"Before the iPad 2 was released, we speculated that Apple's design patterns would suggest the iPad 2 would borrow heavily from the Verizon iPhone 4 (and Motorola Xoom) by selecting a Qualcomm multi-mode-ready radio," said David Carey, vice president of TechIntelligence, part of UBM TechInsights.
"It turned out be the exact same radio as found in the iPhone 4 and Motorola Xoom available from Verizon," said Carey.
"In terms of the processor, the A5's general specifications match the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor studied in the Motorola Xoom so CPU costs we assume comparable price of about $15-$20, but we'll have a better understanding of the cost by looking at the A5's details to learn more," he said.
"We can use past history to speculate and estimate component costs that the iPad 2 has an approximate $270 cost for Bill of Materials (BoM)," Carey said. "Apple's volumes and [reuse] will certainly factor in keeping BOM costs competitive to their tablet competition," he added.
"We will not know the full story until [we have done] full-scale research of every component in the iPad 2, but given Apple's consistent pricing for the iPad 2 versus its predecessor, we expect to see iPad 2 BOM cost estimates to align closely to those of the first generation iPad from its mid-2010 launch," Carey said.
The components on the main logic board (below) include:
@notnotme: Apple did buy PA Semi apparently to gain microprocessor design expertise, but analysts have concluded Apple did NOT use its PowerPC based design. Instead they concluded Apple used a a Samsung Hummingbird core based on an ARM Cortex A8 core. See http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4200451/Apple-s-A4-dissected-discussed--and-tantalizing
Chipworks has posted a floorplan of the A5 showing the main IP blocks.
Thanks for posting this link. If I'm not mistaken, the upgrade from one Cortex A8 to two A9 cores was pretty much expected, as was the Imagination Technologies GPU.
As the chipworks blog writer said, "quite a lot of horsepower!"
@DestroCom and @Frank Eory
IOSnoops claims that the A5 is using two A9 cores thru software reverse-engineering. TechInsights has done the same floorplan analysis on the A5 but further research is required before we can definitively say that the cores are indeed ARM Cortex A9. It proves a little more difficult in the flexibility of design that comes from selecting these cores.
We do know it's not the ARM A8 though in dual use. We would be able to see that quickly considering it is the same 45nm process from Samsung that was applied to A5 that was on the A4.
That core was also seen in the Hummingbird:
The differentiation in this business (xPad) will come from Software , Display Quality and overall power consumption .SoCs from different vendors all using similar ARM core will be only relevant from power consumption point of view as all of them will have more processing power than what any xPad will need.
@RickMerritt: would it be possible to do a similar teardown on Samsung's galaxy tabs?
Also, the package-on-package (PoP) in A4 was functionally mapped into a lateral design in A5 with much more functionality. It would nice to explore if some functions can be moved to a vertical substrate via 3D TSV's in A5 and further shrink the floor space? My hunch is some one at Apple is working along that line of thought...
@RickMerritt: I found the link to a Samsung Galaxy teardown at the portal of EDN (a sister publication of EE Times):
Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet teardown:
Unfortunately it is a collection of videos and leaves a lot to be desired. So it is still worthwhile to get snapshots of the the teardown along with technical descriptions. Thanx.
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