Acquired Electronics360

Set-top Box

Motorola DCX3400-M HD-DVR Set Top Box Teardown

28 October 2011
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

Overview / Main Features

The Motorola DCX3400-M set top box under analysis here is the second generation of Motorola's flagship DCX series dual QAM tuner model featuring a 500GB hard drive and M-Card conditional access module (hence, the 'M' in the model name). The DCX3400-M also features multi-room broadcast via the use of the MoCA technology standard (networking over coaxial cable to other MoCA enabled set top boxes). High Definition outputs provided via IEEE1394, Component and HDMI while Standard Definition outputs via Composite, S-Video as well as RF. Inputs include eSATA, USB, Serial as well as Ethernet.

Motorola DCX3400-M HD-DVR Set Top Box Main ImageMotorola DCX3400-M HD-DVR Set Top Box Main Image

Target Market

North American cable service operators - specifically (as labeled on this device) Comcast

Release and Availability

Per press releases, originally announced in January 2008 (first generation box), however, this particular device had a date code of Oct. 2009 on the main PCB and therefore likely released in the early 2010 timeframe.

Motorola DCX3400-M HD-DVR Set Top Box - Main PCB TopMotorola DCX3400-M HD-DVR Set Top Box - Main PCB Top


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.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 1.5M 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.

Motorola DCX3400-M HD-DVR Set Top Box Cost AnalysisMotorola DCX3400-M HD-DVR Set Top Box Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers Representing ~70% of Total Materials Costs

Seagate - ST3500414CS - Hard Drive - 500GB, 3.5', SATA, 3Gb/s, 7200RPM, 16MB Buffer

Broadcom - BCM7400KKFEB1G - HD Video System on Chip - Dual, AVC/ VC-1/ MPEG-2/ MPEG-4 PART 2/DIVX, 350MHz MIPS32 CPU

Multi-Stream Cable Card Value Line Item

Tai Hong Circuit - 6-Layer - FR4

Samsung Semiconductor - K4T1G164QE-HCE6 - SDRAM - DDR2, 1Gb (64M x 16), 1.8V (Qty:4)

Broadcom - BCM3255KPBG - Front End - Single Chip, DOCSIS2.0+, 3 QAM Demodulators, Ethernet MAC & PHY, w/ Channel Bonding

Entropic Communications - EN2210-BG2 - Coaxial Network Controller - MoCA 1.0, Integrated c.LINK MAC/PHY

Anadigics - AIT1032 - Tuner - Hybrid Analog / Digital, 1GHz Bandwidth, w/ RF/IF Gain Control (Qty:3)

Delta Electronics - DPSN-39BP - Power Supply - 39W (Estimated)

Spansion - S29GL512P11FFI02 - Flash - NOR, 512Mb, 3V, 110ns, 90nm

Total BOM $197.19

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 assembled in Taiwan. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were sourced in lower cost regions within 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 hard 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 pin-count of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Motorola DCX3400-M HD-DVR Set Top Box - Enclosure MainTop RemovedMotorola DCX3400-M HD-DVR Set Top Box - Enclosure MainTop Removed

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The DCX3400-M has an overall component count of 2103 (excluding box contents), of which 1758 of that total component count is from the Main PCB.

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 China.

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

Like most QAM set top boxes on the market, the Motorola is primarily a Broadcom design. At the Front End of the DCX3400-M, we find the Broadcom BCM3255 single chip DOCSIS 2.0 IC. The back end video decoding is handled by a BCM7400 HD Video System on Chip. Entropic Communications provides a chipset for MoCA-based networking featuring both the EN2210-BG2 controller and EN1010C1 front end interface. TI maintains the IEEE1394 microcontroller slot for this legacy output port and a combination of Hynix, Samsumg and Spansion provides the memory solutions.

A 500GB hard disk drive by Seagate is used for DVR storage.

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Motorola DCX3400-M design:

Main PCB

A/V Processing

  • HD Video System on Chip - Broadcom - BCM7400KKFEB1G

Front End

  • Front End IC - Broadcom - BCM3255KPBG
  • Coaxial Network Controller - Entropic Communications - EN2210-BG2
  • Tuner - Anadigics - AIT1032 (Qty. 3)
  • Coaxial Network Interface - Entropic Communications - EN1010C1

I/O & Interface

  • Microcontroller - Texas Instruments - TSB43DA42AGHC


  • SDRAM -Hynix - H5PS5162FFR-Y5C, DDR2, 512Mb (32M x 16), 1.8V (Qty. 2)
  • SDRAM - Samsung Semiconductor - K4T1G164QE-HCE6, DDR2, 1Gb (64M x 16), 1.8V (Qty. 4)
  • SDRAM - Hynix - H5DU1262GTR-E3C, DDR, 128Mb (8M x 16), 2.5V
  • Flash - Spansion - S29GL512P11FFI02, NOR, 512Mb, 3V, 110ns, 90nm

Storage Device

  • Hard Drive - Seagate - ST3500414CS, 500GB, 3.5', SATA, 3Gb/s, 7200RPM, 16MB Buffer


Motorola DCX3400-M HD-DVR Set Top Box - Box ContentsMotorola DCX3400-M HD-DVR Set Top Box - Box Contents

Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the Engineering360
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter


Date Event Location
12-16 Aug 2018 Vancouver, Canada
11-13 Sep 2018 Novi, Michigan
27 Sep 2018 The Reef, Los Angeles
26 Oct 2018 Old Billingsgate
04-06 Dec 2018 Orlando, FL
Find Free Electronics Datasheets