Consumer Peripherals

Canon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera Teardown

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

Main Features / Overview

Part of Canon's "ELPH" line of digital "point and shoot" cameras, the IXY 910 IS (world market), also known in the US and other markets as the Canon PowerShot SD870 IS, is, at the time of writing, Canon's second highest-ranked camera (by features and megapixel rating) in it's ELPH line.The Elph line is the most compact line of Canon models and all seem to feature factory battery packs to enable the camera to fit the sleeker envelope than the A series - which appear to all use standard AA cells, which creates a bulkier profile for A series cameras.

Canon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera_(iSi) - Main PCB TopCanon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera_(iSi) - Main PCB Top
The Canon IXY 910 IS / SD870 IS is an 8 megapixel point-and-shoot consumer camera with image stabilization, 3.8x wide-angle zoom lens, 3 inch rear display, and DIG!C III image processor. The camera takes SD and SDHC memory cards, comes with a factory Li-Ion 1120 mAh battery pack, and has a video out for PAL/NSTC systems.

The camera also has an audio out (monaural) but the camera does not really have additional "media" features like soundtrack / music playback options for the slide show (Sony features this).

There are many software features (not the focus of this teardown) that include "face detection'. For a complete list of features, see the features section in the online teardown analysis.

Canon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera_(iSi) - Display Module Exploded ViewCanon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera_(iSi) - Display Module Exploded View
Target Market

High-end consumer.


August, 2007 per Canon USA press release.

Pricing and Availability

Retail price from Canon $399.99 USD for the US market - however it is also possible, at the time of writing (Dec 2007) to find several e-tailers offering this model for under $300.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown, we estimate unit shipments for the Canon PowerShot IXY910IS / SD870IS over the course of a 2 year production lifetime would be on an order of magnitude of 2M units.

As a reminder, volume production assumptions are not meant to be necessarily "market accurate", but are meant primarily to be 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).

Function / Performance

Detailed testing was not performed on the IXY910IS / SD870IS, however the device was used by staff in advance of the teardown to get a better idea of the capabilities of the device from a user perspective.

Canon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera_(iSi) - Image Sensor PCBCanon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera_(iSi) - Image Sensor PCB
Cost Notes

iSuppli's standard costing methodologies were applied to all of the camera components. The optics assemblies (with zoom mechanisms and motors) and viewfinder (where applicable), were treated as single "sub-assemblies" from a cost point of view in the main bill of materials.

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.

Manufacturing Notes

Country of Origin / EMS provider

This product was labeled Made in Japan. Given the competitive nature of the consumer camera market, however, it is assumed that the manufacturer makes use of lower cost regions (China, specifically) where possible to reduce overall costs, and that only "final assembly", and the optics assemblies (specifically) were performed in Japan. Therefore, we have assumed that the manufacturer is leveraging lower cost in China for PCB population, and custom mechanicals (plastics and metals) etc.

This assumption has a strong impact on the manufacturing cost calculations, given the very high cost of labor in Japan.

Furthermore, it is interesting to note, that only this mode, the highest end Canon analyzed here (compared with the Canon PowerShots A460 and A720IS), was labeled as Made in Japan. All others were Made 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 Bluetooth modules or camera 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.

Canon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera_(iSi) - Main PCB TopCanon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera_(iSi) - Main PCB Top
Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

Cameras are always complex, from our perspective, not so much from the point of view of electronics, but rather more in the physical / mechanical implementation, and therefore feature a lot of small, precision mechanical assemblies which are more involved at the hand assembly level, rather than surface mount production level. In order to create a simple metrics against which we can compare similar devices, we typically turn to component counts to gage this relative complexity.

The Canon IXY 910 IS / PowerShot SD 870 IS features a total of 508 components (not including optics assemblies or box contents), of which 114 are mechanical in nature. The most interesting part of this is that the comparable A series Canon A720IS (also 8 MP with image stabilization), featured nearly 200 more components than this model.

The number of mechanical components usually is a direct driver of hand-assembly costs, whereas the electronic component count (and I/O count, density, etc.) are relative metrics for the more automated portion (namely SMT assembly) of manufacturing costs.

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.

Design Notes

The Canon IXY910IS / PowerShot SD870IS hardware design is a direct reflection of the feature-set of the camera, but the real surprise is how much Sony actually controls in some of the key slots in the design.

The A720IS features a Sony (per die markings) CK4-1141- DIG!C III image processor. At the time of writing this is the latest generation of Canon (made by Sony) DIG!C processors and adds facial recognition as well as more advanced focus and exposure determinations through this chip. The actual image sensor also comes from Sony (ICX636EQP) and was also discovered in the Canon IXY910IS / SD870IS, and Sony DSC-T200 DSC models analyzed. Sony also provides the analog front-end / signal processing chip (CXD4807GA) which interfaces with the image sensor. Unlike some of the other devices from Canon - this device splits the audio / video functions into two discrete devices - a Wolfson Micro WM1400G audio interface device, and a separate Sony CXD3539GF video driver.

Further image processing (image stabilization) is provided by Renesas (R2J30504), Fujitsu power management, and Renesas motor drive ICs.

It is worth noting too, as a result of the IXY910IS/SD870IS feature of orientational sensing, the IXY910IS features a single two-axis angular velocity sensor (manufacturer unknown) which provides this sensing feature. Other devices feature two discrete single-axis sensors for this function.

Canon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera_(iSi) - Main PCB BottomCanon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera_(iSi) - Main PCB Bottom
Major Components

Main PCB

Image Processing / Memory

  • Sony - CK4-1141 - Image Processor - Canon DIG!C III, PoP
  • MCP (Memory) - Samsung Semiconductor - K5H6358LTM-D775 - MCP - 64Mb NOR Flash + 256Mb DRAM, PoP
  • Renesas - R2J30504 - Optical Image Stabilization Device

Image Sensor / Analog Front End

  • Sony - CXD4807GA - CCD - Signal Processor & Analog Front End

Power Management

  • Fujitsu - MB39C306 - DC-DC Converter - 7-Channel, w. Built-in Switching FET

I/O & Interface

  • Sony - CXD3539GF - Video Driver Device
  • Audio Codec - Wolfson Microelectronics - WM1400G

Motor Drive

  • Renesas - D168161 - Motor Driver - For Digital Camera

Display Module

  • 3.0" Diagonal, 230K Pixel Color LTPS w/Delta Pixel Structure

Image Sensor

  • Sony - ICX636EQP - 8.15MP, CCD, 1/2.5" Format - Diagonal 7.183mm, 1.75um x 1.75um Pixel Size, 5.83mm x 4.35mm Active Image Area


  • See optics summaries tab in Excel spreadsheet analysis for detailed breakouts

Canon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera_(iSi) - Box ContentsCanon IXY910 IS - PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Still Camera_(iSi) - Box Contents

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