Posts Tagged ‘teardown’

Apple A5 Teardown…

We had decapsulated the A5 a couple of days ago, but as you could see in those early pictures, you can’t tell much of a chip’s layout from the top metal – it’s all power and ground buses.  So we have to de-layer the chip down to a level where we can see the block layout of the chip; not an easy thing when there’s nine layers of metal!  In fact, these days it’s easier to go in from the back and remove the substrate silicon, and look at the gate level from below.  Then we can identify the circuit blocks that make up the full device.

[W]e’ve labeled the key blocks; the ARM cores are in the right half of the die, with ~4.5 Mb of cache memory each.  We can also see the USB interface at the top, and the DDR SDRAM interfaces at the bottom right, for the memory in the top part of the package-on-package.  Other I/O blocks are strewn around the edge of the die.

Interesting stuff.

Posted: March 15th, 2011
Categories: Apple, Geek, Technical Specs, ipad, iphone
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iFixit : iPad 2 Teardown

As usual. Excellent work by the guys at iFixit.

Apple 1GHz A5 dual-core Processor with a 200MHz bus and 512 MB of RAM.

The A5 processor has manufacture dates of late January and mid-February 2011. Production was clearly ramping up through the last minute. It looks like the A5 processor is the APL0498, replacing the A4/APL0398 seen in the iPad 1 and iPhones.

Of course what we really want now is the Apple A5 ripped apart in one of their friend’s labs.

Posted: March 12th, 2011
Categories: Apple, ipad
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iFixit : Samsung Galaxy Tab Teardown…

They’re at it again…

Posted: November 12th, 2010
Categories: Samsung, Tablets, Technical Specs
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iFixit : MacBook Air 11″ Teardown…

Another great teardown from the iFixit geeks.

Apple apparently doesn’t want you inside this thing. They decided to use 5-point Security Torx to attach the lower case.

Apple really don’t want you going inside this thing. And are walking a fine line between giving you the perception that this is a computer, but hoping that you will be cajoled into treating it more like an iPhone or an iPad. i.e. A use and replace piece of gear. Rather than a use, optionally expand, and then replace laptop.

[T]he 64GB flash storage board can be disconnected from the logic board. It would be easily user-replaceable if you disregard the strange 5-point Torx needed to get inside.

That is good to know. A lot of people will be interested in sourcing larger storage from a third party, if at all possible. I know I will. Not being a huge fan of Apple’s “memory” tax.

Despite being crippled in the CPU department, because of Intel’s stupid stance on integrated GPUs, the MacBook Air (particularly the 11 inch model) is finally a worthy replacement for my long in the tooth PowerBook G4 12″.

If I didn’t have the luxury of having both an iPad and my various Macs for work, then I would choose an Air over an iPad as my main portable computer. So I can see some people choosing between these two flavours of devices in an Apple store. Therefore it’s possible that the Air may well cannibalise iPad sales to a small degree, at least in the more geeky Apple demographic.

Posted: October 22nd, 2010
Categories: Apple, Mac, Technical Specs
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iFixit : 2nd Gen. Apple TV Teardown…

There is a lot in there for $99.

An Apple A4, 8GB of Flash and 256MB of RAM. And space for more Flash in future on the PCB…

Sure the Flash is for stashing data that has been streamed to the device. But I also think it is for apps in the future.

Posted: September 30th, 2010
Categories: Apple, Apple TV
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iFixit : iPod Nano 6th Gen. Teardown…

Chips of interest:

  • Toshiba TH58NVG6E2FLA4C 8GB NAND
  • Apple 33850859 C0E111022
  • Apple 338S0783-B1 10298HLS
  • 0650 D0UY 027
  • Apple 339S0104 YGC7 1031 K4X51323P1 YRF 020A3 ARM N2HXHZMP 4 1031
  • 35758907 1025 A 04 629749

    Apple provides no information on the processor used in iPod nanos, but each uses an Apple branded processor, believed to be a Samsung ARM.

    Posted: September 10th, 2010
    Categories: Apple, iPod
    Tags: ,
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    iFixit : iPod Touch 4 Teardown (256MB RAM)

    Interestingly iFixit confirmed that Apple’s early PR material about the iPod Touch having a vibration motor was wholly incorrect. There is none.

    The A4 in the iPod Touch is the one found inside the iPad, and as such only has 256MB of RAM.

    Posted: September 9th, 2010
    Categories: Apple, iPod
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    Latest iPod Touch Teardown FCC Style…

    Apple A4 CPU, an internal antenna, 802.11 b/g/n, and a 3.44 watt-hour battery, Retina Display, front-facing camera for FaceTime, and rear-facing HD-capable shooter.

    From BGR.

    Posted: September 3rd, 2010
    Categories: Apple, iPod
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    iFixit : Apple Magic Trackpad Teardown

    They’re at it again.

    • At the heart of the Magic Trackpad’s logic board lies a Broadcom BCM2042 for Bluetooth connectivity.
    • This is the same chip used by the Magic Mouse for data transmission.
    • We found a Broadcom BCM5974 touch screen controller chip provides Multi-touch functionality.
    • This is the same chip you’ll find in the iPhone, iPod Touch, and MacBook Air.

    Interesting, the overlap of components in that last bullet point.

    Just marking that for future reference.

    Posted: July 29th, 2010
    Categories: Apple, Mac, Technical Specs
    Tags: , , ,
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    iFixit : iPhone 4 Gyroscope Teardown…

    I am having a lot of fun with this aspect of the iPhone 4 at the moment.

    • According to Wikipedia’s definition, “A gyroscope is a device for measuring or maintaining orientation, based on the principles of conservation of angular momentum.” The key phrase is measuring or maintaining orientation, which is the exact reason an iPhone 4 contains one of these gizmos.
    • A mechanical gyroscope uses a spinning rotor in the center to detect changes in orientation.
    • The iPhone 4 utilizes a microscopic, electronic version of a vibrational gyroscope, called a MEMS gyroscope.
    • A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) is an embedded system that integrates electronic and mechanical components at a very small scale.

    I dug out a Datasheet for it the other day.

    Expect this to become one of the core components in Augmented Reality apps in coming months.

    Posted: July 1st, 2010
    Categories: Apple, Technical Specs, iphone
    Tags: , , , , ,
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