Overview / Main Features
From a technical perspective, what primarily makes the LN-T4081F of differentiating interest to us is the implementation of the first LED backlit LCD panel we have seen in television (or even laptop) applications. The display utilizes LED backlight technology as opposed to the conventional CCFL backlight. Using special circuitry and localized dimming or 'Smart Lighting' the display provides the unheard of dynamic contrast ratio of 500,000:1.
The Samsung LN-T4081F is a 40 LCD TV with full HD support - up to 1080p resolution. It has a native panel resolution of 1920 horizontal by 1080 vertical pixels and an image aspect ratio of 16:9 with a 178 degree (H & V) viewing angle. The device supports DTV resolutions of 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p.
Additionally, the LN-T4081F has a tuner which is capable of analog and full digital ATSC with Clear QAM. It features four internal speakers capable of 10W outputs with SRS TruSurround XT support in a 2.2 Channel fashion. A wide variety of input / output ports are present on the LN-T4081F, which includes HDMI, component, S-video, optical digital audio out, serial (9-pin D-Sub), and the standard analog / coaxial signals. The unit comes with a stand which can be detached. This model is priced at the higher end of the market to target high-end buyers who value the image quality improvements of the LED backlit panel.
Interestingly, despite the newness of the LED backlighting, the panel construction and supporting electronics were little altered from other Samsung CCFL/LCD TVs recently analyzed. In other words, the main differentiators from a bill of materials perspective is the panel itself, and the supporting DSP PCB. The main AV motherboard is essentially the same as two other Samsung models analyzed by iSuppli. The panel itself featured a different ""Wise View" driver IC (Texas Instruments ""WiseView" THF9301). This device is rolled into the cost and componentry of the panel itself and is not broken out. We assumed that the Smart Lighting and Motion Plus features seems to be primarily handled by the additional of this DSP board which all orbits around a single Altera Cyclone 2 FPGA.
High-end LCD TV consumers.
Exact date unknown - appears to have been released in the Q4 2007 (Oct) timeframe.
Pricing and Availability
The 40" Samsung LN-T4081F LCD TV is currently retail priced at $2799.99 from the Samsung USA website at the time of writing (1/11/08), but is also available for less from online e-tailers which is at the high-end price range for a 40" LCD TV.
Availability - The Samsung LN-T4081F is available to the United States market and readily available at retail electronics stores and online retailers.
For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 100,000 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.
Because of the 'new' nature of the LED backlit panel used in this 40" model, the panel cost is much higher than CCFL backlit (conventional) LCD panels with similar specs. The pricing for the panel is treated as it is purchased, or 'as a single unit'. We have therefore not broken out BOM lineitems or lineitem costs for the LCD panel assembly, which is standard procedure for our teardowns, as it reflects how the unit is purchased.
Nonetheless, in order to get the most accurate sense of costs for this panel, our cost estimates were generated by performing a high-level internal analysis of the CCFL vs. LED backlit panels and approximate costs were generated for both types, then compared with our display and teardown teams to generate the final panel cost of $915. Because this is purchased 'internally' within the Samsung group it is hard to establish 'market pricing' for such panels, so such an approach was necessary. For panels made by Samsung sold to outside or third-party customers it is assumed that this panel would be sold for a higher price.
As for the rest of the BOM nothing stands out as unusual, and the BOM resembles, nearly identically to other recently analyzed Samsung LCD TVs. All major integrated circuits are a direct match, and only minor respins seem to be made from model to model with respect to the motherboard (mostly I/O connections, type, number and locations thereof). Therefore, costs are very much in line with other analyzed Samsung LCD TV units.
Main Cost Drivers Representing 91% of total BOM costs
Samsung - LTA400HA04 - LCD Display Unit - TFT, WUXGA, 40' Diagonal, 1920 x 1080 Pixels (16:9) Active Area: 885.6mm x 498.2mm - Qty(1)
Dongyang E&P Inc - SP44P - Power Supply Mutli-Output - 335W - Qty(1)
Electronic Cost Drivers (From Main PCB)
Samsung (Trident Microsystems) - STP10 (SVP-LX) - Video Processor - Digital Cinema Reality Engine, Support Full HD - Qty(1)
Samsung - S4LF111X01 - DTV MPEG Decoder - ARM Powered - Qty(1)
HannStar - Main PCB - 4-Layer - FR4, Lead-Free - Qty(1)
Samsung - SDP64 - Scaler / IPC - Digital Natural Image Engine - Qty(1)
EtronTech - EM6A9320BI-5MG - SDRAM - DDR, 128Mb, 4Mx32, 200MHz, 2.5V - Qty(2)
Micronas - MSP4450K - Audio DSP - Demodulator, Decoder, and Baseband Audio - Qty(1)
Silicon Image - Sil9125CTU - HDMI Receiver - V1.3, Dual Input, DVI 1.0, EIA/CEA-861D, HDCP 1.1 - Qty(1)
NeoFidelity - NTP-3000 - Digital Audio Amplifier - Single Chip, Integrates DSP & Digital PWM Modulator - Qty(1)
Samsung - K4D551638H-LC50 - SDRAM - GDDR1, 256Mb, 16Mx16, 200MHz, 2.7V - Qty(2)
Samsung - KFG5616U1A-PIB5 - Flash - OneNAND, SLC, 256Mb, 54MHz, 3.3V - Qty(1)
Weltrend - WT61P6S - Microcontroller - 8-Bit 8051 Compatible Processor, 64KB Flash, 1KB SRAM, 8 PWM, SYNC Signal Processor, 3 Timers, 8-bit A/D Converter, Watch-Dog Timer - Qty(1)
Silicon Image - SiI9185CTU - TMDS Switch - HDMI 1.3, 3-to-1 - Qty(1)
Electronic Cost Drivers (From DSP PCB)
Altera - EP2C50F484C8N - FPGA - 'Cyclone 2', 50,528 Logic Elements,594,432 RAM bits, 450 I/O's - Qty(1)
Altera - EPCS16SI16N - Configuration Device - FPGA, Serial - Qty(1)
DaeDuck - Main PCB - 6-Layer - FR4, Lead-Free - Qty(1)
Monolithic Power Systems - MP1583DN - DC-DC Converter - Step-Down, 385kHz, 3A, 23V - Qty(3)
Mechanical Cost Drivers
Enclosure, Main, Front Bezel - Injection Molded Flame Retardant ABS-Polycarbonate, Silkscreened, Clear Coat - Qty(1)
Enclosure, Main, Rear - Injection Molded Flame Retardant Polystyrene - Qty(1)
Side Insert - Clear Injection Molded Polycarbonate, Black Paint - Qty(2)
Enclosure, Stand, Top - Injection Molded ABS-Acrylic Plastic, Clear Coat - Qty(1)
Stand Base Support - Stamped / Formed Paint-Loc Steel - Qty(1)
Materials and Manufacturing $1,664.89
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 exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.
Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions
Based on markings, the unit was assembled in Mexico (which is typically the case for Samsung TVs we see in the US). Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were sourced in Mexico as well based on the markings found on the parts. We assumed most of the PCBAs were populated in Korea and final assembled into the main enclosure in Mexico.
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 can tuners), 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 Samsung LN-T4081F LCD TV has a total component count of 2476 components (when accounting the components from both power supplies, display, and the can tuner as single items). This count compares favorably with a recently analyzed 46" Samsung LCD TV which weighed in at 2423 components, despite the LN-T4081F having additional hardware features, such as the DSP board.
This TV has a few separate, discrete PCBs like previously analyzed LCDs and Plasma TV; this TV contains a Main PCB, a DSP PCB, Power Supply PCB, and a minor User Control PCB and IR Sensor PCB.
The core functionality remains on the Main PCB and chips providing other features residing on the other PCBs.
Those sub-assemblies that are an integral part of the LCD panel (LED inverter boards, and the LCD driver board) are not accounted for in this analysis as they are considered a sub-system of the LCD which is sold as a fully assembled unit, like a hard drive. The total discrete component count would increase significantly if this display were broken down into all of its constituent components.
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.
The TV design is quite modular and falls into several large 'value' blocks, primarily the LCD panel (with LED backlight and other onboard drivers which constitute a single 'unit'), the Main PCB (only 1), the DSP PCB, User Control PCB, IR Sensor PCB, and the power supply.
The main PCB (motherboard) has a lot more silicon on it than lower end LCD TVs (such as the Vizio analyzed in early 2007), but also has a degree of functionality, that while difficult to quantify or fully account for, is greater than the Vizio. Without doing a comprehensive reverse-engineering analysis, we can only say that the added functionality and therefore increased complexity in this Samsung design can be measured to some extent by metrics such as the I/O count, and also by the sheer number of chips as well as silicon surface area.
Also, the DSP PCB is an additional PCB (when compared with recently analyzed Samsung televisions) that may be handling some of the 'extra' image processing functionality (Smart Lighting and Motion Plus, for example) may apparently be handled by the additional DSP PCB which features, at it's core, and Altera Cyclone 2 FPGA.
It's worth noting that the power supply ratings in this device are rated at about the same power level (335W) as other CCFL backlit LCD TVs. This is, of course, a peak rating, and average power consumption should be less than similar size CCFL backlit models.
Here is a summary of the major components used in the Samsung LN-T4081F LCD TV design:
Samsung - LTA400HA04-V01 - LCD Display Unit - TFT - 40' Diagonal - 1920 x 1080 Pixels (16:9) / WUXGA - Active Area: 885.6mm x 498.2mm
Dongyang E&P Inc - SP44P - Power Supply Mutli-Output - 335W
MPEG Decoder - Samsung - S4LF111X01 - DTV - ARM Powered
DNIE Image Processing Chipset
Samsung / Trident Microsystems - STP10 / SVP-LX - Digital Natural Image Engine
Samsung - SDP64 - Digital Natural Image Engine
Micronas - MSP4450K - Audio DSP
Samsung - DNVS227IH262A - ATSC Tuner Module (Can tuner)
(Contains core DTV Receiver - Samsung - S5H1410X01-Q0DTV)
I/O & Interface
Digital Audio Power Amp - NeoFidelity - NTP-3000 - 2.1-CH, w/ PWM Control / Processor, 18 Biquad Filters
HDMI Receiver - Silicon Image - SiI9125CTU - V1.3, Dual Input, DVI 1.0, EIA/CEA-861D, HDCP 1.1
TMDS Switch - Silicon Image - SiI9185CTU - HDMI 1.3, 3-to-1
Microcontroller - Weltrend - WT61P6S - 8-Bit 8051 Compatible Processor
SDRAM - EtronTech - EM6A9320BI-5MG - DDR, 128Mb, 4Mx32, 200MHz, 2.5V (Qty: 2)
SDRAM - GDDR1 - Samsung - K4D551638H-LC50 - 256Mb, 16Mx16, 200MHz, 2.7V (Qty: 2)
Samsung - KFG5616U1A-PIB5 - OneNAND, SLC, 256Mb, 54MHz, 3.3V (Qty: 1)
FPGA - Altera - EP2C50F484C8N - 'Cyclone 2', 50,528 Logic Elements,594,432 RAM bits, 450 I/O's
Configuration Device - Altera - EPCS16SI16N - FPGA, Serial