demonstrated provider of low-ball networking, with consistent performance and coverage problems, not to mention exorbitant fees.

Oh well.

On the up side, there are lots of other pads coming out. Android has had an impressive start, and no doubt there will be tablets that can use it, and its apps, with cameras, IR emitters, GPS and more. Maybe we'll even see full 1280x720 resolution, instead of the iPad's utterly ridiculous 1024xblah. Another huge fail.
post #15 of 88
I like how the Wi-Fi chip is housed behind the plastic logo for better reception.
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post #16 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofino View Post

i'm curious who your provider is. as far as i know tethering is included with most data plan in canada (for now).

The problem isn't the tethering from the provider. I was sure I read an Apple source quoted as saying you WON'T be able to tether the iPad. It's either buy the WiFi+3G package initially or you're out of luck.

Found link: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...nd_iphone.html
post #17 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by fyngyrz View Post

...then there was the leaving off of an IR emitter... completely crazy for a device Jobs envisioned as "coffee table resident." It's almost as if they had a meeting and someone said "let's cut down the utility here... we'll need an upgrade path."

I think you could have a lot more interesting applications with the use of a WiFi/IR bridge, maybe something like Logitec's precision emitters, or using more modern equipment's WiFi remote control capabilities. I would love to be able to use a Touch or iPad as a AMX/Crestron type interface as well, but I don't want the half-assed solutions that dominate the consumer market today.

As for the upgrade path, while I will give you that on the camera, I think in time you will see households with a half a dozen iPads laying around for different things.

Quote:
And then there is this weird insistence upon sticking *only* with AT&T for 3G; a demonstrated provider of low-ball networking, with consistent performance and coverage problems, not to mention exorbitant fees.

While this has been discussed ad-nauseam, T-Mo is the only carrier using the 1.7GHz band in the world. They only have 30MM users, and their 3G footprint is terrible. They can't offer a cheaper plan, and they sure as hell can't offer better service.

For me, the unlocked style of the iPad is perfect. It makes it easy to use when traveling abroad, although I will need to get a cutting die to trim down a standard SIM card.

Apple has hit a home-run with this product. Version 2 will be even more compelling, but this device has all kinds of use-cases that have yet to be fully explored.
post #18 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headrush69 View Post

Isn't that the truth.

I have a iPhone with a data package I barely use close to my limit, but I can't tether and will be forced into a another 3 year long agreement. (Canada)

No thank you and the bottom line reason why I won't be getting one, not matter how good it MAY be.

And what is your source?
post #19 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by nautilus. View Post

I like how the Wi-Fi chip is housed behind the plastic logo for better reception.

Very clever. One of my biggest curiosities was the placement of the antenna.
post #20 of 88
It's a fine piece of engineering inside and out. Though I wouldn't want to buy one to tear apart. Thanks iFixit for the reveal.
post #21 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

And what is your source?

Link added to post above already.
post #22 of 88
[QUOTE=fyngyrz;1604270]The news about the light sensor... bad news. That means it wasn't ready for a camera, perhaps not shipping now because of production or supply problems, but instead that the design was actually so flawed as to not include one at all. Impossible to understand how they could be so short-sighted.
[/quote/
Did you not read the interview where Apple claimed they were most proud of what they left out?

They could have added the camera, the USB slots, the flash slots, ad naseum, and then everyone would be bitching about the fact that it cost $1,000.

Given that most people wouldn't actually use the front facing camera (hey, I have one on my MBP and other than early on when it was gimmicky, I never use it), I think Apple should be rightly proud of what they left out. I'd rather have an $839 product that doesn't have a lot of hardware I would never use than a $1,500 product with lots of hardware I would never use.

Quote:
There's a huge legion of apps that would be enabled by front-facing cameras; another equally large set by a rear-facing camera;

Really?
Video conferencing might be a "killer app" to some people, but I grew tired of that after using it four or five times on my MBP.

Besides, look at the history of the iPhone. Apple always leaves off "important" hardware so they can sell us another copy of the hardware next year. The good news is: we don't have to wait for a two-year contract to expire in order to get the new hardware.

Quote:
then there was the leaving off of an IR emitter... completely crazy for a device Jobs envisioned as "coffee table resident."

You do realize you can buy this today for the iPhone, right? It's a tiny dongle that plugs into the headphone jack. I don't see any reason it won't work on the iPad. It costs $50. For those who absolutely need the IR transmitter, they can spend the $50 extra to get it without forcing the millions of people who don't care to pay for it as well.


Quote:
It's almost as if they had a meeting and someone said "let's cut down the utility here... we'll need an upgrade path."

Absolutely. I'm sure they meeting went like this: "if we cut out this hardware, we can blow everyone away with a $500 price and take over the market. Then we can add these new features down the road when the iPad concept is proven and people won't balk at a $1,000 price tag.

Quote:
And then there is this weird insistence upon sticking *only* with AT&T for 3G; a demonstrated provider of low-ball networking, with consistent performance and coverage problems, not to mention exorbitant fees.

I don't know about you, but $15 and $30/month, no contract, pay as you need it, doesn't seem exorbitant to me. Seems like a great deal in fact. Gee, a good number of hotels I've been to want to charge me half that for *one* day of wifi access.

Quote:
Oh well.

On the up side, there are lots of other pads coming out. Android has had an impressive start, and no doubt there will be tablets that can use it, and its apps, with cameras, IR emitters, GPS and more. Maybe we'll even see full 1280x720 resolution, instead of the iPad's utterly ridiculous 1024xblah. Another huge fail.

Competition is good. I'd be concerned if there weren't Android and other tablets coming out. That'll guarantee that in two years, when it's time to replace an iPad, it will have some really great features because Apple will always have to move forward to keep ahead of everyone else.

It's easy to be envious of Apple's success, especially after so many others have failed in this product space before them, but Apple is clearly doing something right here. And I think that leaving the camera, IR transmitter, USB ports, etc., off the iPad is the right thing to do. Sure, some people will use their absence as an excuse not to buy an iPad; but from the posts I've seen around here, those same people would have found some other excuse (e.g., "flash") if Apple had provided all of those things.

Me? I'd rather have the $500 price point.
post #23 of 88
OBVIOUSLY they should have consulted with you before they went ahead and built this thing.

It probably won't sell much with this flaw.
Hopefully, Steve J and Co. are reading your input so they can hopefully get this thing right. ....hopefully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fyngyrz View Post

The news about the light sensor... bad news. That means it wasn't ready for a camera, perhaps not shipping now because of production or supply problems, but instead that the design was actually so flawed as to not include one at all. Impossible to understand how they could be so short-sighted.

There's a huge legion of apps that would be enabled by front-facing cameras; another equally large set by a rear-facing camera; then there was the leaving off of an IR emitter... completely crazy for a device Jobs envisioned as "coffee table resident." It's almost as if they had a meeting and someone said "let's cut down the utility here... we'll need an upgrade path."

And then there is this weird insistence upon sticking *only* with AT&T for 3G; a demonstrated provider of low-ball networking, with consistent performance and coverage problems, not to mention exorbitant fees.

Oh well.

On the up side, there are lots of other pads coming out. Android has had an impressive start, and no doubt there will be tablets that can use it, and its apps, with cameras, IR emitters, GPS and more. Maybe we'll even see full 1280x720 resolution, instead of the iPad's utterly ridiculous 1024xblah. Another huge fail.
post #24 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilw View Post

Interesting about the 512 MB RAM; other sites are reporting (via benchmarking and such) that it only has 256 MB. Though 512 MB sounds more reasonable to me...

Yup, iFixit actually updated their article to state:
"Decoding the part number shows there is 2Gb of memory inside. This translates into ~128MB of memory per die, for 256 MB total. (NOT 512MB, as we previously reported.)"
post #25 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by nautilus. View Post

I like how the Wi-Fi chip is housed behind the plastic logo for better reception.

Yeah it's genius.
post #26 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headrush69 View Post

You can charge through the USB, just faster with the AC plug.

I think it will charge with low power USB, however if you have the screen on (which is the biggest draw of power), it won't charge.

Think of trying to charge a netbook over USB and using it at the same time. This isn't an iPhone or iPod we are talking about...
post #27 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headrush69 View Post

Link added to post above already.

You didn't answer my question.
post #28 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando View Post

Yup, iFixit actually updated their article to state:
"Decoding the part number shows there is 2Gb of memory inside. This translates into ~128MB of memory per die, for 256 MB total. (NOT 512MB, as we previously reported.)"

Well that's kind of disappointing. There is still the possibility that the part number and 2Gb spec refers to a single DRAM chip of which there are 2 for 512MB total rather than referring to both DRAM chips together for 256MB. But 256MB would sadly be consistent with developer reports that the available free memory on the iPad seems unchanged from the iPhone 3GS.
post #29 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post

I think it will charge with low power USB, however if you have the screen on (which is the biggest draw of power), it won't charge.

Think of trying to charge a netbook over USB and using it at the same time. This isn't an iPhone or iPod we are talking about...

Macworld explains it quite clearly. http://www.macworld.com/article/1503...dcharging.html
post #30 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by fyngyrz View Post

The news about the light sensor... bad news. That means it wasn't ready for a camera, perhaps not shipping now because of production or supply problems, but instead that the design was actually so flawed as to not include one at all. Impossible to understand how they could be so short-sighted.

There's a huge legion of apps that would be enabled by front-facing cameras; another equally large set by a rear-facing camera; then there was the leaving off of an IR emitter... completely crazy for a device Jobs envisioned as "coffee table resident." It's almost as if they had a meeting and someone said "let's cut down the utility here... we'll need an upgrade path."

And then there is this weird insistence upon sticking *only* with AT&T for 3G; a demonstrated provider of low-ball networking, with consistent performance and coverage problems, not to mention exorbitant fees.

Oh well.

On the up side, there are lots of other pads coming out. Android has had an impressive start, and no doubt there will be tablets that can use it, and its apps, with cameras, IR emitters, GPS and more. Maybe we'll even see full 1280x720 resolution, instead of the iPad's utterly ridiculous 1024xblah. Another huge fail.

No geiger counter, ham radio or food processor either! Count me out!

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post #31 of 88
Thanks for the RAM information. I wish it had at last 1GB, thus being prepared for future multitasking via firmware update.
post #32 of 88
So far (nothing "official"), the iPad seems to have 256 MB RAM, the same as the iPhone 3GS. I must assume the A4's GPU is powerful enough that it is not an issue handling the larger screen.
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post #33 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by scmartinez View Post

Hi-power USB will charge it, not regular USB

See here

the quote below from the << link HERE >>
your iPad isnt charging properly via USB cable, try changing the port youve got it plugged in to. Turns out iPad requires more power to charge than iPhone or iPod touch, and not all USB ports are powered equally (some are branched off, like hubs). This is especially true of laptops, including MacBooks. Could be front vs. back, left vs. right side, just keep trying until you find a high-power USB port that does the job.
(This is also why the iPad included a different, 10 watt power adapter from the one included with the iPhone and iPod touch). Apple has a knowledge base article up with a variety of other iPad charging related information, so be sure to check that out.
just keep trying until you find a high-power USB port that does the job.???

i wonder how many high powered usb ports are floating around these day ??

insted take your old ipod usb to wall socket plug and try that .
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post #34 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

And what is your saurce?

<<put on your 3d glasses to see answer >>>

>♨♨RAGU♨♨<
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post #35 of 88
Macbook, Macbook... was that not the old Paradigm of how were they called... "Notebooks" Before the tablets came out ?
...

just kidding - I am desperately waiting for my MBP myself :-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moloch View Post

Let's have the new Macbook Pro's, please. Or I'm going to abandon Apple.
post #36 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

Really?
Video conferencing might be a "killer app" to some people, but I grew tired of that after using it four or five times on my MBP.

I totally agree. I used the video camera on my MBP for maybe a couple of months of goofing around (literally "look mom, we can see each other over the Internet! It's like Star Trek!", and then it just became tedious.

I think the iPad would be even worse in this regard. Exactly how are you supposed to hold the thing when video conferencing? I don't think it's realistic to grab it by both hands and hold it out in front of your face for half an hour. And I don't want to be staring up somebody's nose because they've got it in their lap.

As for taking video, the iPhone is a much more convenient form factor for that.

So I chalk this up to another case of people being focused on inputs rather than outputs. People know that a video camera is something that could be in the device, it's not there, so they complain. But they aren't thinking about whether it really makes sense to have it. Having said that, I know that there are a ton of very creative developers out there, so perhaps one day somebody will come up with a great practical idea for using the camera. But until I hear about an actual example of such an idea that isn't targeted at a very narrow niche market, I'm going to conclude that Apple made the right call here.
post #37 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

The K4X2G643GE RAM part number also infers that iPad is now using a 64-bit memory bus compared to the 32-bit memory bus used in the iPhone and other smartphones. The doubling of memory bandwidth is useful for the CPU, but even more important for the GPU since it shares system memory and bandwidth.

It may double the rate, or not. The ARM chips have some strange memory bandwidth characteristics.
post #38 of 88
think of a back-faced camera on an iPad for business puposes.
I could imagine really stunning augmented reality apps for field engineers - overlaying the live pic of the Engine, Windmill, whatever with a blueprint in realtime. Something like this would be a killerapp or sure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I totally agree. I used the video camera on my MBP for maybe a couple of months of goofing around (literally "look mom, we can see each other over the Internet! It's like Star Trek!", and then it just became tedious.

I think the iPad would be even worse in this regard. Exactly how are you supposed to hold the thing when video conferencing? I don't think it's realistic to grab it by both hands and hold it out in front of your face for half an hour. And I don't want to be staring up somebody's nose because they've got it in their lap.

As for taking video, the iPhone is a much more convenient form factor for that.

So I chalk this up to another case of people being focused on inputs rather than outputs. People know that a video camera is something that could be in the device, it's not there, so they complain. But they aren't thinking about whether it really makes sense to have it. Having said that, I know that there are a ton of very creative developers out there, so perhaps one day somebody will come up with a great practical idea for using the camera. But until I hear about an actual example of such an idea that isn't targeted at a very narrow niche market, I'm going to conclude that Apple made the right call here.
post #39 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I totally agree. I used the video camera on my MBP for maybe a couple of months of goofing around (literally "look mom, we can see each other over the Internet! It's like Star Trek!", and then it just became tedious.

I think the iPad would be even worse in this regard. Exactly how are you supposed to hold the thing when video conferencing? I don't think it's realistic to grab it by both hands and hold it out in front of your face for half an hour. And I don't want to be staring up somebody's nose because they've got it in their lap.

As for taking video, the iPhone is a much more convenient form factor for that.

So I chalk this up to another case of people being focused on inputs rather than outputs. People know that a video camera is something that could be in the device, it's not there, so they complain. But they aren't thinking about whether it really makes sense to have it. Having said that, I know that there are a ton of very creative developers out there, so perhaps one day somebody will come up with a great practical idea for using the camera. But until I hear about an actual example of such an idea that isn't targeted at a very narrow niche market, I'm going to conclude that Apple made the right call here.

The reason I want it is that it's the only reason I could think of for wanting to bring a laptop instead of an iPad on a business trip as my personal laptop. My company won't allow anything personal onto the work laptop, necessitating a personal laptop for personal email, web browsing (Facebook et al is blocked), and yes, video conferencing with the kids back home.

If the iPad had video conferencing, I could leave the second laptop home entirely and just travel with the work laptop and the iPad.
post #40 of 88
It's 256, not 512. How long before AI fixes this ridiculous mistake...doesn't anyone who write for this site have one? All you have to do is install Memory Info and bring it up to see what's available. I knew this thing has 256 mb at 930 yesterday morning.
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