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iPhone 4 Teardown Analysis!

Our fantastic friends over at iFixit got lucky and scored an iPhone 4 yesterday. They were nice enough to share some images – let the analysis begin!
Apple really has built a fantastic device. From the super durable “strong as crystal” display, to the minimal construction tolerances to the amazing CNC’d Steel “cage” which acts as both core structure and antenna. Once again, they’ve set the standard every other design house and ODM will try to meet. Count our words, we’ll be seeing less fake “metal” surrounding the edges of our non-Apple devices in the near future.
Dr.Wreck really likes the fact that the so-called “bevel” on these things is made of steel. As you probably guessed, he’s hard on his phones. Drop your BlackBerry 8800 + once and you’re sure to see some battle scars.
Steel Bevels, Hard as crystal front and back? Oh man, this thing sounds scratch proof – I wonder how it will withstand drops?
For all your teardown needs, make sure to check out ifixit’s, step-by-step. They’ve snapped some beautiful shots of the process.
Once the EM/Heat shields are removed, We see the surprisingly compact PCB. Compare this thing to the first Gen iPhone and be amazed. Heck, compare it to a current Gen, HTC device – it’s unbelievable. IC integration/convergence has come such a long way.
Of course, the first thing we see is Samsung’s A4 processor. This is the same core we find in the iPad and boy does it hum. Fixed function, software/hardware ecosystems really do work well. Compare this with the 3Gs (S5PC100 ARM A8 CPU) We’ve got nearly double the processing capability. This thing will literally leave the 3G/3Gs iPhone’s in the dust. We’re on Jobs’ side, how can you support the original 2G with so much additional capability and power?
Technical Specifications at a glance:
  • PowerVR SGX 535 3D Graphics Core
  • 1GHz Cortex-A8
  • L1 cache – 64KB
  • L2 Cache – 640KB
  • P0P – 2X 256MB DDR SDRAM chips, 64-bit data bus
The iPhone 4 also introduces the brand-new AGD1 3-axis gyroscope. Think you’re accelerometer was fun? There’s an app for that. We’re not too sure who makes it, ifixit thinks STmicro. It’s possible, Apple likes to take proprietary dibs on hardware.
Move a little further along and we see plenty of Skyworks logos. The devices in question are all either FEM’s or PowerAmps. STmicro provides the accelerometer – STM33DH (why isn’t this an MCP with the gyroscope if both are STmicro?)  and Triquint rounds out the board with the ever popular TQM duplexers/power amps.
WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS are all provided by Broadcomm, the BCM4329FKUBG does 802.11n and 2.1+EDR/FM, similar to the 3Gs with added “n” functionality. The separate BCM4750IUB8 does GPS.
Flipping this puppy over reveals the flash memory, looks like Apples big deal with Samsung has held out, this particular model grabs the K9PFG08, yet another proprietary piece. We can’t help but think this NAND has a built in controller.
Bumping along, we see the Cirrus Logic 338S0589 audio codec, the same device that powers iPad’s audio. Compass functionality is provided by AKM8975, Touch Screen Controller is by TI (343S0499) and looks like Infineon brings in the Baseband memory win with the 36MY1EE NOR/DDR.
And that’s it! Hang in there for our review coming in hot over the next few days. Thanks again to ifixit for providing such fantastic photos and working hard to get the device.