Overview / Main Features
The Samsung Galaxy Note, by its name alone, nearly suggests a tablet, and depending on your perspective, it is either a really large smartphone, or a really tiny tablet. With its key feature being a roughly 5.3 Inch Super AMOLED display (a Samsung product of course), the Galaxy note shows that Samsung's interpretation of the Apple formula is to go "thinner, wider, faster, with all the specs you can throw at it. The display is not only large it has 1280 x 800 resolution.
But there's more: the Samsung Note, as the name further suggests, can be used to actually take notes with an old fashioned stylus, and not because it has a resistive touchscreen, but because it has a hybrid capacitive touchscreen with Wacom digitizer functionality integrated. This feature we have seen twice before recently in two HTC products - the HTC Flyer and Jetstream - though those two products featured turnkey solutions from N-trig. This hybrid touch solution is likely manufactured by Samsung using some Wacom technology (there is a Wacom controller IC W8501on the main PCB). So you get the best of both worlds with such hybrid screens - though this comes at a price.
Otherwise the Galaxy Note is an Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) smartphone featuring the latest Samsung applications processor (we believe to be their Exynos 4210) - which is a dual core ARM Cortex A9 design, running at 1.4GHz. This comes with 8Gbits(1GB) of Mobile DDR2 SDRAM in a package on package solution (this is the most we see in smartphones).
Other internal hardware features in the Galaxy Note include an MBG043 image processor from Fujitsu (dedicated to processing camera images and video while offloading the core processor for other tasks) - a chip we have seen in many other Samsung phones. The wireless portion is performed by Intel's PMB9811 (also seen in the Samsung Galaxy SII and the LG Optimus 3D) which makes the phone 4G (HSPA+).
Mass market smartphone.
Per press releases, first announcements early September, 2011 with product released October 2011 - though at the time of writing still does not appear available in the US market via carriers.
Pricing - Unlocked on Amazon US for ~$700USD at the time of writing (12/2011).
Availability - worldwide.
For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 1 million 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.
Main Cost Drivers Representing ~ 70% of total materials cost
Samsung Mobile Display - AMS529HA01 - Display / Touchscreen Module - Samsung Super AMOLED, 5.3' Diagonal, 16.7M Color AMOLED, 1280 x 800 Pixels, w/ Capacitive Touchscreen - (Qty:1)
Samsung Semiconductor - KMVYL000LM-B503 - MCP - 16GB eMMC NAND + 64MB Mobile DDR - (Qty:1)
Samsung Fiberoptics - Primary Camera Module - 8MP, BSI CMOS, 1/3.2' Format, Auto Focus Lens - (Qty:1)
Samsung Semiconductor - K3PE7E700B-XXC1 - SDRAM - Mobile DDR2, 1GB, PoP - (Qty:1)
Samsung Semiconductor - S5PC210B01 - Apps Processor - Dual-Core Cortex A9, 1.4GHz, 45nm, Pop - (Qty:1)
Intel - PMB9811 - Baseband / Power Management - Quad-Band GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA+, ARM Core, 40nm - (Qty:1)
Samsung Electro-Mechanics - SWB-B42G - Bluetooth / WLAN Module - Contains Broadcom BCM4330 , IEEE802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth V4.0+HS, FM Transceiver - (Qty:1)
Daeduck Electronics - Main PCB - 10-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 3+4+3, Stacked Via, Lead-Free, Halogen-Free - (Qty:1)
EB615268VU - Battery - Li-Ion, 3.7V, 2500mAh - (Qty:1)
Broadcom - BCM4330XKWBG - Bluetooth / FM / WLAN - IEEE802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0+HS, FM Radio Receiver & Transmitter - (Qty:1)
Total BOM & Manufacturing Costs (Direct Materials + Conversion Costs) $236.98
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.
It is our understanding that Samsung produce all handsets in house.
Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions
The phone does not specify the country of origin - it merely states ""Made by Samsung", however for the purposes of this analysis we have assumed the unit was assembled in China. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc. were 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 a wall adaptor 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 Samsung Galaxy Note has a total component count of 1061. Most smartphones we analyze these days now weigh in at the 900 - 1000 component count mark. So while this is more or less 'in line' with most smartphones - though it is just above the high end of the spectrum. Much of this is the direct result of a feature-dense design.
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.
There's a lot going on with the feature-rich Samsung Galaxy Note design, and the design complexity is a function of all of these features which ultimately translates into a lot of components. The display and touchscreen are always the biggest cost drivers in smartphone and tablet designs, and this is especially true as the diagonal sizes grow beyond the 4" size. Furthermore, Samsung is the only manufacturer in the world with so many 'internal' sources available (vertical integration) to them to provide key components - and the display is always the key item - in this case a Samsung Mobile Display AMS529HA01 'Super AMOLED' 5.3" display with 1280 x 800 resolution.
But to make things trickier, the touchscreen here is hybrid capacitive touch with a built in 'digitizer' function (Wacom technology) that requires a special digitizer pen or stylus to operate - but the touch layer also supports the digitizer function in a way that is invisible to the user.. Two interesting notes: the capacitive touch controller IC is from Atmel - but is an mxT540e (first time we have seen this IC) - this is a direct function of expanding screen sizes. Though the Atmel mxT224 has been so popular and ever-present in smartphone designs of the last two years, the 224 sensing node chip did not scale well to screens larger than 4.x inches. As the number of sensing nodes drops on a 'per square inch' basis, the effective 'resolution' of the screen goes down making for a poorer user experience - so even though Samsung made a rushed-to-market initial 7" tablet (Galaxy Tab) and actually applied the good old mxT224 - it appears they likely realized that the performance is not as satisfactory as this mxT540e can provide for this size screen because it processes a greater number of nodes. The digitizer pen portion is controlled by a Wacom single IC (W8501) with two die. HTC's solution involves a turnkey touch/digitizer screen with supporting circuitry from N-Trig.
The applications processor is Samsung's latest processor in the Apple arms race and is a dual core ARM Cortex A9 1.4GHz (we believe to be their Exynos 4210) running at 1.4GHz. We saw another variant of this in the Samsung Galaxy SII. This comes with 8Gbits(1GB) of Mobile DDR2 SDRAM in a package on package solution (this is the most we see in smartphones). The wireless section is Intel (former Infineon) based and features the PMB9811 baseband (with integrated power management) and PMB5712 RF transceiver.
Here is a summary of the major components used in the Samsung Galaxy Note design:
Display / Touchscreen
AMS529HA01 - Display / Touchscreen Module - Samsung Super AMOLED, 5.3' Diagonal, 16.7M Color AMOLED, 1280 x 800 Pixels, w/ Capacitive Touchscreen
(Super AMOLED technology is Samsung's proprietary implementation of display with a touchscreen overlay that theoretically reduces thickness and cost by depositing one of the touch ITO layers on the outer glass of the LCD panel. The touchscreen is functionally inseparable from the display in Super AMOLED screens).
Touchscreen features: Atmel - MXT540E - Touchscreen Controller - Single Chip
Samsung Semiconductor - S5PC210B01 - Dual-Core Cortex A9, 1.4GHz, 45nm, Pop
SDRAM - Samsung Semiconductor - K3PE7E700B-XXC1 - Mobile DDR2, 1GB, PoP
MCP - Samsung Semiconductor - KMVYL000LM-B503 - 16GB eMMC NAND + 64MB Mobile DDR
Baseband / Power Management
Intel - PMB9811 - Baseband - Quad-Band GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA+, ARM Core, 40nm
Maxim - MAX8997 - Power Management IC - Integrated 7 Step-Down Converters, 21 LDOs, Battery Charger, Micro USB Interface, RTC, Motor Driver, Camera Flash Driver. 12 GPIOs, I2C Interface
RF / PA
Intel - PMB5712 - RF Transceiver - Multi-Band, GSM/EDGE/HSPA+
BT / FM / GPS / WLAN
Bluetooth / FM / WLAN - Samsung Electro-Mechanics - SWB-B42G - Module - Contains Broadcom BCM4330 , IEEE802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth V4.0+HS, FM Transceiver
o Broadcom - BCM4330XKWBG - Bluetooth / FM / WLAN - IEEE802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0+HS, FM Radio Receiver & Transmitter
o Broadcom - BCM47511IUB2G - GPS / GNSS Receiver
o Silicon Laboratories - Si4709 - FM Radio Tuner - 76-108 MHz, w/ Automatic Frequency Control(AFC) & Automatic Gain Control(AGC)
User Interface and Sensors
Wacom - W8501 - Touch Digitizer Processor/Controller
Yamaha - YMU823 - Audio Codec
Silicon Image - Sil9244BO - HDMI Transmitter - Mobile High-Definition Link, HDMI 1.3a, w/ Integrated TMDS Core
Audience - S305B - Voice Processor - SoC, Voice Enhancement & Noise Suppression
ST Microelectronics - L3G4200D - Gyroscope - 3-Axis, 16-Bit, Digital Output, w/ Integrated 8-Bit Temperature Sensor
ST Microelectronics - LIS3DH - Accelerometer - 3-Axis, 16-Bit, 2g/4g/8g/16g, Digital Output
AKM Semiconductor - AK8975C - Electronic Compass - 3-Axis, 13-Bit Digital Output
Primary Camera Module - 8MP, BSI CMOS, 1/3.2' Format, Auto Focus Lens
o Fujitsu - MBG043 - Camera Controller / Image Processor
Secondary Camera Module - 2MP, FSI CMOS, 1/5' Format, Fixed Focus Lens