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Apple's iPhone 3G S sports chip with 720p HD video capabilities

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
With Apple's new iPhone 3G S hitting store shelves in Europe overnight, the device was thrown within minutes onto the operating table and gutted, revealing a Samsung-branded system-on-a-chip (SoC) featuring a multi-format codec with untapped HD video playback and capture capabilities.

The Orange wireless boutique in Paris, France held a midnight launch of the new Apple handset, allowing the folks at Rapid Repair to be amongst the first in the world to purchase the device at roughly 6:30 p.m. Thursday Eastern time.

Wasting no time, the solutions provider took the iPhone to one of the shop's back rooms, busted out their tool kit, and began tearing the device down with the intent of comparing its internals to the iPhone 3G and identifying some of its more prominent components.

The biggest news to come out of the tear-down thus far is a positive identification of the handset's primary SoC, said to be the Samsung S5PC100, a chip that -- true to previous rumors -- is based on ARM's Cortex A8 reference design running at 600MHz. A brief check of Samsung's website, however, reveals it can run even faster.

"The S5PC100 enables the integration of various functionalities, such as, wireless communication, personal navigation, camera, portable gaming, portable music/video player, mobile TV and PDA into one device," the South Korea-based electronic maker says in a PDF published to its website. "The S5PC100 adopts a 32-bit ARM Cortex A8 RISC microprocessor and a 64/32-bit internal bus architecture, and operates up to 833MHz."

Apple appears to have chosen run the chip, which is rebranded with the following markings, below its maximum clock speed for optimal power consumption. But the additional 233MHz aren't the only capabilities of the S5PC100 that Apple has chosen to forgo in the iPhone 3G S.

Samsung\t339S0073ARM\tK2132C2P0-50-F\t0N1480911\tAPL0298\tN1TVY0Q 0919
An Apple iPhone 3G S torn down and laid out to dry | Source: Rapid Repair.

Samsung also notes that its chip sports a high definition multi format codec enabling higher resolution multimedia functions at low power consumption. Specifically, it states that the S5PC100 "features a built-in, 720p multi format codec (MFC) video Engine which ensures smooth 30fps video encoding and playblack at low power consumption, and supports three types of TV out interface (NTSC/PAL/HDMI)."

A block diagram of the iPhone 3G S's primary SoC | Source: Samsung.

An incomplete component comparison of all three iPhone models and the Palm Pre | Source: Rapid Repair.

Apple has thus far decided not to take advantage of these HD capabilities for video recording, as the iPhone 3G S video camera will only capture clips in VGA-quality. Early reviews of handset were mixed in their assessment of the resulting video quality, with some saying it pales in comparison to that from the popular $229 Flip pocket camcorder, while others called it "quiet decent" and said the quality was "impressively smooth and natural."

An iPhone 3G S with its top case removed | Source: Rapid Repair.

The iPhone 3G S logic board (left) compared to the iPhone 3G logic board (right) | Source: Rapid Repair.

A close-up of the iPhone 3G S logic board | Source: Rapid Repair.

Some of the other components identified by the tear-down include Toshiba NAND flash RAM, an Infineon baseband controller, and a solderless, easily replaceable battery that looks very similar to the one inside the iPhone 3G. Markings on the NAND (1), baseband (2), on-board system memory (3), and battery (4) are as follows:

1) NAND Flash Memory - Toshiba TH58NVG702ELA89\tIA8816 TAIWAN 09209AE
2) Infineon - 36MY1EE\tA9177314\tZ171033
3) System Memory - 337S3754\tCMA\tG0919\t5Y930788
4) APN: 616-0434\tVPN: APPLE-08-003-01(GG)\tLi-ion Polymer Battery: 3.7V 4.51Whr
Additional discoveries are likely to be made throughout the day and upcoming weekend, especially given that iFixit also plans to tear-down an iPhone 3G S shortly.
post #2 of 72
Edit: Its my first time ever leaving the first comment, is there like a welcome basket to official Apple Loving Nerdiness?
post #3 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post

Edit: Its my first time ever leaving the first comment, is there like a welcome basket to official Apple Loving Nerdiness?

I don't see the actual comment ...
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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post #4 of 72
I wonder if these under utilized abilities in the 3Gs are awaiting software updates or perhaps are there for future models with updated hardware too?
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post #5 of 72
While everyone else is busy ogling the chips, the first thing that caught my eye was the dock connector socket...

It appears to have been upgraded from a multi-piece metal and plastic assembly, to a single piece of metal. To me this seems like an improvement. It should mean that the socket is more durable than in previous models. The joint between the two pieces in the older model would seem to be an area prone to failure.

The socket is slightly out of alignment on my gen 1 iPhone. The dock cable has to be inserted at an angle. I'd bet that this resorted from constant use in a car with a heavy cord hanging off of the iPod whenever it is picked up to change tracks. Without the two piece assembly it would seem that this type of misalignment would happen less frequently.
post #6 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

While everyone else is busy ogling the chips, the first thing that caught my eye was the dock connector socket...

It appears to have been upgraded from a multi-piece metal and plastic assembly, to a single piece of metal. To me this seems like an improvement. It should mean that the socket is more durable than in previous models. The joint between the two pieces in the older model would seem to be an area prone to failure.

The socket is slightly out of alignment on my gen 1 iPhone. The dock cable has to be inserted at an angle. I'd bet that this resorted from constant use in a car with a heavy cord hanging off of the iPod whenever it is picked up to change tracks. Without the two piece assembly it would seem that this type of misalignment would happen less frequently.

I think you may be ogling the sim card slot
post #7 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post

Edit: Its my first time ever leaving the first comment, is there like a welcome basket to official Apple Loving Nerdiness?

Welcome!

post #8 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

While everyone else is busy ogling the chips, the first thing that caught my eye was the dock connector socket...

It appears to have been upgraded from a multi-piece metal and plastic assembly, to a single piece of metal. To me this seems like an improvement. It should mean that the socket is more durable than in previous models. The joint between the two pieces in the older model would seem to be an area prone to failure.

The socket is slightly out of alignment on my gen 1 iPhone. The dock cable has to be inserted at an angle. I'd bet that this resorted from constant use in a car with a heavy cord hanging off of the iPod whenever it is picked up to change tracks. Without the two piece assembly it would seem that this type of misalignment would happen less frequently.

I too, am guilty of ogling.
post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post

I think you may be ogling the sim card slot

Oops, you're correct.

Though, it's not as bad as failing to notice an adam's apple and big feet. Well at least that's one tough ass sim slot. Oh wait, those two sentences shouldn't be put next to each other.
post #10 of 72
I was actually very surprised that Apple did not go the 720P HD route with their video features, until I realized #1 AT&T would never have allowed sharing of HD video on its network, and #2 720p playback is worthless without bumping screen resolution as well.

I think you're seeing the first evidence of an iPod Touch HD due out in September. What a surprise. Once again, that Zune idea was nice while it lasted.
post #11 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

I was actually very surprised that Apple did not go the 720P HD route with their video features, until I realized #1 AT&T would never have allowed sharing of HD video on its network, and #2 720p playback is worthless without bumping screen resolution as well.

I think you're seeing the first evidence of an iPod Touch HD due out in September. What a surprise. Once again, that Zune idea was nice while it lasted.

Apple sells component-out cables that plug into the docking port of the iPhones. The iPhone 3G's port can only output 480p. I wonder if the 3GS will output 720p. When travelling, it's really nice to be able to hook my iPod directly up to a hotel TV and watch whatever I have stored. Of course, most hotels still haven't upgraded to HD, so I carry the composite cables which max out at 480i anyway. But soon everyone will have an HDMI input.

In addition, I can imagine an AppleTV with a dock or wireless connection such that an iPhone can output on any TV and play video games on the television. Any game console worth its salt can play at 720p these days, so maybe...
post #12 of 72
I remember a time when it was completely unheard of to purposely disassemble a new Apple product and post pictures online unless it fell and broke or something.

Having the proud honor a few years back of being the first to disassemble and take high resolution photos (you could even see the dust!) of Apple's new Mighty Mouse. I caught all sorts of hell from the Mac community, but now it's the norm.

I got so much hit traffic my site was first on the Google search ranks, Apple had unlimited bandwidth on their poorly thought out Dot Mac accounts at that time, they changed that policy with caps/pricing.
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post #13 of 72
Ok so they looked blurry to me. It is nice to know that the SoC is from Samsung, it has a lot of untapped capability beyound the video capabilities too. I don't expect Apple to leverage all of them either.

I'm not sure why everybody gets hung up on the video camera anyways. In a nut shell all it does is generates lots of data and wears your flash. Going to 720p would just wear the flash faster. Did anyone expect the video hardware to replace a dedicated video camera?

Honestly looking at the photos this looks more like a modest revision iPhone rather than an earth shaking new model. It looks like they minimized changes to the boards layout for one. I guess that means more room for future growth.

Probably the only real disappointment is that the battery didn't increase in size enough. The increased battery run time isn't enough to get me through the day without a recharge.

Dave
post #14 of 72
This is OT but how do I get my old iPhone to be a touch? I've plugged it into the computer and it still wants to activate it and won't let me do anything after I've unplugged it. I guess I have to remove the SIM card?
post #15 of 72
Dude, if they can get some kind of ipod to hdmi + charger connector, this will really turn some heads.

Think of it: You rent about 3-4 720p movies, then bring it to your friend's house where you plug in an hdmi cable and a wall charger, and you watch them all on a 52" hdtv!

Really, it's where things are going.
post #16 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Dude, if they can get some kind of ipod to hdmi + charger connector, this will really turn some heads.

Think of it: You rent about 3-4 720p movies, then bring it to your friend's house where you plug in an hdmi cable and a wall charger, and you watch them all on a 52" hdtv!

Really, it's where things are going.

Better put it on airplane mode! Don't want to interrupt a movie for a text message or phone call
post #17 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

When travelling, it's really nice to be able to hook my iPod directly up to a hotel TV and watch whatever I have stored. Of course, most hotels still haven't upgraded to HD, so I carry the composite cables which max out at 480i anyway. But soon everyone will have an HDMI input.

What hotel chain allows any sort of connection to their TV's?

Because I haven't found any in the US, if it's low end, the TV is the cheapest POS possible with no connections.

If it's high end, they have no ports and the only one is for the dedicated pay per view system via a locked cable or something else not easily used.

Hotels know customers like to hook things up like game machines etc to the hotels TV's and just disconnect/leave cables unplugged, requiring a expensive tech service call to get the TV back on the system.

So I've found nearly no hotel chain that supports customers hooking things up, rather the hotel system provides games, movies etc.

But if you care to inform me, I'd be glad to know.
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post #18 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

What hotel chain allows any sort of connection to their TV's?

Because I haven't found any in the US, if it's low end, the TV is the cheapest POS possible with no connections.

If it's high end, they have no ports and the only one is for the dedicated pay per view system via a locked cable or something else not easily used.

Hotels know customers like to hook things up like game machines etc to the hotels TV's and just disconnect/leave cables unplugged, requiring a expensive tech service call to get the TV back on the system.

So I've found nearly no hotel chain that supports customers hooking things up, rather the hotel system provides games, movies etc.

But if you care to inform me, I'd be glad to know.

I actually haven't stayed at a place that *doesn't* allow that in quite a while. I mean, if they are CRTs then , yeah, they don't let you but if that are LCDs you should definitely be able to plug it in - just depends on the hotels upgrade cycle I guess.
post #19 of 72
About 500 people waiting in line at Apple Store NYC (da cube) and going in by groups of about 20.

About 100 waiting in line in San Francisco.

just came over CNBC...
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post #20 of 72
I saw AT&T lines all over Manhattan this morning. Everybody wants one! Hmmmmmm.
post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post

Edit: Its my first time ever leaving the first comment, is there like a welcome basket to official Apple Loving Nerdiness?

Yes, I learned about this great honor that is bestowed upon those who finally made their first post on a thread.

A whole website dedicated just for you!

http://www.talkshowonmuteISFIRST.com
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post #22 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

I was actually very surprised that Apple did not go the 720P HD route with their video features, until I realized #1 AT&T would never have allowed sharing of HD video on its network, and #2 720p playback is worthless without bumping screen resolution as well.

I think you're seeing the first evidence of an iPod Touch HD due out in September. What a surprise. Once again, that Zune idea was nice while it lasted.

That all makes sense, though I do hope that iTunes will allow you to copy your 720p video to the device and then play it, even if it isn’t on a 720p display. To allow this means that I don’t have to downgrade any video before copying.



PS: AnandTech did a review of the Palm Pre.
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post #23 of 72
Palm Pre link is broken, here Try this one
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post #24 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post

Edit: Its my first time ever leaving the first comment, is there like a welcome basket to official Apple Loving Nerdiness?

Every one for the next 5 yrs will read your tone setting first comment.
You passed. You did not whine . A fine first first post, you managed to go off topic in record speed.

I look at these break down's and I am amazed at what these chips can do,

9
whats in a name ? 
beatles
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whats in a name ? 
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post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

What hotel chain allows any sort of connection to their TV's?

Because I haven't found any in the US, if it's low end, the TV is the cheapest POS possible with no connections.

If it's high end, they have no ports and the only one is for the dedicated pay per view system via a locked cable or something else not easily used.

Hotels know customers like to hook things up like game machines etc to the hotels TV's and just disconnect/leave cables unplugged, requiring a expensive tech service call to get the TV back on the system.

So I've found nearly no hotel chain that supports customers hooking things up, rather the hotel system provides games, movies etc.

But if you care to inform me, I'd be glad to know.

All the ones I've stayed in lately have them. The Holiday Inn Express TVs tend to have composite RCA jacks on the front of the TV. The Courtyard Marriots often have this as well. The Marriott Suites, on the occasions I have to stay in those, have HDMI and VGA inputs to their HDTVs.

The biggest problem isn't the lack of the inputs, it's the variety. I don't want to carry both a composite AND a component cable, and they don't even have an iPod-to-HDMI cable.
post #26 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Palm Pre link is broken, here Try this one

Thanks. Im using the vBulletin markup buttons. They are adding quotes when apparently none are needed. Ive had this happen several times over the past few weeks.
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post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Better put it on airplane mode! Don't want to interrupt a movie for a text message or phone call

Oh of course. I think people's number one complaint right now is the fact that a phone call can interrupt something you're doing, and since there's no ability to run a program in the background, you have to start over when you end the call. Like Pandora or the even web browser (correct me if I'm wrong, just going from what iphone owners are saying.)

I think plugging the cable into the device would (or at least should) trigger the phone's radio to be turned off.
post #28 of 72
http://www.anandtech.com/gadgets/showdoc.aspx?i=3586

here, paste this in your browser if you don't trust me anymore.
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post #29 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Thanks. Im using the vBulletin markup buttons. They are adding quotes when apparently none are needed. Ive had this happen several times over the past few weeks.

Did you test the link?
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post #30 of 72
edit out
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beatles
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post #31 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

edit out

Well I take my laptop but all the places I've stayed recently have LCDs and they don't kill the ports on those like they did with the CRTs.

Also: I popped the sim out of my old iPhone - works just like a touch now
post #32 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I don't see the actual comment ...

You're correct. Technically speaking, talkshowonmute didn't actually leave a comment, he only left a "meta-comment". Better send him to the first-time-meta-commenter office.
post #33 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

All the ones I've stayed in lately have them. The Holiday Inn Express TVs tend to have composite RCA jacks on the front of the TV. The Courtyard Marriots often have this as well. The Marriott Suites, on the occasions I have to stay in those, have HDMI and VGA inputs to their HDTVs.

The biggest problem isn't the lack of the inputs, it's the variety. I don't want to carry both a composite AND a component cable, and they don't even have an iPod-to-HDMI cable.

Thanks Booga,

Problem I run into is some hotels have these dedicated portless hotel type TV's supplied by the company hosting the pay per view system, they don't want people hooking stuff up to them as it causes more tech support and they lose money from sales movies/pron/games etc.

cool thanks again
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post #34 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Did you test the link?

I see, you were making a joke.

BTW, that donkey and giraffe did produce an offspring. They named it Zune.
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post #35 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I see, you were making a joke.

BTW, that donkey and giraffe did produce an offspring. They named it Zune.

So I take it the donkey was male!
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post #36 of 72
So, even after the teardown, I still haven't seen the actual specs of the GPU. The previous article speculated at the PowerVR 520. Has this been confirmed?
post #37 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad421 View Post

So, even after the teardown, I still haven't seen the actual specs of the GPU. The previous article speculated at the PowerVR 520. Has this been confirmed?

Nope. RapidFire’s teardown was very quick and dirty. iFixit will be much more thorough, but even then we may not know the chip until later. Sometimes there are just no visible clues.


PS: Looking forward to iSuppli’s parts cost so people can complain that it cost too much.

PPS: 3GS speed tests: http://www.anandtech.com/gadgets/showdoc.aspx?i=3587
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post #38 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

I was actually very surprised that Apple did not go the 720P HD route with their video features, until I realized #1 AT&T would never have allowed sharing of HD video on its network, and #2 720p playback is worthless without bumping screen resolution as well.

I think you're seeing the first evidence of an iPod Touch HD due out in September. What a surprise. Once again, that Zune idea was nice while it lasted.

Does the Dock connector support HD output - it's component output? However the chip supports HDMI and those signals aren't on the Dock connector.

So either the new iPod Touch will tweak the Dock connector, or the chip can output HD via component and Apple will settle for that and keeping compatibility with old Dock peripherals, or HD won't be supported.
post #39 of 72
Just like Bluetooth on the 2nd Gen iPod Touch, it wouldn't surprise me if Apple is holding some hardware capabitilies back for a future update. 720p recording and output may well come with iPhone 4.0 next year.
post #40 of 72
Unless HD video, coupled with a phone's tiny optics and the need to capture a frame faster than a still shot, looks a LOT better than the current VGA res, I don't want it. More storage space used up!

If it DOES look a lot better, then I'd love to at least have the option

(But I've heard that the 3GS will sometimes drop below 30fps--though not perceptibly jerky--which suggests that some other components are a bottleneck.)
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