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