What's new and different in the iPhone 4S, compared to the original iPhone 4? That's what UBM TechInsights sought to find out when we did this teardown of a spanking new, white 4S.
Most notable is the fact that the handset works across multiple carrier platforms such as GSM and CDMA. This isn't surprising, as such a capability was evident in the Verizon version of the iPhone 4. That version incorporated the first use of Qualcomm’s MDM6600 -- a chipset that was already capable of working across both GSM and CDMA mobile standards. The 4S is available on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.
The foundation for a world phone was set, and our discovery of Qualcomm MDM6610 confirmed our initial speculation that the Verizon iPhone 4 was precursor for this design change. As well, the 4S finalizes Apple’s switch from Infineon to Qualcomm. Qualcomm was able to secure, not only the design win of the MDM6610, but also the RTR8605 RF transceiver and its PM8028 power management device.
Click the image below to view a slideshow of the iPhone 4S in various stages of disassembly:
UBM TechInsights, which specializes in intellectual property analysis, got its hands on one of the first iPhone 4S models
and did this teardown.
Another major hardware winner in the 4S is Broadcom. Not only did Broadcom maintain its socket from the iPhone 4, it convinced Apple to upgrade to one of its newer devices, the BCM4330 802.11n WiFi/Bluetooth/FM Radio chipset. This is the second major design win for Broadcom, which saw the same IC incorporated in the very popular Samsung Galaxy S II handset.
The second biggest change from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S is one that was telegraphed with the release of the iPad 2. (See also Slideshow: Apple iPad 2 Teardown.) The selection of the Apple A5 dual-core processor should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Apple’s tendency to use its tablet format as a precursor to a new processor. Just as the use of the A4 processor in the iPad2 presaged its use in the iPhone 4, the iPad 2 and the introduction of the A5 processor within its casing foretold its use in the iPhone 4S.
Other winners for design sockets were TriQuint, Skyworks, Texas Instruments, and STMicroelectronics.
As for the main processor, after making its first appearance inside the Apple iPad 2, the Apple A5 dual-core processor has now found its way into the iPhone 4S. The Apple A5 features two ARM cores and supports Low Power DDR2 DRAM memory.
Much like the processor found in the iPad 2, this version of the A5 is nearly identical in terms of die width and die length -- which is a good indicator that this version of the A5 is manufactured at the 45nm process node again. A cross-section is required to determine whether this version of the A5 is manufactured by someone other than Samsung (such as TSMC), but early indications show that this is most likely from Samsung.
On the software side, the highest profile feature is Siri, the "personal assistant," which responds to voice commands.
Here's a list of iPhone 4S components:
- Apple A5 Dual-core processor – Package-on-Package implementation also featuring
Elpida B4064B2PF-8D-F – Elpida 512 MB of Low-power DDR2 DRAM (SI#26521)
- Qualcomm RTR8605 Multimode RF Transceiver
- AGD8 2132 – STMicroelectronics L3G4200DH 3-Axis Digital MEMS Gyroscope Module
- 33DH - STMicroelectronics LIS331DLH 3-Axis MEMS Accelerometer Module
- Apple 338S0987 – Cirrus Logic CLI1560B0 Audio Codec
- TriQuint TQM9M9030 Multimode Quad-Band Power Amplifier Module
- TriQuint TQM666052 Bias Control Power Amplifier
- Avago ACPM-7381-TR1 UMTS2100 4x4 Power Amplifier
- Skyworks SKY 77464-20 Load-Insensitive Power Amplifier module for WCDMA/HSUPA bands
- Qualcomm MDM6610 Baseband Chipset Solution
- Qualcomm PM8028 Power Management IC
- Apple 338S0973 – Dialog Semiconductor D1881A Power Management Chip
- Toshiba THGVX1G7D2GLA08 16 GB MLC NAND Flash Memory
- Murata SW SS1919013 – Wireless module featuring Broadcom BCM4330 MAC/Baseband/Radio with Integrated Bluetooth and FM Transceiver
For further reading:
- To order the complete UBM TechInsights teardown report on the 4S, click here and fill in the form on the page's upper right.
- See the Design News story, Slideshow: Apple iPad 2 Teardown.
- Additional information on UBM TechInsights' open market reports and teardowns is available here.
- UBM TechInsights' complete teardown report on the Apple iPad 2 can be purchased here.
- The Samsung Galaxy teardown from DesignCon is posted here.
- The HP TouchPad Tablet teardown is posted here.