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Lessons in time, cost savings from iPhone 3GS

Posted: 29 Jun 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Teardowns  iPhone 3GS  DRAM 

Carey said the apps processor includes two 128 MB Elpida Mobile DDR SDRAMs in a stacked package-on-package. That gives the 3Gs processor 256 MB of working memory, and another design win for Elpida in the high profile handset market. Elpida mobile SDRAM was also found in the Palm Pre.

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"The use of a new Samsung apps processor and an Omnivision auto-focus 3 Megapixel camera certainly bumps the costs up, but these improvements along with a few incremental bells and whistles would seem to be offset by declines elsewhere in the system," said Carey.

Another surprise is the new handset apparently still uses the Infineon PMB8878 also known as the XGold 608 base band processor in previous designs, according to Carey of Portelligent. Apple doubled to 7.2Mbpsecond the download speed supported on the iPhone 3GS, but that speed grade was apparently already supported on what is clearly the old Infineon chip based on die markings.

Some other findings from Portelligent included: the 3-axis compass chip (used in the new GPS feature of the phone) being manufactured by AKM Semiconductor, the audio codec coming from Cirrus Logic, and Dialogue Semiconductor providing the power management unit for the application processor.

Infineon again found themselves a major IC design-in benefactor in the iPhone 3Gs; with their base band processor, power management chip (the SMARTi Power 3i), and their UMTS transceiver (used in the original iPhone 3G) all finding themselves in this new iPhone.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times


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