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ZOTAC IONITX-C-U Nettop Motherboard Teardown

31 August 2009
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

Zotac IONITX-C-U Motherboard

Form: mini-ITX

ODM: PC Partner

Mobo Model: IONITX-C-U

CPU: Intel Atom N230 Processor

Chipset: Northbridge / Southbridge (Single Chip)

Nvidia ION Graphics Processor (GeForce 9400M)

ZOTAC IONITX-C-U Nettop Motherboard Main ImageZOTAC IONITX-C-U Nettop Motherboard Main Image

Overview / Main Features

The Zotac IONITX-C-U is a mini-ITX form factor motherboard from Zotac Internation (a subsidiary of PC Partner Ltd).

Note that this analysis does not represent a typical teardown of an entire finished product (desktop system in this case), but rather a 'motherboard-only' analysis of a desktop motherboard. The board is a mini-ITX form factor and features an Nvidia chipset solution in support of an Intel Atom Processor slot.

This is a custom analysis which also applies custom functional areas for a very detailed technical slice of the data. These functional areas are exceptional in their detail and do not represent standard iSuppli functional areas, but are much more detailed and offer much greater resolution in cost analysis.

Target Market

Net-top / Fanless PC consumer or hobbyist

ZOTAC IONITX-C-U Nettop Motherboard - Motherboard TopZOTAC IONITX-C-U Nettop Motherboard - Motherboard Top


May 2009

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - Selling for prices ~$160 USD at the time of writing (August 2009).

Availability - As with most motherboards, this one does not appear to be a 'regional' offering and should be broadly available worldwide.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 1 million 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 increment by an order of magnitude. Minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis.

ZOTAC IONITX-C-U Nettop Motherboard Cost AnalysisZOTAC IONITX-C-U Nettop Motherboard Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Major Cost Drivers (Representing ~80% of total materials costs)

Nvidia - MCP7A-ION-B2 - Northbridge / Southbridge - NVIDIA ION Graphics Processor, 450MHz Core, 1100MHz Shader Clock

Intel - AU80586RE025D - CPU - Intel Atom Processor 230, 1.6GHz, 512KB L2 Cache, 533MHz, 45nm Process

Zhuokai Electronics Technology CO. - 6-Layer - FR4, Lead-Free

Heatsink - Extruded / Machined Aluminum, Anodized, w/ Thermal Transfer Pad & 4 Hex Nuts & 4 Metal Springs & 4 Shoulder Philips Flat Header Screws

Realtek - RTL8211CL-GR - Ethernet Transceiver - Gigabit LAN, 1-Port

ST Microelectronics - PM6685 - System Power Supply Controller - Dual, Step Down, PWM, w/ Integrated LDOs

Total BOM Cost $91.42

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

OEM/ODM/EMS Relationships / Manufacturing

Zotac likely uses PC Partner (parent company) as its primary manufacturing partner.

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

We have assumed that for this device, that not only final assembly, but also any custom mechanicals (PCBs, plastics, and metals, etc.) were all sourced or manufactured domestically in China. Most motherboard manufacturers, while based in Taiwan, are assumed to be producing the bulk of their boards in mainland 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 chargers), 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.

The issue of labor rates was revisited in 2006 as we began to apply some research by one the major worldwide EMS suppliers and are now applying some of their research on total loaded costs by country and region to arrive at these new rates which are pronouncedly higher on the low end in China. Remember 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.

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

Motherboards from different manufacturers, even when base on identical core chipsets, tend to take varying design approaches (and implementation of various features) and therefore will vary in terms of complexity, cost and component count.

Using component counts and I/O counts, relative comparisons can be made between similar motherboards and other devices.

The Zotac IONITX-C-U Motherboard has an overall component count total of 987.

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

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Zotac IONITX-C-U Motherboard design:


  • Nvidia - MCP7A-ION-B2 - Northbridge / Southbridge - NVIDIA ION Graphics Processor


  • Intel - AU80586RE025D - Intel Atom Processor 230, 1.6GHz, 512KB L2 Cache, 533MHz, 45nm Process

I/O & Interface

  • Realtek - ALC662-GR - Codec - HD Audio, 5.1 Channel
  • Realtek - RTL8211CL-GR -Ethernet Transceiver - Gigabit LAN, 1-Port

Power Supply

  • Intersil - ISL6314CRZ - PWM Controller

ZOTAC IONITX-C-U Nettop Motherboard - Motherboard BottomZOTAC IONITX-C-U Nettop Motherboard - Motherboard Bottom

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