Teardown of the HTC EVO 4G Smart Phone

Inside the HTC EVO 4G Smart Phone with a Teardown to the Silicon

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iFixit has documented an excellent teardown with more board-level shots, and we are going to add to the story with a look at some of the less heralded silicon as well to delve a bit deeper into some of the more interesting devices.
HTC EVO Teardown - Cases
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First, the Highlights

The HTC Evo 4G is a 4.3” touch screen Android phone powered by a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It features dual cameras with flash, and 5MB RAM. Oh yeah, and did we mention 4G?

   
HTC EVO Teardown - Qualcomms
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On the board

There are a few key winners on this one. The first and most obvious is Qualcomm who have 3 major socket wins. This is expected since this combination is a reference design chipset by the company.Qualcomm QSD8650 SnapdragonQualcomm RTR6500 CDMA2000 TransceiverQualcomm PM7540 Power Management IC

   
HTC EVO Teardown - Samsungs
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Texas Instruments

We like this one because the TPS65051 6-channel Power Mgmt IC with 2 DC/DCs, 4 LDOs, in 4×4mm QFN is the second TI PMIC design win in a leading edge 3.5 G or greater phone. When TI said they were going into Analog in a bigger way, they did it.We have put it in the lab and will be publishing a die photo soon.Another key design win for Texas Instruments is the TI65200 PMIC for Digital Cameras

   
HTC EVO Teardown - Sequanss
(click image to enlarge)HTC EVO Teardown - SequansDie
Die Photo of Sequans SQN1210HTC EVO Teardown - ElpidaDie
Die Photo of Elpida DRAM
The new kid on the block

An impressive success for a new(ish) player, the Sequans Communications 65 nm SQ1210 Wimax single chip solution that delivers baseband and Triple-band RF: 2.3-2.4, 2.5-2.7, 3.3-3.8 GHz operability.This device hasn’t been seen by anyone that we know, and arrives on site in the worlds first 4G phone. This one was worthy of popping off the PCB and doing a depot, and the die photo is provided. Inside this multi-chip package we see the communications die and an Elpida DRAM. This is different than competitive solutions (i.e. WaveSat/IBM partnership) that are promoted to employ embedded DRAM.Related to this device is one that we are still in the process of identifying (just added to the lab). It is package marked MM 6030 72R1. Given its location and shielding, we expect it to be a PA for the WIMAX module. If any of the readers know otherwise, or want to add to any of this content by sharing some of the other unidentified chips, you can mail us here at insidetechnology@chipworks.com. We’ll get your additions online.

   
HTC EVO Teardown - Die Photo
Die Photo of Atmel Touch Screen Controller
Touch screen controller

Atmel continues to be red hot in touch screen controllers.The Atmel MXT224 is part of their maXTouch ™ family of touch screen controllers and handles the multi-touch functions and gestures. This device has been through are reverse engineering lab and the subject of a full Functional Analysis Report. The die is about 13 mm2 (the larger package is standard sizing for OEM manufacturing) and an interesting bit of technology. This device doesn’t lead at either process generation or number of circuits/devices on chip but Atmel is winning a lot of touch screen sockets so this particular design clearly meets the mark having also won a socket in the Droid Incredible.The Atmel device provides for up to 224 nodes (hence being called MXT224?) and a patented charge transfer technology that allows it to be used even in netbook screens (>10”). It features an SNR of 80:1, and an extremely fast refresh rate. All in all, the nearest competing off-the-shelf touch screen at the time of introduction has only half as many nodes, a screen refresh rate of only 83Hz (66% slower) and an SNR of only 25:1 (66% less). Another thing, it can recognize (first in the industry) not only touch but also stylus, fingernails and gloved hands. Because of the high SNR rate, the device consumes a smaller amount of power and a decreased response time (due to it not being required to make use of extra filtering circuitry).For information on a full Circuit Analysis Report on the analog circuitry visit the report library.

   
HTC EVO Teardown - Xrays
OmniVision 8 Mp Camera x-ray
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HTC EVO Teardown - BlueEdges
OmniVision 1.3 Mp Sensor Die Markings
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2 Design Wins for OmniVision

Interestingly, we have a backside illumination (BSI) 8 Mp image sensor with a 1.4 µm pixel located on the back of the phone and a front side illuminated (BSI) 1.3 Mp sensor on the front of the phone. I doubt that this was a clever marketing ploy since only a reverse engineering company like Chipworks would take the time to look at the die. In fact we already have examined OmniVision’s BSI technology in the OV5642 having completed both a process review and a circuit analysis. If you are interested in more details on OmniVision’s technology then you can visit the report library to learn about the full reverse engineering reports.

   
HTC EVO Teardown - Cross Sections
OmniVision BSI Sensor in SEM X-Section showing the microlenses on the bottom
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HTC EVO Teardown - Cross Section2s
OmniVision FSI Sensor in SEM X-Section showing the microlenses on the top
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More on the Image Sensors

For those who aren’t up to speed on sensor technology, Backside illumination is a new technology that improves the light collection capabilities of the pixels by (simply put) putting the light collecting cathode closer to the lens and away from all that light-blocking circuitry.What the customer of the phone cares about is that these sensors together provide an excellent combination of quality, price (cost of goods), and diminutive size while meeting the performance demands of their application as a primary or secondary camera. Interestingly, secondary cameras are usually VGA and this one appears to up the ante.Only the 1.3 Mp image sensor had die markings, but the packaging technology told us who won both the designs.OmniVision OV8812 8 Mp Image Sensor (suspected from die analysis but this superficial analysis is insufficient to 100% confirm that it is not the OV8810). The other is the OmniVision OV261 1.3 Mp Image Sensor

   
  Other Devices Cataloged

Triquint TQM613029 CDMA PA-Duplexer Module.Avago FEM7758 Front End ModuleTriquint TQM13029 CDMA PAAtmel M88PA MCU with eFlash

Silicon Image P1U0941 HDMI Processor

Samsung KBY00U00VM NAND Flash

We aren’t going to depot every single chip on this phone. If you know what some of the unlisted parts are, then please feel free to email us at insidetechnology@chipworks.com and we’ll update this posting accordingly.

   

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