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  • Teardown of the Apple iPhone SE; reveals mashup of iPhone 5 & 6S series chips

    The first teardown of Apple's iPhone SE is here and as expected the handset's logic board is combined parts mostly borrowed from iPhone 5s and iPhone 6/6s, with a few new chips thrown in to keep the platform fresh.



    Silicon experts at Chipworks said "the new 4-inch iPhone might appear identical to the iPhone 5s it replaces, but a bevy of new chips, not the least of which being an iPhone 6s-class A9 processor, makes it a unique addition Apple's lineup. Indeed, the PCB looks like a parts bin dive."


    The A9 SoC, the firm notes its Verizon unit came with a chip bearing part number APL1022, meaning it came from Apple partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

    '1604' date code suggests the chip was produced only nine weeks ago. Apple is using system memory from SK Hynix, which appears to be the same 2 gigabyte LPDDR4 mobile DRAM from iPhone 6S.


    Apple's A9 SoC (left) and NXP's secure NFC module.

    Apple tapped NXP to bring NFC touchless payments to its low-cost iPhone. Like the iPhone 6s, iPhone SE boasts an NXP 66V10 module that incorporates the Secure Element 008 and an ear-field communications controller labeled NXP PN549. Chipworks said the SE's InvenSense 6-axis inertial sensor also made its way from iPhone 6s.

    Dating back to 2014's iPhone 6 is a Qualcomm MDM9625M modem and WTR1625L RF transceiver.

    While there is still much to discover about this new iPhone, what is becoming clear is that this is not your typical Apple release. There are very few new parts, but that hardly means there is no innovation. As is the genius of Apple and its fearless leader, Mr. Cook, it is the combination of all the right parts that make a successful product. Finding that just-right balance of old and new, and at such a low cost, is no easy feat.

    There are several components in the iPhone SE that we have seen before. There are also some components we have never seen before. These new devices include a Skyworks SKY77611 power amplifier module, a Texas Instruments 338S00170 power management IC, the Toshiba THGBX5G7D2KLDXG NAND flash, an EPCOS D5255 antenna switch module, and an AAC Technologies 0DALM1 microphone. To understand what is inside these devices we will need to do some deprocessing to examine the silicon inside. Stay tuned for updates while our lab does what they do so well official first weekend sales numbers, though reports indicate pre-orders surpassed 3.4 million units in China alone.

    [via Chipworks]
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Love these articles. Always enjoy seeing what all is crammed in these tiny pieces of hardware.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      It's not worth what there asking for it, using old tech; imo