Among the chip suppliers in the Nexus 7 are familiar companies like Maxim, providing the main power management IC (MAX77612A), and Texas Instruments with two design wins also related to the power management. Hynix also won a socket for memory with its 2 Gb DDR3 SDRAM modules on the main board. We also found a 8-Gb memory module from Kingston manufactured by SanDisk/Toshiba and a PN65 NFC secure module from NXP. The latter device was recently found in the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Broadcom was another notable design winner with it BCM4330 802.11n with Bluetooth wireless transceiver and BCM4751 integrated GPS receiver. The BCM4330 is paired with an AzureWave AW-NH665 802.11n Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM radio module.
Among the chip makers not usually seen in tablets is ELAN Microelectronics, which provided controllers for the Nexus 7’s touchscreen. We have previously seen ELAN microcontrollers in handsets manufactured for the Chinese market, so the Nexus 7 represents a major design win for the Taiwanese vendor.
The combination of a high-end processor, a multitude of applications optimized for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and a $199 price tag for the 8 Gb model give Google a chance to make a dent in the tablet market. Early indications are that the pre-orders for the Nexus 7 are substantial. If Google succeeds with Nexus 7, the pressure will grow on Apple to introduce its own 7-inch model, the protests of the late Steve Jobs notwithstanding.
Nvidia Tegra 3: Quad-core mobile applications processor
Hynix H5TC2G83CFR: 2 Gb DDR3 SDRAM
Kingston KE44B026BN: 8GB memory module
Realtek (RMC) ALC5642: Audio codec and headphone amplifier
InvenSense MPU-6050: Six-axis (gyro and accelerometer) MEMS device
AzureWave AW-NH665: 802.11n Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM radio module
NXP Semiconductor PN65: Secure NFC module
Back side view of the Nexus 7 communications board (click on image to enlarge).
Allan Yogasingam is a technical research manager at UBM TechInsights, a sister company to EE Times. For a closer look at the UBM TechInsights teardown analysis of the Nexus 7, please visit the firm's website.
It still amazes me that today what is more powerful than the 386 motherboards I looked at when I first got into this business is routinely fitted onto a couple small dogleg boards that wrap around a display.