Acquired Electronics360

Wireless Connectivity

Option iCON 505 USB Modem Teardown

08 December 2010
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

Overview / Main Features

The Option iCON 505 is an USB based wireless boardband module that is designed for use on a UMTS/GSM networks. At the core of the dual-band HSPA and quad-band GPRS/EDGE modem is a design from Icera based on their Livanto chipset, which includes the ICE8040 baseband processor, ICE8215 RF transceiver and ICE8145 power management chip. Memory solution is provided by a Samsung multi-chip package featuring 1Gb of NAND flash and 256Mb mobile SDRAM.

Option iCON 505 USB Modem Main ImageOption iCON 505 USB Modem Main Image

Target Market

Wireless Broadband Service Providers



Option iCON 505 USB Modem - PCB TopOption iCON 505 USB Modem - PCB Top

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - Unknown, typically USB wireless modems do not have published pricing as they are sold (through contracts to service providers)

Availability - Assumed global

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have applied a lifetime production volume of approximately 4M 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.

Option iCON 505 USB Modem - PCB BottomOption iCON 505 USB Modem - PCB Bottom

Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers ~80% of Total Materials Cost

Icera - ICE8040 - Baseband Processor - Quad-Band GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA, HSDPA 7.2Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps, 1GHz, 65nm

Samsung Semiconductor - K521F57ACM-A060 - MCP - 1Gb NAND Flash + 256Mb Mobile SDRAM (Estimated)

Icera - ICE8215 - RF Transceiver - Quad-Band GSM/EDGE, Tri-Band WCDMA/HSPA, 130nm RF CMOS

Icera - ICE8145 - Power Management IC - w/ Dual DC to DC Converters, 11 LDOs, USB Transceiver

Skyworks - SKY77344-11 - PAM - Quad-Band GSM/EDGE

Epcos - B30674D5017Q824 - FEM - Quad-Band GSM, Tri-Band UMTS Antenna Switch, & 2 Epcos Dual Band GSM RX RF SAW Filters

8-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 2+4+2, Lead-Free

Anadigics - AWT6224RM28 - PAM - Dual-Band WCDMA/HSDPA 900/2100

Enpirion - EN5322QI-T - Regulator - DC-DC Converter, Synchronous Buck, PWM, 2A, 2%

Rohm - Tantalum - Encapsulated (Qty:16)

Kyocera - KT2520 Series - TCXO - 19.200MHz

Direct Materials + Manufacturing $24.25

Option iCON 505 USB Modem Cost AnalysisOption iCON 505 USB Modem Cost Analysis

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 / Volume Assumptions

Based on markings, the unit was likely assembled in Ireland. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were also sourced in Ireland.

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 internal antennas), 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 Option iCON 505 USB Modem has an overall component count of 355.

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 Ireland.

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

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Option iCON 505 USB Modem design:

Main PCB


  • Baseband Processor - Icera - ICE8040

Power Management

  • Power Management IC - Icera - ICE8145


  • RF Transceiver - Icera - ICE8215


  • MCP - Samsung Semiconductor - K521F57ACM-A060, 1Gb NAND Flash + 256Mb Mobile SDRAM (Estimated)


Option iCON 505 USB Modem - DisassemblyOption iCON 505 USB Modem - Disassembly

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