Volkswagen (7P6 035 670) 3G MMI Unit by Harman/Becker Teardown

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

IHS Insight Perspective

Volkswagen Group, specifically within Audi and Volkswagen, have multiple infotainment platforms across both brand, with higher end systems in Audis, and other main stream one in Volkswagens. Between the two brand, Audi in particular is known for being "tech savvy" by introducing up-to-date electronics gadgets ahead of others and they are one of the first to use a touchpad for user input. Features ranging from WiFi Hot Spot, ability to use your cell phone Apps on board, touchpad to Navigation and Bluetooth Handsfree calling are all possible depending on which platforms is featured.

Volkswagen (7P6 035 670) 3G MMI Unit by Harman/Becker_(iSi) - Device View 1Volkswagen (7P6 035 670) 3G MMI Unit by Harman/Becker_(iSi) - Device View 1
Overall Significance

Supplied by Harman/Becker, the Volkswagen 7P6035670 3G MMI unit is part of VW's RNS 850 infotainment platform and is apparently featured in 2011 Volkswagen Touareg. This 3G MMI unit is believed to be a part of an effort for VW to better align its infotainment systems among VW and AUDI, in order to have same platforms. The newer 3G MMI Plus is the successor with upgraded processors which is first deputed in the A8.

Volkswagen (7P6 035 670) 3G MMI Unit by Harman/Becker_(iSi) - Main PCB TopVolkswagen (7P6 035 670) 3G MMI Unit by Harman/Becker_(iSi) - Main PCB Top

Feature Significance

As part of VW's RNS 850 infotainment platform, the 3G MMI unit features a 60GB hard drive, a DVD drive, 2 SD Card and 1 SIM card slot. The nVidia GPU supports 3D map viewing and there is a built-in GSM/EDGE Module that allows cellular service (although it is EDGE only) with a SIM card. One interesting note is that although the unit features a Marvell WLAN IC, officially RNS 850 does not support WiFi functions.

Volkswagen (7P6 035 670) 3G MMI Unit by Harman/Becker_(iSi) - Main PCB BottomVolkswagen (7P6 035 670) 3G MMI Unit by Harman/Becker_(iSi) - Main PCB Bottom
Design Significance

Many head units we have encountered are a complete console with Touch Screen display, user controls and other electronics all in one unit. VW certainly believes a modular approach is more efficient in terms of hardware update and configuring different Display/Touch Screen with different MMI units. This 3G MMI device is actually a complete head unit without the display. Overall design is straight forward with a Renesas SH4 600MHz MCU/MPU and a Nvidia GPU. Cellular connectivity is provided by a Cinterion Quad-Band GSM/EDGE Module which plugs in the Harman/Becker Wireless Module. Again, this modular approach provides easy options should VW or Harman decides to upgrade to a, say, HSPA+ or even LTE module.

Target Market

Automotive OEM



Pricing and Availability


No market price is established


Availability - 2011 VW Touareg

Volume Estimations

400,000 Total Units
7 Total Years

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an Annual Production Volume of 400000 units and a Product Lifetime Volume of 7 year(s).

Teardown volume and 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.

Market Performance

Harman supplies to many European automotive manufacturers such as VW, Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz and is mainly in higher segments. In general on OEM navigation capable headunit, Harman has approximately 20%+ market share.

Within VW's family, RNS850 is the only platform in which Harman supplies the MMI unit. Other infotainment platforms suppliers include Bosch, Technisat, Continental and Delphi in Asia.

Cost Notes

Automotive electronics typically have specifications or require special vendor qualification processes that typically come at a premium (which varies from component to component) over less rigorously spec'ed commercial product. We always make a best effort to account for this across the board in automotive products.

Main Cost Drivers below

Xilinx Inc. XA3S1600E-4FGG400Q FPGA - Spartan-3E, 33192 Logic Cells, 1600K System Gates, 879Kb RAM, 36 Multipliers, 8 DCMs, 376 User I/Os, 156 Differential I/O Pairs, 90nm, AEC-Q101 Qualified- (Qty: 1)
Toshiba MK6050GAC HDD - 60GB, 2.5", 4200rpm, ATA-7 Interface, 8MB Buffer, 100MB/s- (Qty: 1)
CD/DVD Drive - Slot Load, Internal- (Qty: 1)
Cinterion AC75 GSM Module - Quad-Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, 850/900/1800/1900MHz- (Qty: 1)
Nvidia GPU - GeForce 4 MX (Assumed)- (Qty: 1)
MOST Optical Connector - 2+0 Type, w/ Plastic Housing & Metal Shielding- (Qty: 1)
Renesas R8A77850BBDBGNV MCU - 32-Bit RISC, SH-4A CPU Core, 1080MIPS@600MHz, 64KB Cache, 152KB Built-in RAM, 111 GPIOs, Contain DDR2-SDRAM Bus Interface, 32-Bit PCI Bus Controller, 12-Channel DMA Controller, 6-Channel Timer Unit, 2-Channel Serial Sound Interface, Graphics Data Translation Accelerator- (Qty: 1)
AT&S 8-Layer - FR4, Lead Free- (Qty: 1)
Texas Instruments TMS320DRA342AZDK Digital Media Processor- (Qty: 1)
Micron Technology MT47H128M8CF-3 AIT:H SDRAM - DDR2, 1Gb, 667MHz, 3ns, 1.8V- (Qty: 4)

Not Included in 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.

We do provide an Excel tab "Overall Costs" where a user can enter their known pre and post production costs to build a per unit cost reflective of theirs actual expenditures.

Manufacturing Notes

The 3G MMi unit is supplied by Harman/Becker which also supplies to many other European automotive manufacturers such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz and is mainly in higher segments. In general on OEM navigation capable headunit, Harman has approximately 20%+ market share.

Within VW's family, RNS850 is the only platform in which Harman supplies the MMI unit. Other infotainment platforms suppliers include Bosch, Technisat, Continental and Delphi in Asia.

Country of Origin

For the purposes of this analysis, we are assuming the following country(ies) of origin for each level of assembly, based on a combination of "Made In" markings, and/or assumptions based on our knowledge of such equipment.

Bluetooth / SD Card / SIM PCB - Germany
Main PCB - Germany
Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly - Germany
Storage Device - Germany
Wireless Interface Module - Germany
WLAN PCB - Germany

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 Hard Drives and Optical Drives), 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.

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 Complexity

Component counts by assembly and the number of assembly are indicators of design complexity and efficiency.

Component Qty: 1671 - Main PCB
Component Qty: 2 - Storage Device
Component Qty: 327 - Wireless Interface Module
Component Qty: 67 - Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly
Component Qty: 87 - WLAN PCB
Component Qty: 119 - Bluetooth / SD Card / SIM PCB
Component Qty: 2273 - Grand Total

Though every design is different, and component counts tend to be feature-driven - it's worth noting we have seen some Japanese head units with far far more components in them - and as a result, it's often hard for us to prejudge the inherent complexity of such systems, especially when this 3G MMI unit is not a complete head unit.

At ~2200 components, it is probably not the simplest design but certainly is not complex at all especially when we have seen a head unit from Nissan that came in at over 5600 components (that did, in fairness include DTV receiver, LCD with touchscreens, etc.), and a Toyota head unit that also came in at over 4300 components.

Design Notes

The MMI 3G unit designs around a few main ICs - the Xilinx FPGA, the Nvidi GPU, Renesas MCU/MPU and a MOST network IC that supports MOST Optical network. Overall design is straight forward with regard to the functions it supposes to serve.

A few notes to make:

- Use of MOST Optical Interface: Although the technology has been around for quite a long time, this is the first time we have seen it in a Teardown

- The Marvell 88W8688 actually supports WLAN AND Bluetooth 3.0 but there is a CSR Bluecore6 IC that appears to be the one that handles the function

- Cinterion AC75 GSM module resides in another module, "Wireless Interface Module'. This (module within a module) is not a common design but probably help Harman Becker to deploy cellular connectivity (or other functions as needed) in their unit more effectively.

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