Industrial Electronics

BorgWarner Advanced Turbo Actuator (Electronics Only) Teardown

16 June 2008
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Special Note

The scope of this teardown is 'electronics only' and does not include the cost of the metal enclosures and 'actuator' portion of the assembly. Placeholders are in the bill of materials for all mechanical components.

BorgWarner Advanced Turbo Actuator (Electronics Only) Main ImageBorgWarner Advanced Turbo Actuator (Electronics Only) Main Image

Overview / Features

This device is an "Advanced Turbo Actuator Unit from BorgWarner. The scope of our analysis is limited to the actual control circuitry in the unit, and not the full device including the enclosures and mechanical / electro-mechanical units, however, we have itemized all items in the BOM (costs not provided for mechanical components).

The electronic module inside was very far from the type we typically see, even in other automotive electronics. For whatever reason, BorgWarner has designed the control circuitry to be inside the housing of the actuator (inside the die cast housing), and as, it appears, a result of this selection and the operating environment for the electronics a lot of exotic choices were made that made this analysis particularly difficult. And despite, on paper, being a very short list of components, the reasons this circuit is so exotic are numerous:

a) All the semiconductive components are bare die (not flip chip - but bare die) - thefore not SMD components

b) These die are all wire-bonded directly to a..

c) Ceramic substrate (not a more conventional PCB), which also features…

d) Laser trimmed embedded elements on the ceramic substrate

So despite having very few elements - this 'module' is not conventional in it's electronic implementation and does not fit our standard methodology especially for assembly costs.

Furthermore, many of the bare dies could not be positively identified in their function or manufacturers despite microscopic analysis - however we did differentiate at a high level between Analog ICs, MOSFETs, and diodes.

BorgWarner Advanced Turbo Actuator (Electronics Only) - Main PCB TopBorgWarner Advanced Turbo Actuator (Electronics Only) - Main PCB Top

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume (over an approximate 4 year product lifetime) of 500,000 units produced.

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.

BorgWarner Advanced Turbo Actuator (Electronics Only) Cost AnalysisBorgWarner Advanced Turbo Actuator (Electronics Only) Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

There's nothing conventional about the components used here, though many of the bare die may actually be 'commodity' products from their respective manufacturer's, we could not conclude this from our analysis. Even components such as the ceramic multilayer capacitors were quite pricey when compared with most ceramic capacitors, as they were particularly thick. Probably the most expensive element, though, is the manufacturing cost and the ceramic substrate onto which everything is mounted.

This module does not use standard surface-mount manufacturing, but rather uses a combination of surface mount component manufacturing combined with bare die which are wire-bonded to the substrate. The final step of in-circuit laser trimming of elements on the substrate adds further cost. Furthermore, given the assumed country of origin (Germany) and the inherent rigors of manufacturing for the automotive market, and we have some very expensive manufacturing costs.

The major material cost drivers on the ""Main PCB" ceramic substrate are:

Ceramic Substrate - Alumina, Single-Layer w/2-Layer Thick-Film Metallization (Bottom Ground Plane, and Top Signal Layer w/ additional Thick-Film Dielectric & Conductor Overlays), w/ Laser-Trimmed Printed-Carbon Resistors - Qty(1)

Infineon - Microcontroller - Bare Die - Qty(1)

MOSFET - Bare Die - Qty(5)

MOSFET - Bare Die - Qty(3)

Analog IC - Bare Die - Qty(1)

Bipolar - Bare Die - Qty(35)

Infineon - Analog IC - Bare Die - Qty(1)

MOSFET - Bare Die - Qty(1)

Texas Instruments - TLC2274Y - Amplifier - Op Amp, Quad, Rail-To-Rail, Bare Die - Qty(1)

Total w/Manufacturing ~$15.18**

* - General comment on ASICs - Because of the non-commodity nature of the core ASICs, without being 'in the room' at negotiations here, the actual price 'paid' for these core parts are anyone's guess. We have modeled the silicon costs and using assumed package and test costs derived a chip 'cost'.

** - This represents a bare-bones manufacturing costs which represents auto-insertion direct line costs only, direct hand labor, and basic testing (with setup costs amortized here) costs. Advanced testing costs (burn-in, etc.), not considered.

IC Price Evaluator - Core Silicon Cost Modeling Notes

Cost modeling performed in this analysis was broadly applied, as most of the 'major' components in this deisgn were are die. Because we know so little about what each die was, or who the manufacturers are, we had to make some generic assumptions on process geometry for most of the ICs - and applied an across the boad 0.8u (very unusual, but derived from another automotive module analysis recently performed. See the IC Price Evaluator tab in the spreadsheet analysis) which accounts for the cost of the die, (packaging - which is 'N/A' here), test and then a final margin figure to estimate costs.

Automotive IC's are typically not so much manufactured in the most cutting-edge technologies (such as 0.13, 90 and 65nm), but are more often, like RF IC's fabbed in more conventional mid-stream or older technologies, (0.25um and higher). The process geometry is an assumption.

Above average margins have been applied, however it is possible that our standard silicon price model may not sufficiently account for the rigors of automotive applications testing and packaging, as well as the indirect cost of component, system, and facilities qualifications, etc.

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 and 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

The unit is assumed to have been assembled in the Germany, based on BorgWarner's footprint as a company. This is inconclusive, however, and may be made by subsidiaries elsewhere in the world.

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of 'finished' sub-assemblies (none really apply in this case), 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 Q2 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 Notes

Main PCB

The Main PCB in this design completely orbits around a central microcontroller of unknown origin, and the rest of the design consists of low-level discrete components. Below are listed the 'major' components in descending order of cost impact to the BOM.

Major Components (In descending order of cost impact)

Infineon - Microcontroller - Bare Die - Qty(1)

MOSFET - Bare Die - Qty(5)

MOSFET - Bare Die - Qty(3)

Analog IC - Bare Die - Qty(1)

Bipolar - Bare Die - Qty(35)

Infineon - Analog IC - Bare Die - Qty(1)

MOSFET - Bare Die - Qty(1)

Texas Instruments - TLC2274Y - Amplifier - Op Amp, Quad, Rail-To-Rail, Bare Die - Qty(1)


BorgWarner Advanced Turbo Actuator (Electronics Only) - Enclosure DisassemblyBorgWarner Advanced Turbo Actuator (Electronics Only) - Enclosure Disassembly

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