Acquired Electronics360

Mobile Devices

HTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet Teardown

30 November 2012
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

Overview / Main Features

The HTC Flyer P510e is a tablet with an Android 2.4 Gingerbread (with HTC's own "HTC Sense" user interface overlay), a 7" diagonal 1024 x 600 pixel display with a special kind of touchscreen that is its standout feature. The touchscreen performs simultaneously and seamlessly - both conventional finger multitouch performance, but can also be used with digitizer pens. Other features of the HTC Flyer include aluminum unibody construction - comes with 32GB of MLC NAND flash on board (and 1GB of Mobile DDR2 DRAM - which is increasingly common with newer generation apps processors - whether tablet or smartphone). This model features both WiFi a/b/g/n, and 3G wireless connectivity, via application of a Qualcomm SnapDragon 1GHz MSM8255 Processor. Other features include two camera modules (one 5MP auto focus, and a secondary front-facing 1.3MP) and HDMI output.

HTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet_(iSi) - Device View 1HTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet_(iSi) - Device View 1

Again, despite all the features the Flyer has (and it does), the key differentiator with iPad is clearly the additional pen functionality. Ever since the iPhone was released in 2007, it seems most manufacturers looked upon a stylus or pen as a relic that indicated your touchscreen was an outmoded resistive touchscreen - which until 2007 - most touchscreens were. The last 4 years have been spent, by the OEMs, trying to me too the iPhone's standout touch performance - and here we have come full circle with the digitizer pen working in parallel with multitouch. Clearly N-trig, the touchscreen manufacturer, have come up with a digitizer system that provides seamless duality with multitouch without pricing the feature out of an acceptable BOM cost range in the competitive tablet market.

HTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet_(iSi) - Main PCB TopHTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet_(iSi) - Main PCB Top
It is also interesting to note that all of the support circuitry for this touchscreen is N-Trig labeled silicon. Though Atmel and Cypress offer many of the ICs used in touchscreen control slots for conventional capacitive multitouch, Synaptics also takes this approach - which is to provide a turn-key touch solution complete with control circuitry of their own design, and not offer the silicon independent of the whole solution.

Otherwise - the core of the design is tightly integrated because of the application of the Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 which provides (unlike Apple and Samsung designs) a single applications processor that doubles as baseband processor. Ultimately - because of this choice and the use of other Qualcomm chips (a dual mode QTR8600 RF Transceiver and M8058 power management IC) which are typical companion chips - it keeps designs simple for HTC and shortens cycle times for designs.

HTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet_(iSi) - Main PCB Top (cont)HTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet_(iSi) - Main PCB Top (cont)
Target Market

General Consumers

Released

May 2011

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - Based on a cursory internet search - pricing for this version (32GB with 3G) of the flyer sells for roughly $600 to $670 USD at the time of writing (Aug 2011) presumably unlocked in all cases, though not all proclaim unlocked status.

The 16GB WiFi only sells for ~$500 USD at Best Buy as a point of reference at the time of writing (Aug 2011).

Availability - North America & Europe verified

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have applied a lifetime production volume of approximately 500 K units.

As a reminder, teardown volume production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed volumes are different by an order of magnitude, minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis because of this.

HTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet_(iSi) - Main PCB BottomHTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet_(iSi) - Main PCB Bottom
Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers (~81% of Total Materials Cost)

$59.00 - LG Display - LD070WS2-SL01 - Display Module - 7.0" Diagonal TFT LCD, 1024 x 600 Pixels, Wide Viewing Angle

$53.50 - N-trig - Touchscreen / Display Window - 7.0" Diagonal, Capacitive, Film/Glass, Tablet Pen Compatible

$44.00 - Samsung Semiconductor - KLMBG8FEJA-A001 - Flash - eMMC NAND, 32GB, MLC

$25.5 - Elpida - EDB8064B2PD-6D-F - SDRAM - Mobile DDR2, 1GB, PoP

$25.19 - Qualcomm - MSM8255AB - Apps / Baseband Processor - Quad-Band GSM/EDGE, HSDA+, 1.5GHz CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, gpsOne, 45nm, PoP

$11.29 - Enclosure, Main, Bottom - Machined Aluminum, Anodized, Printed

$10.40 - BG41200 - Battery - Li-Ion Polymer, 3.7V, 4000mAh

$8.41 - Primary Camera Module - 5.0MP, FSI CMOS, 1/4" Format, Auto Focus Lens

$7.43 - Qualcomm - QTR8600 - RF Transceiver - Dual Mode, GSM/EDGE/EVDOrB/HSPA+, Multi-Band, Integrated Bluetooth & FM, Receive Diversity, 65nm RF CMOS

$5.59 - Panasonic - 10-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, Stacked Via, Lead-Free

Direct Materials$309.46

Direct Materials + Manufacturing $319.02



What Is Not Included in our Cost Analysis

The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing with basic test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself - cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM's margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

Manufacturing Notes

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

Based on device markings, we've based our analysis with the final assembly in Taiwan. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were also sourced in China.

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of "finished" sub-assemblies (such as wall power charger), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.

Remember also that labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. "Auto" inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The HTC Flyer handset has an overall component count of 1480 (excluding box contents) - which incidentally makes it about on par with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE (when the touchscreens are counted as a single unit). Overall - most tablet designs, one would expect to see more complexity and higher components than smartphones (typically closer to 1000 components or so), and this unit meets that expectation.

Component counts have a direct bearing on the overall manufacturing cycle times and costs, and also can increase or decrease overall yields and re-work. Our calculations of manufacturing costs factor counts and more qualitative complexities in the design.

Note that manual labor has a much smaller effect on auto-insertion assembly lines (for the Main PCB, for example), where manufacturing costs are much more capital equipment intensive and driven by these investment costs.

HTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet_(iSi) - Display ModuleHTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet_(iSi) - Display Module
Design Notes

The HTC Flyer design revolves, from a cost perspective, as many other devices do (in the "post iPhone release" age), the user interface elements - with a big budgetary focus on the display and the touchscreen. The iPad is one of the best examples of this focus - where an inordinate amount of the budget and design go into these two elements - which are so critical to user experience. The HTC Flyer first features and LG Display 7.0" Diagonal TFT LCD, 1024 x 600 Pixels with Wide Viewing Angle (LD070WS2-SL01).

And the HTC Flyer, with its unusual hybrid touchscreen that can perform both multitouch capacitive functions as well as work as a digitizer tablet simultaneously definitely spends a lot of budget dollars in this area. N-Trig have a unique hybrid touch solution that requires quite a few ICs of their own design to provide a turnkey solution to a manufacturer like HTC. This includes 3 different chips for control of the screen and touchpen from Chipidea, Fujitsu and an unknown source) with names like A-Trig (touchscreen drivers from Chipidea) and D-trig (tablet pen / touchscreen controller from Fujitsu) and S-Trig (controller for the pen).

The core of the electronic design is the Qualcomm MSM8255 which is normally a 1GHz processor, but has been tweaked to 1.5GHz with an "AB" variation seen on the die - making it an MSM8255AB - which is a baseband processor and apps processor - which provides quad-band GSM/EDGE, HSDA+ functionality, the aforementioned 1.5GHz CPU as well as an Adreno 205 GPU and GPS functionality. As is typical of Qualcomm-centered designs, there is a suite of associated chips (RF Transceiver QTR8600 and Power Management PM8058 ICs).

The onboard memory in the HTC Flyer in this configuration is 32GB (16GB also is available) of eMMC NAND flash from Samsung, as well as 1GB of package on package DDR2 DRAM in support of the Qualcomm processor.

Here is a summary of the major components used in the HTC Flyer design:

Display / Touchscreen

  • Display - LG Display - LD070WS2-SL01 - 7.0" Diagonal TFT LCD, 1024 x 600 Pixels, Wide Viewing Angle
  • Touchscreen - N-trig - 7.0" Diagonal, Capacitive, Film/Glass, Tablet Pen Compatible
  • (The touchscreen solution is turnkey, and as such comes with its own PCBs with custom supporting circuitry: A-Trig Drivers (4 chips in all - dies are labeled "Chipidea". And a D-Trig controller (1 chip) from Fujitsu. The pen that works with the screen is also from N-trig and contains its own "S-Trig" control chip which presumably also has an RF element that signals pressure back to the tablet (via IR sensing).

Main PCB

Apps / Baseband Processing

  • Qualcomm - MSM8255AB - Quad-Band GSM/EDGE, HSDA+, 1.5GHz CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, gpsOne, 45nm, PoP

Memory

  • DRAM - Elpida - EDB8064B2PD-6D-F - Mobile DDR2, 1GB, PoP
  • NAND Flash - Samsung Semiconductor - KLMBG8FEJA-A001 - eMMC NAND, 32GB, MLC

RF / PA

  • RF Transceiver - Qualcomm - QTR8600 - Dual Mode, GSM/EDGE/EVDOrB/HSPA+, Multi-Band, Integrated Bluetooth & FM, Receive Diversity, 65nm RF CMOS
  • (Multiple PAMS from Skyworks and Avago)

Power Management

  • PMIC - Qualcomm - PM8058 - Power Management IC

User Interface and Sensors

  • HD Link Transmitter - Silicon Image - SiI9232 - HDCP1.2, 25MHz-75MHz, Up to 1080p@24/30Hz, 24Bit RGB / 24Bit YCbCr, 8 Audio Channels
  • Audio Codec - Texas Instruments - TLV320AIC3254IRHB - Stereo, 100dB SNR DAC, 93dB SNR ADC, 4.1mW 48Ksps DAC Playback, 6.1mW 48Ksps ADC Record, w/ Embedded DSP
  • LVDS Transmitter - Texas Instruments - SN75LVDS83BZQLR - Contain 4 7-Bit Parallel-Load Serial-Out Shift Registers, 5 LVDS Line Drivers & a 7X Clock Synthesizer

Sensors

  • Accelerometer - Bosch Sensortec - BMA150 - 3-Axis, 2g/4g/8g, Digital Output
  • Ambient / Visible Light Sensor - Capella Microsystems

BT / FM / GPS / WLAN

  • Broadcom - BCM4329EKUBG - Bluetooth/FM/WLAN - Single Chip, WLAN IEEE802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth V2.1+EDR, FM Radio Receiver and Transmitter, 65nm

Camera Modules

  • Primary - 5.0MP, FSI CMOS, 1/4" Format, Auto Focus Lens
  • Secondary - 1.3MP, FSI CMOS, 1/6" Format, Fixed Lens


HTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet_(iSi) - Box ContentsHTC Flyer (Wi-Fi + 3G) Tablet_(iSi) - Box Contents



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