Power management, GPS and wireless networking
Power management in the iPhone 3G is split between two ICs: the communications portion of the device is handled by Infineon's SMARTi Power 3i, while system-level power control and management is handled by NXP (exact device to be determined, though Carey believes it's the #PCF50633, as per the original iPhone.)
The Linear Technology LTC4088-2 takes care of battery charging and general USB power control.
Aside from 3G capability, one of the big differentiators of the new iPhone device is its built-in GPS capability, which is provided by yet another Infineon chip, this time the PMB 2525 Hammerhead II. "In the old one [original iPhone], GPS was software enabled and was accurate to within blocks," said Quirk. "This time it's accurate to within meters."
The Hammerhead II integrates an assisted-GPS (A-GPS) baseband processor with a low-noise GPS RF front end and multi-path mitigation to avoid large errors in urban environments. While the die markings indicate it's actually a PMB 2520 Hammerhead I chip, Quirk pointed out that it's common practice take the same die, make some fairly simplistic connection or routing changes to alter or improve functionality, and then re-label it as a 'new' chip.
For the main applications processor, Apple chose to stick with a tried-and-true Samsung ARM11-based design, with some tweaks, supported by 128 Mbytes of stacked, package-on-package, DDR SDRAM, also from Samsung. Externally, the main memory comes in two versions for the iPhone: 8 Gbytes and 16 Gbytes of NAND flash. In this case, it's 8 Gbytes, but the source was surprising: Toshiba, in the form of a single-chip device segmented into four, 2 Gbyte die (TH58NVG6D1D).
According to Quirk, the choice of Toshiba was unusual given that Apple had a "huge" deal to buy all Samsung memory. It also was reportedly discussing plans for volume purchase of NAND flash chips that will be used in all iPods and iPhones from June to December 2007 (Source: EETimes Asia.)
"To see Toshiba makes me wonder if that deal is no longer in place," he said. Granted, those deals are aging, he acknowledged, "but now that the new iPhones have come out and seem to be using Toshiba, does this mean that Samsung is playing second string to Toshiba? It could mean some good stock boost for Toshiba!"
With regard to the current 16-Gbyte maximum offered with the iPhone 3G, Quirk suspects that may not be enough, given that half a gigabyte can disappear for just one compressed movie. Add photos and MP3 files and Quirk sees that 16 Gbytes getting eaten up pretty fast.
The SST25VF080B 8-Mbit serial flash chip from SST rounds out the iPhone 3G's memory support.
The tried-and-true philosophy symbolic of the new iPhone extends to the accelerometer, the LIS331 DL from STMicroelectronics, as well as the single-chip 88W8686 single-chip Wi-Fi offering from Marvell. The Marvell chip is accompanied on the back of the main board by a CSR BlueCore6-ROM Bluetooth chip, which surprised the analysts, all of whom were expecting to see the same BlueCore4 device used in the original iPhone.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Rounding out the main chips on the iPhone are the Wolfson WM6180C audio codec, which replaces the WM8758 used on the original iPhone, as well as the Broadcom BCM5974 touchscreen controller, National Semiconductor LM2512AA Mobile Pixel Link display interface and the Texas Instruments #CD3239
touch screen line driver.
The new iPhone's touchscreen approach is the same as that of the iPod Touch, said Carey. The Gen1 iPhone had three chips for the touch screen solution: a Broadcom controller, a NXP 32-bit uP, and a TI line driver. The Touch reduced this to just a revised Broadcom chip (which absorbed the microprocessor function) and the TI line driver. "The 3G uses the same Broadcom chip as the Touch, and an updated TI line driver (smaller chip)."
While Apple's rollout of the iPhone 3G may not have been met with the same frenzied reception as the original, its fan base remains strong, according to Yogasingam. "After spending the better part of the night (see: Video: The long wait for iPhone 3G) with people waiting in line for an iPhone, I'm still amazed at how many people have embraced the Apple brand and are willing to do anything to be an early adopter of anything hip and new from Apple. Apple has this air with its fan base that it could do no wrong."
From the TechOnline Community
* The Samsung applications processor contains Imagination Technologies Power VR MBX Lite again (3D HW acceleration) - (hopefully SGX will feature in the Ipod Touch update later this year -- you will be aware of the Samsung manufacturing licence for SGX and video cores with Imagination.) (Thanks, Naveed.)
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