Apple's 3G iPhone: The Monday Morning Teardown Revisit
iFixit’s Kyle Wiens sent me a nice complimentary-and-apologetic email late Friday night, in response to the publication earlier that same day of my two-part 3G iPhone analysis. He admitted that, in the rush to get iFixit’s teardown treatise on the company’s website, it’d messed up in reporting that Apple (and partner Samsung) had combined the ARM processor and NAND flash memory within the same package in this iPhone product generation. In fact, as with the first-generation iPhone, Samsung bundled the CPU and DRAM (1 Gbit), and the 8 or 16 GBytes of NAND flash memory (interestingly, from Toshiba, at least on this particular unit) is again standalone.
iFixit’s updated report contains additional details that I’d publicly pondered last Friday. The NOR flash memory from Intel (strictly speaking, from the Intel spinoff-and-partnership-with-STMicroelectronics, Numonyx) is 16 MBytes in density and combines with 8 MBytes of PSRAM (i.e. low-power self-refresh DRAM with a SRAM-like system pinout) in a two-die single-package stack. And the SST flash memory, although correctly transitioning from a parallel to serial system interface as I reported last Friday, is actually 8 Mbit in size, not 4 Mbit.
I’d wondered last Friday if the GPS function was standalone or integrated within another IC. iFixit’s analysis suggests the former is the case, specifically via Infineon’s PMB 2525 Hammerhead II. Wireless communications subsystems (in addition to the earlier-mentioned UMTS cellular data chipset) span Marvell’s 88W8686 Wi-Fi transceiver to CSR’s CSR BlueCore6-ROM Bluetooth transceiver (interesting that Apple didn’t go with a single-chip Bluetooth-plus-Wi-Fi approach such as Marvell’s 88W8688). Other key digital and mixed-signal ICs include STMicroelectronics’ LIS331 DL accelerometer and Wolfson Microelectronics’ WM6180C audio codec; I guessed right last Friday from a supplier standpoint in both cases.
Initial sales reports from Apple are quite impressive, in spite of widespread activation issues experienced by customers, especially on Friday. Early this morning, the company reported that sometime yesterday (Sunday), the 1 millionth 3G iPhone was sold, and that more than 10 million applications (it’s not clear if this figure also includes individual eBook files) have already been downloaded from the App Store. However, those of you already sick of the iPhone hype may take some solace in this video clip: