Sunday, July 13, 2008

New iPhone 3g teardown

We have the iPhone 3G teardown sooner than ever, with the ifixit guys going to New Zealand to be the first to open the device.



Later, Semiconductor Insights put their expertise decapping the chips, to know what chip is inside every Apple mark.


Fist analysis:

The processor circuit: the processor is the same in the previous iPhone. By the marking: 8900B, the processor is the S5L8900B (Samsung marking in the chip). An ARM11 processor found in its antecesor. The surprise is that the processor is not the new S3C6410 from Samsung, with the same peripherals but in 65nm instead of 90nm of the S5L8900. Probably too early to complete software debugging. It is a POP construction as its antecesor, with the DDR-SDRAM over the processor in POP format. There is also a serial 1MB flash from SST.

The phone circuit: The UMTS baseband is the PMB8878 from Infineon, with an Infineon UMTS transceiver, and the Infineon SMARTi power management unit. The power amplifier is from Skyworks SKY77340, filters from Murata, and an amplifier for each band from Triquint. The NOR Flash for the baseband processor program is from Numonyx (the new company created by ST Microelectronics and Intel integrating their memory divisions).

The touchscreen controller now uses only one chip instead of three. It comes from Broadcom: BCM5974.

The LVDSL serial interface for the display is again from National: LM2512AA.

The GPS chip is from Infineon, the great winner in this design.

The NAND flash memory is from Toshiba although it also could be the Samsung part.

The audio codec is again from Wolfson. Semiconductor Insights says that is the WM6180C but that is not a normal Wolfson code.

Now the design comes in only one, bigger board, instead of two. With the components almost only in one side. It is a challenge to design the board not being able to put capacitors behind the processor. I suppose the board must be at least of 10 layers.

Primary conclusions: Good, neat design. I'm afraid too power hungry, not being able to use the new processor from Samsung.

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