The AAPL iPad Tear-Down Update
Linear Tech (LLTC) now has two parts, a LTC4099 USB power manager with I2C control, and what I suspect is a LTC3442 DC to DC regulator.
A Texas Instruments (TXN) TPS61045 Boost Convertor was identified. This makes three parts for TXN when you include the CD3240A touch screen controller and a TS3USB221 high-speed USB MUX/DEMUX Switch.
Broadcom (BRCM) also has three, two in the touch screen controller circuit (BCM5974CKFB6H and BCM5973KFBGH) and the BCM4329XKUBG WiFi (supports IEEE-802.11a/b/g/n) /Bluetooth chip.
While it appears that Intersil (ISIL) has a device in the iPad, there has not yet been a clear definition of its function. In taking hints from the numbers on the chip it appears it might be a boost converter used for the display. However, in past
Apple (AAPL) designs, the company has frequently used an analog switch from ISIL in conjunction with the USB port. Defining this is, of course, more to satisfy curiosity than it is anything else.
There are two Samsung 1Gb DRAM chips included in the AAPL A4 processor package (the A4 is actually a multi-chip package with the two DRAMs attached directly to the processor). It’s believed that Samsung, which has been the supplier of processors for the iPhone, fabricated AAPL’s custom design A4 processor, but there is no confirmation of this yet. Samsung, however, has been identified as the supplier for the core NAND Flash memory with a pair of K9LCG08U1M-LCBO; each supporting 8GB (64Gb).
Rounding this out are other chips previously identified:
NXP NXP L0614, which is a MUX / DeMUX for DisplayPort and PCIe connections
STMicro (STM) STM-LIS331DLH, which I believe is a multi-axis MEMS device with on chip logic to sense the orientation of the iPad (portrait or landscape) and adjust the display as appropriate for viewing.
Cirrus Logic (CRUS) (marked with AAPL part number externally, but the die shows the name Cirrus), which is suspected to be an audio controller
The display itself is thought to come from South Korean firm LG
There are still three IC’s in the iPad that have not yet been identified.
Interesting to note is the fact that the touch screen circuitry is reminiscent of the 2G iPhone model as opposed to the simplified design used in the 3G version. This implies the iPad design has been going for quite some time and that when a new generation of the iPad is released we may see it adopt the newer single-chip touch screen design from TXN that is used in the 3G iPhone.
At the bottom line, when we add the handset chips found in the FCC documents, the inside of the iPad is very much like the outside – an iPhone on “steroids.” Or, if we exclude the 3G functions, an iPod touch, which is basically an iPhone without the phone function. However, the way I see it, that’s a good thing; that means there are about 85M (combined sales for iPod Touch and iPhone as reported by AAPL earlier this month) people who already know how to work an iPad. This is a very central part of the AAPL ecosystem leverage strategy.
Disclosure: At the time of this publication, out of the companies discussed herein, Paul McWilliams had long positions in AAPL, STM, and TXN.
On a year-to-date basis, the Next Inning portfolio has returned 53% versus 23% for the S&P 500.
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