Overview / Main Features
The "Limited Edition" Aquos LC-52XS1U is the flagship ultra-thin LCD television offering by Sharp. Priced at an astronomical retail of $12000, the 52 inch XS1 television is reserved really for the most discerning and posh consumer with lots of disposable income. However, the story with the XS1 isn't really about the out-of-reach retail cost of the TV but rather the enabling technology that allows Sharp to put together a display panel that measure no more than an inch in thickness.
OEM/ODM/EMS Relationships / Manufacturing
According to iSuppli's EMS and ODM Market Analysis research on flat panel televisions titled, "Global OEM Manufacturing and Design Analysis - Q3 2007", Sharp manufactures nearly all of their flat panel television internally. Specifically, the XS1 series television was manufactured in their flagship plant in Kameyama, Japan.
Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions
Based on markings, the unit was assembled in Japan. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were also sourced close to assembly in Japan.
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 LCD display panel), 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 Sharp LC-52XS1U has an overall component count of 9823, of which, 3571 are mechanical in nature. This total represents the sum of the discrete parts. This total component count represents an elevated sum when compared to previously analyzed LCD televisions which typically run in the neighborhood of 2000 parts. Majority of the increased complexity comes in the forms of the very complex display panel as well as very densely populated PCBs which is a direct result from the enhancements in feature set.
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 Japan.
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 are 3 design features of note in the Sharp Aquos LC-52XS1U television:
RGB LED backlight array -
The 1152 RGB LEDs are spread across 6 sets of a three-piece backlight PCB assembly covering the entire footprint of the LCD glass panel. Each of the 18 discrete backlight PCBs contain an array of 64 RGB LEDs grouped in sets of twos and pair along with one photo-detector which mates directly with each of the 576 discrete light pipes. Due to the sheer number of LEDs (the most we have seen in a television) and the slim profile, Sharp likely opted to use a larger number of relatively low-powered RGB LED rather than to use fewer but brighter LEDs found in the Sony Bravia XBR8 unit.
A/V Processing PCB -
In the main audio/visual processing electronics, we find (not surprisingly) a Sharp RH-1XC068WJQZ A/V processor at the core of the design along with a pair of Altera FPGA and CPLD.
We would expect the display controller in the XS1 to be a custom solution given the unique design of the backlight system. Here, in the display controller PCB, we see a Sharp solution with Sharp's RH-IXC314WJZZQ, RH-IXC524WJQZQ and RH-IXC313WJN1Q display controller ICs.
- TFT - WUXGA, 52" Diagonal, 1920 x 1080 Pixels (16:9)
- Backlight PCB Assembly A (Quantity 6)
- Backlight PCB Assembly B (Quantity 6)
- Backlight PCB Assembly C (Quantity 6)
- FPGA - Altera - EP3C25F256C8N (Quantity 6)
A/V Processing PCB
- Audio / Video Processor - Sharp - RH-1XC068WJQZ
MCU & Glue Logic
- FPGA - Altera - EP3C25F256C8N, Cyclone III, 24,624 Logic Elements, 594Kbit Memory, 66 Multipliers, 156 User I/O's, 4 PLLs
- CPLD - Altera - EPM1270F256C5N, MAX II, 1270 Logic Elements, 980 Typical Equivalent Macrocells, 212 User I/O's
- Microcontroller - Renesas - R5F364V6NFB,16-Bit, CISC
I/O & Interface
- HDMI Receiver - Silicon Image - SiI9125CTU, V1.3, Dual Input, DVI 1.0, EIA/CEA-861D, HDCP 1.1, w/ 36-bit Color Depth
- LVDS Transmitter - Thine Electronics - THC63LVD1023, Programmable, 67bits, 150/135MHz Single/Dual Link, Up to 1080p QXGA, 3.3V
- SDRAM - Hynix - H5PS5162FFR, DDR2, 512Mb (32Mx16), 1.8V
Display Controller PCB
- Display Controller IC - Sharp - RH-IXC314WJZZQ (Contains NEC Die)
- Display Controller IC - Sharp - RH-IXC524WJQZQ (Contains NEC Die)
- Display Controller IC - Sharp - RH-IXC313WJN1Q
- SDRAM - Elpida - EDD1232ABBH-5C-E, DDR400, 128Mb (4M x 32)