Overview / Main Features
The Panasonic KX-TG6521 is a cordless DECT phone system with integrated answering machine for home (and possibly office) landline use. This device itself splits into two parts - the base and the handset. This is important to note as it typically 'doubles' all of the core chips (baseband and RF components, etc.) in such designs, as one is needed in the base, and a 'sister' chip in the handsets.
DECT phones have been around for a long time, and are very mature consumer technology that is relatively inexpensive to produce. DECT is a wireless standard like Bluetooth, that is specialized in this application (cordless home and office), and has specialty vendors (DSP Group specifically) that design integrated chip solutions for DECT phone designs that allow OEMs and ODMs to simplify designs and shorten design cycles on products. This makes most DECT phones very simple from an electronic complexity point of view. In fact DECT phones are essentially all very similar inside - but vary on the outside with all of the cosmetic features (selection of plastics, housings, finishes, etc.).
2010 - Exact date unknown
Pricing - Based on a cursory internet search at the time of writing (Oct 2011), and depending on the region of purchase - this model sells in a range of roughly 33 to 38 (British Sterling) (~$53 to ~$61 USD).
Availability - UK/Australia Consumer market - though appears to be available in other markets (UK markets appear in websearches primarily).
For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 100,000 units (1 year).
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.
Some products we teardown we know from experience defy standard pricing logic. That is to say, we never cease to be amazed how inexpensivelycertain devices (such as DECT phones!) can be built for. It's a very competitive market place, and many manufacturers can buy and produce many of the more banal parts (low level commodity electronic components, plastics, etc.) at costs that are much lower than other products can be built for. Where these manufacturers have less flexibility are on the core electronics that quite typically come from an integrated manufacturer in this space - DSP group. DSP are an Israel-based fables semiconductor company that focus on DECT phone chips. DSP Group dominate - but this particular model uses a competing solution from Dialog semiconductor. The Dialog solution is integrated with baseband and RF transceiver in a single chip package). Furthermore, because of the process geometry it is built in, Dialog can make a higher margin than DSP Group (whose corporate gross margins are around 40 points) and still compete with DSP Group. These chips represent the top cost drivers in DECT phones.
We have been very 'aggressive' (lowest feasible estimates) on all pricing, based on previous experience with DECT phones.
Main Cost Drivers Representing ~60% of total materials cost
Dialog Semiconductor - SC14480A5M - Baseband / RF Transceiver - Single Chip, DECT / DECT 6.0 / CAT-iq, 1.8V - (Qty:2)
Display Module - 1.8' Diagonal, Monochrome LCD - (Qty:1)
Goodwell - - 4-Layer - FR4, Lead-Free - (Qty:2)
AC Adapter - 6.5V, 500mA, w/ 5.8ft Cord & Cable Tie - (Qty:1)
Infineon - PMB6819 - RF Power Amplifier - DECT - (Qty:2)
Panasonic - HHR-55AAAB - Battery - AAA, Ni-MH, 1.2V, 550mAh - (Qty:2)
Dain (International) - Loudspeaker - 8Ohm, w/ 2 95mm Discrete Insulated Wires - (Qty:1)
Shanghai LinJia Electronics - YD2052-72 - Loudspeaker - Ringer, w/ 2 60mm Discrete Insulated Wires, Foam Rubber Gasket & Felt / Fiber Windscreen - (Qty:1)
Enclosure, Handset, Battery Cover - Injection Molded ABS - (Qty:1)
Ceramic Multilayer - X5R/X7R - (Qty:87)
Total BOM & Manufacturing Costs (Direct Materials + Conversion Costs) $19.69
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 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 display modules), 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 total component count of the base and one handset (excluding box contents) of the Panasonic KX-TG6521 cordless phone is 422 components. This is comparable but on the low end when weighed against comparable DECT phones, such as the Binatone iDECT T1i (462 components), and the Binatone iDECT Link Plus (510 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. The cost of manufacturing is also, to some extent, decreased in this case because of assumed labor rate applied for China.
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.
DECT phones, in the grand scheme of electronics, are one of those specialized devices for which there are integrated circuit manufacturers that design and market essentially very integrated 'single chip' solutions that allow product designers to place a total of one or two chips (including RF transceivers and power amplifiers), and essentially the rest of the design then consists of very low level supporting components (that are also and always a necessity, as they are the basic building blocks of electronics, such as NOR Flash, EEPROMs, but also passive components. Etc.). In a nutshell, though - it's the core integrated circuit(s) that are worth noting here.
Note also that the Dialog Semi solution is more integrated than the competing DSP group solution but probably sells for a similar 'total cost of solution' in a competitive consumer product marketplace.
Here is a summary of the major components used in the Panasonic KX-TG6521DECT Cordless Phone design:
Main PCB / Misc PCB Assemblies
Baseband / RF / PA
(One each on base, one each on handset)
Baseband / RF Transceiver - Dialog Semiconductor - SC14480A5M - Single Chip, DECT / DECT 6.0 / CAT-iq, 1.8V
RF PA - Infineon - PMB6819 - RF Power Amplifier - DECT
NOR Flash - Microchip - SST25VF080B-80-4C-S2AE - 8Mb, SPI
EEPROM - ST Microelectronics - M24C64-FMN - 64Kb, 2-Wire Serial
Display Module - 1.8' Diagonal, Monochrome LCD