SAN FRANCISCO—Microsoft Corp.'s Kinect motion-gaming add on for its Xbox 360 gaming platform carries a bill-of-materials (BOM) of roughly $56 and features chips made by PrimeSense Ltd., Marvell Technology Group Ltd., Texas Instruments Inc. and STMicroelectronics NV, according to a teardown analysis performed by UBM TechInsights.
"Basically, the strength of the design is the huge design win for the Israeli fabless company PrimeSense," said Allan Yogasingam, a technical marketing manager at UBM TechInsights. "They’ve provided the most innovative portion of the Kinect with their image processor, audio and video interface."
The Kinect includes four audio microphones on the front console that pinpoint where a user is standing by auditory projection, according to the UBM TechInsights analysis. The system also detects motion by using one infrared camera—classified as Class 1, which indicates that it's not LED-based— and two image sensors, the firm said. The image sensor include one with 32-bit color VGA resolution RGB and one monochrome 16-bit QVGA, UBM TechInsights said.
"The future applications of this technology could be fascinating," Yogasingam said. "I can see this being incorporated into televisions—allowing users to chang the channel by waving their hand, essentially replacing the remote control."
Of the roughly $56 BOM, about $17 is attributed to the cost of the PrimeSense reference system, including the cameras, microphones and processor, UBM TechInsights said. Microsoft is planning to retail the Kinect system for $149, and stands to make a healthy profit on each unit, UBM TechInsights noted.
Microsoft is estimating that it will sell 5 million Kinect units by Christmas, a boost for PrimeSense, Marvell, TI, STMicro and the system's other component suppliers, UBM TechInsights said.
Kinect is Microsoft's initial foray into motion gaming, a category popularized—and dominated—by Nintendo Co.'s Wii. Sony Corp. also recently through its hat into the ring with a $99 bundle for its PlayStation 3, Sony Move, which UBM TechInsights performed a teardown analysis of last month.
UBM TechInsights is a division of United Business Media, the parent company of EE Times.
A listing of the major parts found by UBM TechInsights within Kinect:
PrimeSense PS1080-A2 - PS1080 SoC image sensor processor (works with CMOS image sensor and an IR light source)
Marvell 88AP1-BJD2 – Possible Marvell camera interface controller
@LarryM99: did you eventually handover the Kinect to your nephew?!!
Seriously, I would like to do a teardown of the motion sensing SOC from PrimeSense. Perhaps they can integrate more functions into this SoC to reduce/eliminate the board foot print of other components? This is one area where there will be growth in the coming years via chip stacking.
Dr. MP Divakar
What is the Marvell "camera interface controller" (which looks to me like an ARM application processor - with 64 Mbytes of DDR2 - and also a heat sink, see the iFixit teardown) for? I thought the PrimeSense chip and subsystem does basically everything needed internally, yet the Kinect has, in addition to the PrimeSense subsystem, a USB hub and (what appears to be) a second, quite powerful processor. Colour me confused.
Really? What problems are you experiencing with your 360? If yours isn't working, why have you not returned it for repair?
We have 4 XBox (1 x v1, 3 x 360) in our house and only one has ever failed. Returned it to MS and a week later we had a repaired XBox with an extended warranty.
FWIW, we bought our family an early XMas present this year - our Kinect. It has been an absolute smash-hit so far and has made us all ache and sweat more than I ever thought a video games console would :)
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