Overview / Main Features
The Buffalo LinkStation Live is a 500GB network-attached storage (NAS) designed for home and small business environments. The single drive NAS features a gigabit Ethernet networking as well as ubiquitous USB 2.0 connectivity (a carry over from the more mundane external hard drive breed of devices). Besides, the TCP/IP networking support, the Buffalo LinkStation offers SMB, FTP and DLNA file sharing protocols.
From an electronic design perspective, the Buffalo NAS is primarily a Marvell solution. By far, the largest electronic package on the main PCB is the ARM-based Marvel Feroceon processor. Also included is a Marvell Gigabit LAN Ethernet transceiver and two Nanya SDRAM memory packages.
Home / small businesses
Pricing - The Buffalo LinkStation Live sells [at retail] for approximately $150 at the time of writing (August 2009)
Availability - assumed global
For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 250,000 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.
Main Cost Drivers Representing ~84% of total materials cost
Samsung Electronics - HD502IJ - Hard Drive - 500GB, 3.5', SATA 3Gb/s, 7200RPM, 8MB Buffer
Marvell Technology - 88F5182-A2 - Dual Drive NAS System Device - Integrated 500MHz Marvell Feroceon Processor, Compliant with ARMv5TE Architecture, w/ 32KB Caches & MMU
WA-24C12U - AC Power Adaptor - Input 100-240V, 50/60Hz, 0.55A, Output 12V, 2A, w/ 5ft Cord
Enclosure, Main, Bottom - Injection Molded ABS, Printed
Nidec - U40X12MLZ7-53 - Fan - 12VDC, 0.05A, w/ 3 85mm Discrete Insulated Wires & 3-Position Pin Socket Connector
Nanya - NT5TU32M16AG-3C - SDRAM - DDR2 667, 512Mb, 1.8V (Qty:2)
Total BOM Cost $81.71
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.
Additionally, iSuppli DOES NOT price value-added software packages that may be bundled with the device. Our analysis is based solely on the physical hardware and EXCLUDES any value added services or licensing agreements the manufacturer may have.
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 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 hard disk drive), 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 Buffalo LinkStation Live has an overall component count of 394, of which, 40 are mechanical in nature.
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.
Here is a summary of the major components used in the Buffalo LinkStation Live design:
- Samsung Electronics - HD502IJ - Hard Drive - 500GB, 3.5', SATA 3Gb/s, 7200RPM, 8MB Buffer
- Marvell Technology - 88F5182-A2 - Dual Drive NAS System Device
- Nanya - NT5TU32M16AG-3C SDRAM - DDR2 667, 512Mb, 1.8V
- Marvell Technology - 88E1118-NNC1 - Ethernet Transceiver
- SST - SST39VF020-70-4C-WHE - Flash (NOR, 2Mb, 70ns)