Set-top Box

Samsung SMT-H3050 Set-Top Box Teardown

18 September 2008
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Overview / Main Features

M-Card / CableCARD compatible HD capable Set-Top Box from Samsung

Samsung SMT-H3050 Set-Top BoxSamsung SMT-H3050 Set-Top Box
Target Market

Terrestrial / Digital Cable service providers


Earliest announcement Jan 2007 per found press release.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing for this kind of product (at the consumer level) is typically meaningless as it is a completely subsidized part of a service package. Cable set-top boxes are typically rented out to subscribers on a monthly schedule in accordance with the service contract which varies region to region within the North American market. Since the device cannot function without being properly set-up by a service provider, after-market product and prices have no validity.

Availability limited to specific cable providers.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed that 650,000 units of this STB will be produced during the product lifetime. This volume estimate is in line with our previous estimations for similar types of cable STB.

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.

Function / Performance

No performance testing was performed.

Cost Notes

Please see BOM for detailed cost break down

Main Cost Drivers Representing ~80% of total materials cost:

Samsung Electro-Mechanics - DNVD266FH401A - Tuner Module Value Line Item - ATSC Full NIM

Multi-Stream Cable Card Value Line Item

SH043S04 - Power Supply - 40W, Input AC100-120, 50/60Hz, 1A, Output 5V/4A, 3.3V/2.5A, 5.6V/1.5A, 12V/0.3A

Boardtek (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. - 4-Layer - FR4, Pb Free

Conexant - CX24951-14Z - Cable Modem - Single Chip Solution, DOCSIS 2.0-Based

Qimonda - HYB25DC512160CE-5 - SDRAM - DDR 400, 512Mb (32M x 16), 2.5V (Qty:2)

Samsung Electro-Mechanics - DTMND13MV204A - Tuner Module Value Line Item - ATSC Half NIM

Texas Instruments - TSB43DA42AGHC - Microcontroller - Single Chip Solution for IEEE1394a Link-Layer, w/ Integrated 2-Port PHY

Conexant - CX25840-24Z - AV Decoder - Worldwide Video and BTSC Broadcast

Enclosure, Main, Top - Stamped / Formed Paint Loc Steel, Silver Painted

Enclosure, Main, Bottom - Stamped / Formed Paint Loc Steel, w/ 1 Metal Stud


Conexant - CX20552-21Z - USB On-the-Go Transceiver - USB2.0 (Qty:2)

Enclosure, Main, Front Panel - Injection Molded Flame Retardant ABS, Silver Painted

Microtune - MT1550F - Amplifier - Upstream CATV, Programmable Gain, w/ Integrated Antialiasing Filter

Materials and Manufacturing $111.80

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 OEMŒE 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 made in China. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were also sourced in China to take advantage of low cost structures there.

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of ë¬inished?sub-assemblies (such as can tuners), 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. ?uto?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

We tend to use component counts as the one measurable and clearly defined àetric?by which we can compare and judge the relative complexity of devices and comment as to where a given device fits in the spectrum of overall manufacturing cost and complexity between devices.

The Samsung SMT-H3050 Set-Top Box Set Top has an approximate total component count of 1101 (when counting the CableCard as a single unit) of which 84 are mechanical components. Components count relates closely to feature sets. The Samsung SMT-H3050 is no exception and the component count (both mechanical and electronic) is inline with other similar STBs we have already analyzed.

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

Each box manufacturer (Cisco, Motorola and Samsung) seem to have their own design alliances when it comes to choosing the core silicon vendors. Samsung, being a bit of an outsider in the US market when it comes to STBs, appears to have selected an interesting choice for itŒE core IC on this box, a Conexant - CX24170-74YZ - Set-Top Box Decoder and a Conexant CX25840-24Z AV Decoder. We have encountered Conexant solutions previously in DVB-based satellite STBs.

Beyond the Audio / Video Processing section, the Samsung box also uses Conexant solutions for the single-chip DOCSIS cable modem as well as the USB On-the-Go solution for I/O functionalities. Within, the memory section, Quimoda parts were selected for SDRAM and in the front-end functional area, AMD and Microtune were used.

Main PCB

Audio / Video Processing

Conexant - CX24170-74YZ - Set-Top Box Decoder - 32-bit 250 MIPS ARM920 CPU, MPEG-2

Conexant - CX25840-24Z - AV Decoder - Worldwide Video and BTSC Broadcast

I/O & Interface

Conexant - CX24951-14Z - Cable Modem, Single Chip Solution, DOCSIS 2.0-Based

Texas Instruments - TSB43DA42AGHC Microcontroller - Single Chip Solution for IEEE1394a Link-Layer, w/ Integrated 2-Port PHY

Conexant - CX20552-21Z - USB On-the-Go Transceiver - USB2.0


Qimonda - HYB25DC512160CE-5 ?SDRAM, DDR 400, 512Mb (32M x 16), 2.5V

Front End

AMD - Nxt2005 - DTV Cable Transceiver and Terrestrial Receiver

Microtune - MT2111F ?Tuner, Broadband, Single Chip

Microtune - MT2121F ?Tuner, Broadband, Single Chip

Other Sub-Assemblies


Scientific Atlanta PowerKey PKM802 Multi-Stream CableCARD - Containing:

ST Microelectronic - SCAAMSPB1R - Microcontroller/Processor ?ASIC

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