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Galaxy S5 BOM clocks in at over $250

Posted: 17 Apr 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS  Samsung Galaxy S5  teardown  BOM  smartphone 

Although IHS is not yet able to confirm the supplier of the MIMO WiFi module and the underlying silicon supporting this function, we believe that Broadcom is the most likely available semiconductor solution provider. The module is a combo solution that supports both WiFi and Bluetooth functionality.

Another major cost factor in the Galaxy S5 is the smartphone's core processor, the Qualcomm MSM8974AC. The MSM8974AC is a variant of the popular MSM8974 used in a number of mobile products ranging from the Nokia Lumia 1520, to the Galaxy Round, to the LG Google Nexus 5. The AC version employs the latest Snapdragon 801 processor, as opposed to the 800 used in the MSM8974. The MSM8974AC with the Snapdragon 801 features a faster clock speed, at 2.5GHz, compared to 2.3GHz in the MSM8974 with the Snapdragon 800.

The MSM8974AC carries an estimated cost of $41. This may seem elevated but represents the combined functionality of two formerly separate chips, the core applications processor and the wireless semiconductor. In other designs, such as the Apple iPhones and other Samsung designs, these two roles may be filled by two separate chips. Implementing the Qualcomm MSM8974AC solution saves Samsung internal board space and reduces manufacturing cost by eliminating separate ICs on the board.

There is speculation over whether there is another variant of the Samsung S5 design that features a Samsung Exynos processor in lieu of the Qualcomm MSM8974AC. In the Samsung Galaxy S4, there were two different versions, one with a Samsung Exynos 5410 processor, and another with a Qualcomm processor, dubbed the APQ8064AC.

The S5 may be based only on the Qualcomm MSM8974AC, but this has yet to be confirmed. The S5 represents the latest escalation of the sensor war, adding more such devices than IHS has ever detected in a smartphone design. Whereas a typical smartphone design might feature an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer, the S5 features all of those plus a barometric pressure sensor, and two additions: fingerprint and pulse sensors.

For the first time, Samsung has added a fingerprint sensor to its Galaxy line, following Apple's lead with iPhone 5S.

The pulse sensor is the Maxim MAX86900. This may seem like an odd choice of sensor to add, but this stems from a recent wave of consumer and OEM interest in activity monitors and other wearable devices that also feature pulse monitoring and other health and vital statistics tracking features.

Samsung uses a number of different sources for the sensors, depending on the model built. The accelerometer/gyroscope component in the individual S5 torn down by IHS is from InvenSense Inc., whereas the S4 featured a unit from STMicroelectronics.

The electronic compass in the S5 torn down by IHS comes from Asahi Kasei Microelectronics; in the Samsung S4, IHS found compasses from both Asahi and Yamaha, depending on the variant of the S4 design. The barometric pressure sensor found in the S5 torn down is from STMicroelectronics, whereas both previously torn down S4 variants feature Bosch Sensortec. It's important to note that different variants can employ distinct components from diverse supplier both in the sensor area and other sections of the design.

The individual S5 torn down by IHS was sold in the South Korean market and included a television receiver, the FC8080 T-DMB tuner/demodulator from Silicon Motion. The U.S. version is unlikely to include this chip, IHS said. Furthermore, IHS expects that versions sold by AT&T, Verizon and other global carriers may have other minor modifications.

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