When The Apple iPad was introduced in June, it changed the face of the tablet computing industry. Numerous other tablets have been announced since that time, including Research in Motion’s PlayBook and the Dell Streak, but none with the fanfare and excitement that accompanied the iPad’s rollout.
Samsung, with the recent release of the Galaxy Tab (an extension on the popular Galaxy S line of phones), hopes to bite into Apple’s market share with a tablet platform designed to give the iPad real competition.
From Apple’s perspective, Samsung is a familiar foe; the South Korean company had already registered on Apple’s radar with the release of the Galaxy S, a very well-received smartphone that features a vivid AMOLED touchscreen and runs the Android platform for apps.
Much as Apple has used the iPhone as a launchpad for the development of new products, Samsung, with the Galaxy Tab, has looked to replicate the success of the Galaxy S handset by extending many of that phone’s best qualities to the tablet platform.
So what design choices did Samsung make to ensure its Android-based tablet would be a worthy adversary to the iPad? We looked inside to find out.
The first thing we noticed was the reuse of the Hummingbird processor first seen in the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant. The 1-GHz S5PC110, which features the same ARM A8 core as seen in the Apple A4, was most likely chosen for ease of implementation and because using the same processor across platforms can help contain overall processor component costs. With the use of the Hummingbird, Samsung seems to have adopted the Apple business model of using its own processor as the cornerstone of its design to contain costs during product development. Expect to see the S5PC110 in numerous Samsung devices going forward.
The comparisons between the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Tab don’t end with the processor. Samsung continues to promote its own products with the use of the KB100D00YM memory package-on-package (PoP), containing 8 Gbits of multilevel-cell (MLC) Flex OneNAND, 1 Gbit of OneDRAM and 3 Gbits of mobile DDR DRAM.
The Galaxy Tab also shares with its smaller cousin, the Vibrant, the same RF transceiver (Infineon’s PMB5703) and audio codec (Wolfson Microelectronics’ WM8994E).
Broadcom continues to rack up the design wins in Samsung platforms, with use of the BCM4329 Bluetooth/FM/WLAN single-chip solution and BCM4751 GPS receiver carrying over from the Galaxy S to the Tab.
TriQuint Semiconductor design wins have also carried over from the Samsung Galaxy S to the Galaxy Tab; both platforms use TriQuint’s TQM6M9014 switch with its TQM626028L and TQM666022 duplexers.
Other notable component choices include the Galaxy Tab’s use of the same three-dimensional digital MEMS gyroscope (STMicroelectronics’ L3G4200D) found in the Apple iPad and the same touchscreen controller (Atmel’s MXT224) found in the Samsung Wave.
SanDisk, for its part, provides flash memory in the form of a memory package that features 16 Gbytes of MLC NAND flash (Toshiba dice) and a SanDisk memory controller.
A parts list for the Galaxy Tab is provided on the next page of this article.
About the author
Allan Yogasingam is technical marketing analyst for UBM TechInsights.
|With a design win for its low-power 802.11n-plus-Bluetooth chip in the newest Samsung tablet, Broadcom
has established itself as the solution for single-chip Bluetooth/WLAN/FM. |
|Samsung uses its own 1-GHz ARM Cortex A8-based application processor in the Galaxy Tab, as it did in the Wave and Galaxy S Vibrant. The S5PC110 was chosen not only to advance Samsung's goal to be the leader in apps processors but also because it helps optimize the tablet's battery life.|
|This STMicroelectronics 3-D digital MEMS gyroscope made its consumer market debut in the Apple iPhone 4. Samsung now is adopting the device for use in tablets, opening opportunities for Android application designers to create software that takes advantage of full three-dimensional movement.|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab|