Avago scores a socket trifecta as the source of both WCDMA Power Amplifiers (ACPM-7381 and ACPM-7391) as well as the GPS Low Noise Amplifier (ALM-1412). Wireless peripherals are dominated by TI, starting with the BRF6300 Single-Chip Bluetooth solution. Wi-Fi silicon occupies a small modular circuit board governed by TI parts, most notably the well-known WL1251B 802.11b/g WLAN IC and its companion WLAN Power Amplifier WL1251FE. In general, the chipset contains few surprises and many well-tested configurations.
And lest we forget that the G1/Dream is an HTC concoction, a quick look at recent offerings from the Taiwanese phone maker reveals a few hints about lineage. The 3.2-MP autofocus camera bears a striking resemblance to the camera in HTC's Touch Diamond P3700, right down to the layout of the autofocus magnets. The silicon is identical: a 3.2-MP CMOS Image Processor from Aptina Imaging (MT9T013D) and a flip-chip Lens Coil Driver from Analog Devices (AD5398).
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Much has been made of the G1/Dream Touchscreen, whose innovative display housing maintains constant orientation while swiveling along a planar path to cover and uncover a full QWERTY keypad. The display features a 480 x 320, 65-k Color TFT LCD module that bears ID marks from Sharp, flush-mounted beneath a capacitive touch panel.
The Touchscreen Controller is the widely used Synaptics 1007A, mated to the Touch Panel by a Synaptics-branded flex substrate; this suggests that the touch panel itself is also a Synaptics offering, most likely part of the ClearTouch line.
Treading the line between versatility and overkill, the G1/Dream offers three separate interface options, all of which appear available for specific applications. In addition to the Keypad and Touchscreen, we find a small Trackball centered among the phone control keys. Comparisons with the familiar Blackberry trackball are inevitable, and a few zealous users have been quick to blog their preference for one trackball or the other.
In reality, the G1/Dream incorporates the EVQWJN Jog Ball Module from Panasonic, the same module used by RIM on most if not all Blackberry trackball models. To further squash the controversy, the underlying circuitry is necessarily quite similar too, relying on a quartet of Hall Effect Sensors required for standard operation.
Overall, the G1/Dream hosts an impressive array of silicon solutions, but no bombshells. As for "revolution or re-use," in hardware design, it's a case of well-executed re-use. The revolution, if there is one, consists of an inventive new take on slider phone design, a tremendous cooperative product development effort, and the initial salvo from the Open Handset Alliance and Android Open Source Project.
Bob Widenhofer is a Product Analyst at Portelligent, a TechInsights company that produces teardown reports and related industry research on wireless, mobile and personal electronics.