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iPhone video teardown reveals Samsung, Intel, Balda design wins

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Semiconductor Insights, a firm specializing in technical investigation of circuit design and process innovations, has compiled the first known video teardown of Apple Inc.'s iPhone, revealing major design wins by the likes of Samsung, Intel and Balda.

"Apple has packaged three parts with their own markings, and six more that seem to have Apple-style part numbering and other manufacturer markings," said Greg Quirk, Technical Marketing Manager at Semiconductor Insights. What is also interesting, he said, are the components that are similar between the iPhone and some of the latest iPod models.

NAND flash

For example, the 8GB iPhone employs Samsung's 65-nanometer 8-Gbyte MLC NAND flash. "This is the exact same component that was used in the 8-Gbyte iPod nano," the analyst said. "This memory is used to store things like songs, pictures, and videos." Similarly, the 4GB version of the iPhone uses the same 4GB NAND flash chip as the 4GB iPod nano.

NOR and RF

Handling the Apple handset's code execution for call functionality is an Intel wireless flash chip with 32 Megabits of NOR coupled with 16 Megabits of SRAM. The iPhone also sports three RF components: there's an Apple-branded part that has Infineon die markings. This could be the transceiver, according to SI, as the iPhone's baseband processor is the Infineon PMB8876 S-Gold 2 multimedia engine with advanced EDGE functionality. Rounding out the RF chips is the Marvell 88W8686 (a is a 90-nm Wireless LAN device) and a CSR BlueCore 4 ROM (a Bluetooth component also used in the BlackBerry Pearl 8100).

Apple-branded components

The iPhone's central processor is one of the components that features Apple package markings, but by decapsulating the device SI was able to identify it as a Samsung chip (as was exclusively reported by AppleInsider back in January), which features a three stacked die package containing the S5L8900 processor and two 512 Mbit SRAM dies.

Another Apple-branded part is the Broadcom BCM5973A. While there is no additional information available on the chip, SI estimates that it provides the I/O controller used for the video interface to the touch screen. The third Apple-branded part is said be designed by Philips, but unfortunately the die markings made it difficult for the firm to determine its origin.

iPhone's audio codec is reported to be the Wolfson WM8758, which is the same codec used in Apple's current iPod video. This means users should get the same sound quality as they would experience from their iPod, according to Quirk. Meanwhile, the power amplifier is reportedly supplied by Skyworks, a similar part to the one used in the Motorola RAZR V3x.

Of all the iPhone component suppliers, Balda, a German company, is reported to have scored the biggest design win with the touch screen. "Balda is known for making touch screen that are durable and scratch resistant, a common complaint of the screen in iPods," said Quirk. "Balda has worked with Nokia, Motorola and Sony-Ericsson, but this is their most visible design win that we're aware of, which could help them get further recognition in the LCD industry."

Watch the video teardown and view pictures of the iPhone logicboard, below:



Watch the video teardown

post #2 of 28
Irony: Not being able to watch the flash video of the iphone breakdown on your iphone

Its not a total loss - I get to watch a little blue Lego block with a ? mark in it
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post #3 of 28
Now we await a breakthrough in cost /performance in NAND. This baby is just begging for higher capacity as soon as possible.
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post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacillus View Post

Fred Thompson (R) '08!

Hey we've done the actor thing, why not go for a puppet? Oh, silly me, we've just done that too. I know, how about a 3D cartoon from Pixar?
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post #5 of 28
Now the Political Outsider is infecting ALL of the threads... Admin, how close are you guys to solving these thread issues? Looks like they are pretty entrenched at this time.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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GOA

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post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Now the Political Outsider is infecting ALL of the threads... Admin, how close are you guys to solving these thread issues? Looks like they are pretty entrenched at this time.

Can't they filer any political crap out? Kind of like a spam filter in e-mail? Although I think Ratatouille would make an excellent supreme judge
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post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Can't they filer any political crap out? Kind of like a spam filter in e-mail? Although I think Ratatouille would make an excellent supreme judge

If they want to make a rule on sigs - fine. There are plenty I would like to see go, like the pro global warming crap some ram down our throats.
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post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacillus View Post

If they want to make a rule on sigs - fine. There are plenty I would like to see go, like the pro global warming crap some ram down our throats.

You actually don't believe in gw? That's made my day ROFL. Hey the Earth may be flat as well as 6000 years old you know ... Come on let's get serious here, back to iPhones please

My wife (who has been hitting me over the head every time I read a review) is as I type logging onto Apple Store to order one ... hehe.

p.s.sigs should be limited to important stuff like "Death to MS" and "Macs Rule". LOL
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post #9 of 28
Why is it that every time I read a story "by" AppleInsider I get the nasty feeling they're plagiarizing somebody else's story? It's practically the same thing as this article here:

http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/s...leID=200001811

I guess this is to be expected, but I would have liked them to at least put a link in to the source article. Nice "original" reporting AppleInsider.
post #10 of 28
Since we're so offtopic anyway... how about britwithgoodteeth's sig about raping black men? That's horny.
Edit: or maybe it's the other way around - I wasn't paying much attention.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

Since we're so offtopic anyway... how about britwithgoodteeth's sig about raping black men? That's horny.
Edit: or maybe it's the other way around - I wasn't paying much attention.

Hey I know several Brits with good teeth!
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post #12 of 28
you can do SO much with the iPhone, yet the battery life is only what? 5 hours?
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeat View Post

you can do SO much with the iPhone, yet the battery life is only what? 5 hours?

No, talk time is 8 hours which is more than most regular handsets let alone any other smartphone that I know of. Audio playback is 24 hours, 7 hours video and over 10 days standby.

That aint half bad gov.
post #14 of 28
i got about 18 hours straight use out of my phone before it got down to "10%" warning.
that was about 2 hours talk time, watched a 44 minute episode of ice truckers [odd odd job], 4 or so browsing the net, and the rest listening to the iPod the entire day. bluetooth was on all day, about an hour browsing on wifi [but never shut it off] the rest on edge at the beach.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacillus View Post

Irony: Not being able to watch the flash video of the iphone breakdown on your iphone

Its not a total loss - I get to watch a little blue Lego block with a ? mark in it



(but seriously... i thought it was a YouTube film?)
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpinDrift View Post

No, talk time is 8 hours which is more than most regular handsets let alone any other smartphone that I know of. Audio playback is 24 hours, 7 hours video and over 10 days standby.

That aint half bad gov.

Regurgitating Apple's listed specs doesn't earn you brownie points.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

NAND flash

For example, the 8GB iPhone employs Samsung's 65-nanometer 8-Gbyte MLC NAND flash. "This is the exact same component that was used in the 8-Gbyte iPod nano," the analyst said. "This memory is used to store things like songs, pictures, and videos." Similarly, the 4GB version of the iPhone uses the same 4GB NAND flash chip as the 4GB iPod nano.


So why is there a $100 difference between iPhones and only $50 between Nanos?
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post

So why is there a $100 difference between iPhones and only $50 between Nanos?

I agree. The 8g nano should be priced $50 more at $299US.
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post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Hey I know several Brits with good teeth!

Exactly. There's at least 10 or 15 in the entire country. Its not nearly as bad as it used to be.

.
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post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post

So why is there a $100 difference between iPhones and only $50 between Nanos?

mmmm... good question.
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post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Exactly. There's at least 10 or 15 in the entire country. Its not nearly as bad as it used to be.

.

To be fair several of those came to the US for dental work.
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post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

which features a three stacked die package containing the S5L8900 processor and two 512 Mbit SRAM dies.

Can someone please explain how it contains 2 512Mbit SRAM dies, when the highest density SRAM available is 64 Mbit ?
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacillus View Post

If they want to make a rule on sigs - fine. There are plenty I would like to see go, like the pro global warming crap some ram down our throats.

I don't even see the signatures, I've turned them off. If you are so worried about someone "shoving" their opinions down your throat, turn off signature display. Most forums are cleaner / better without sigs anyway.
post #24 of 28
What baffles me is that the iPhone makes little to no use of System-on-chip ICs. You can bet that the next version will. What this means is that there will be more room for battery.

On that note, I'm glad I don't have a gen 1 iPhone. gen 2 will be a SUBSTANTIAL imrpovement.
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post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by retroneo View Post

Can someone please explain how it contains 2 512Mbit SRAM dies, when the highest density SRAM available is 64 Mbit ?

They're SDRAM... not SRAM

- the CPU could be similar to the S3C6400 (http://www.samsung.com/products/semi...00/S3C6400.htm)
- since this is also based on the ARM1176JZF core
- not too shabby
- but I'm not sure how this relates to the S5L8900 on the die shot... the iPhone CPU seems to be a new or unknown media variant
- the closest thing (namewise) being the S5L8700 - which is Arm9 based

It would be interesting to find out if the S5L8900 has a 3D Core to help out with all the cover flow animiations.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

What baffles me is that the iPhone makes little to no use of System-on-chip ICs. You can bet that the next version will. What this means is that there will be more room for battery.

The CPU Chip is as a SOC ic, and it's packaged with 128Mbytes of SDRAM - so it's quite a dense solution.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai1999 View Post

The CPU Chip is as a SOC ic, and it's packaged with 128Mbytes of SDRAM - so it's quite a dense solution.

If you want to see a real SoC, look at the TI OMAPs. A stacked package of CPU and DRAM is not an SoC (it's a SiP), and it's hardly impressive. The point is that the gen 2 iPhone will be a substantial improvement. Not only will it probably support 3G, but it will undoubtedly do so with a much smaller board and a correspondingly larger battery.
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post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

If you want to see a real SoC, look at the TI OMAPs. A stacked package of CPU and DRAM is not an SoC (it's a SiP), and it's hardly impressive. The point is that the gen 2 iPhone will be a substantial improvement. Not only will it probably support 3G, but it will undoubtedly do so with a much smaller board and a correspondingly larger battery.

You're right, the TI OMAPs are SoCs - as is the iPhone CPU (S5L8900)
- we don't know the exact specs of the S5L8900, but it seems to be a Arm11 CPU (ARM1176JZF), with a good assortment of peripherals (similar to the S3C6400)
There's some speculation that it includes a PowerVR 3D Graphics core (MBX)
- which will make for some interesting 3D game possibilities

I'm just speculating here, but I'd say the iPhone CPU is somewhere between the OMAP2 generation and the OMAP3 generation - which is pretty good.

Again, just speculating, my feeling is that this chip will be used for core processing for iPods & iPhones for the next couple of years.
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