Main Features / Overview
The Samsung Q1B is an 'ultra-mobile PC (UMPC)', similar to the recently analyzed Sony Vaio VGN-UX50. This unit runs Windows XP, and features a fairly large 7 WVGA touchscreen (vs a much smaller 4.5" LCD on Vaio) and is overall somewhat larger than the Vaio - the Q1B is 9"x5.5"x1" (@ 1.7lbs) - vs. the Vaio at 5.9"x3.7"x1.3" (@1.2lbs).
One big difference with the Sony Vaio is the selection of VIA Technologies for the core CPU (VIA C7-M ULV 770) and integrated North/Southbridge Single chip solution (VX700). The CPU runs at 1.0GHz.
The Q1B features everything (less the keyboard) that you would expect from a laptop - it is in fact in all respects a fully functioning laptop. As for the lack of keyboard, the Sony Vaio's flush-key keyboard was so functionally useless that by comparison the 'missing' keyboard here is probably just as well. A keyboard is included as an accessory.
Other than this - the Q1B also features 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, 40GB Hard drive, and 512MB DDR2 SDRAM.
The Q1B, like the Vaio VGN-UX50 targets both the consumer and business markets, with its strong multimedia capabilities (features something called ""AVS Now" which provides 'instant-on' for media features) which appeal to the consumer segment, and wireless networking capabilities along with small form factor appealing to the business segment.
Given the price tag of roughly half that of the Vaio VGN-UX50 which retailed for around $1500 when realized in mid 2006, this Samsung is far more accessible, selling for as low as the low $800 online in Q1 2007, but still may have a hard time finding an audience because it's a bit large as a UMPC, but really only has the feature-set of a cheaper laptop. So, the same question that we raised with Vaio applies here - who is willing to pay a premium for a marginal forma factor improvement, given some of the inherent weaknesses of UMPCs (input device weakness, etc.). It would make a novel device for use in some business environments that use more expensive tablet PC's perhaps.
Pricing and Availability
$800 and up at the time of this writing (3/2/2007).
iSuppli believes that while the even though the UMPC market is very immature, it does have potential. We believe the Samsung Q1B, like the Vaio VGN-UX50 will undergo a production volume of approximately 100,000 units over a brief lifetime of 18-24 months. However, this figure is heavily dependant on: the success of the product in the market, the success of the UMPC market overall, and the future roadmap for UMPC models from Samsung and, how quickly the company decides to replace the product.
As a reminder, volume production assumptions are not meant to be necessarily 'market accurate', and our meant primarily to be 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).
Market Sector / Performance
The UMPC category forms a subset of the Notebook PC market. At this stage in time, iSuppli does not breakout a separate forecast for the UMPC category due to its immaturity. In 2007, we expect the Notebook PC market to achieve unit shipments of 98 million units, representing annual growth of 23.5 percent. The UMPC segment has the potential to be a large market, with Intel clearly believing that the segment could be high volume market. The appeal to the consumer (portable multimedia) and corporate user (wireless connectivity and small form factor with full PC functionality) is appealing, and will help in increasing the market penetration of the device. The pricing makes the product somewhat of a costly luxury item to the consumer audience, while the strong gadget factor inherent in the device will limit its initial appeal to technology-educated consumers.
As is often the case with systems we analyze, the majority of dollar value items that drive the total cost of this system can be found in the top 10 or so items, which in this case, are as follows:
Main Cost Drivers Representing ~84% of total direct materials costs
VIA Technologies - VIA C7-M ULV 770 - CPU - Ultra Low Voltage, 1.0GHz, 400MHz FSB, 90nm, 5W
Hitachi - HTC426040G8CE00 - 40GB, 1.8', UDMA/100 ATA-7, 4200RPM, 2MB Buffer
Samsung - M470T6554CZ3-CD5 - SODIMM DDR2 - 512MB, 32M x 16 x 8, 1.8V
Chunghwa Pictures Tube Ltd - CLAA070VA06T - Display Module w/Touschscreen - 7.0' Diagonal, Color TFT, 800 x 480
VIA Technologies - VX700 - Northbridge / Southbridge
Samsung - AA-PB0UC3B - Battery Pack - Li-Ion, 11.1V, 2600mAh
WLAN Mini PCI Card Module Value Line Item - 802.11b/g
Gold Circuit Electronics - Main PCB - 10-Layer - FR4, Lead-Free
Li Shin International - 0335C1960 - Power Supply - Switching, Input: 100-240VAC ~1.7A 50/60Hz, Output: 19V 3.16A, 60W
Broadcom - BCM92045NMD - Bluetooth Module - V2.0+EDR
Renesas - HD64F2110BV - MCU - 16-Bit, Single-Chip, 64KB ROM, 2KB RAM
Materials and Manufacturing ~$421
A Few Comments on the Cost Drivers and Comparison with Vaio
The VIA chipset here is significantly less expensive than the Intel Core Solo and North/Southrbidge chipset (Approximately $160 vs 254 in the Vaio), but the display is significantly larger and employs CCFL backlighting on the Q1B vs LED backlighting on the Vaio UMPC. The fact that there is no keyboard or sliding screen definitely cuts complexity and cost as well in many different areas (mechanical components, interconnect / PCBs, 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.
Function / Performance
No performance testing was performed on the Samsung Q1B.
Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions
The Samsung Q1B has a number of various sub-assemblies built in various countries - see the 'Overview' section on the online presentation for a list of countries of origin for the major sub-assemblies such as display, hard drive, etc. As for final assembly - the product is labeled as Made in China, so it is assumed, when not otherwise labeled, that all other components and systems were also produced locally in 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.
Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity
There is no doubt that UMPCs are complex, dense devices. As we have seen from Apple products, where the design envelope is typically pushed by the drive to have ultra-compact form factors with maximum functionality, designers are obliged to use more costly manners of implementing all aspects of the design. Onboard electronic component density is heavy, although not as much as in the Sony Vaio VGN-UX50, but these motherboards have more in common with handset PCBs than most other motherboards in terms of component packaging.
In terms of interconnect, dense designs often implement expensive flex circuitry to help interconnect various ports. Flex circuits are always more costly than basic rigid PCBAs and manufacturing costs for flex circuits are also more expensive than with rigid PCBAs. Because the Q1B does not have the 'sliding screen' feature or other moving parts, this deisgn is simplified in this and other aspects.
In terms of the component count in the Q1B, the component count is relatively modest at a total of 1474 components. We have seen some PDAs that rival this. When compared with the Sony Vaio UMPC (VGN-UX50), the Q1B comes in below the Vaio which had 1736 total component count (for the core device only - not the docking station, etc.), whereas, as another point of comparison, an entry-level Dell laptop has 1872 total discrete components.
Furthermore, given all of the extra bells and whistles this Q1B and Vaio feature in a fraction of the space, they add up to a very complex devices. Keep in mind, that as is often the case, the sheer bulk of components in terms of raw count are represented by passive components, such as resistors and capacitors for which placement is automated and relatively low-cost to perform.
On the other hand, the Q1B only features 152 mechanical components, vs the Vaio 273 count - much of this stems from not having the keyboard or the sliding screen feature which specifically adds mechanical components and manufacturing complexity.
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.
The core design is based on VIA Technologies CPU (VIA C7-M ULV 770) and integrated North/Southbridge Single chip solution (VX700). It is assumed that this decision is due to cost largely, but also because of the relative technical advantage of a single North/Southbridge chip solution (smaller form factor, fewer components to mount, to cool, reduced power consumption). The display module is from Chunghwa Pictures Tube Ltd - CLAA070VA06T and is a 7.0' Diagonal, Color TFT, 800 x 480 Pixels, w/ Touch Screen overlay. The Hard Drive is a 40GB 1.8', UDMA/100 ATA-7, 4200RPM from Hitachi, and the WLAN card are from an unknown source but based on an Atheros AR2413A single chip solution. Finally the Blueooth module is from Broadcom - BCM92045NMD.
VIA Technologies - VIA C7-M ULV 770 - CPU - Ultra Low Voltage, 1.0GHz, 400MHz FSB, 90nm, 5W
VIA Technologies - VX700 - Video Graphics, HD Audio, DDR2 and SATAII Support
IDT - ICS952906BGLF - Clock Synthesizer - Timing Control Hub, Programmable
I/O & Interface
Bluetooth - Broadcom - BCM2045 - V2.0+EDR
MCU - Renesas - HD64F2110BV - 16-Bit, Single-Chip, 64KB ROM, 2KB RAM
Codec - Realtek - ALC262-GR - HD Audio, 24bit Stereo DAC
USB Controller - Cypress Semiconductor - CY7C363743C-QXC - USB V2.0/ V1.1 & PS/2 Peripheral Controller
CCFL Controller - O2 Micro - OZ9910SN
TFT-LCD Timing Controller - Myson Century - CS5845GJ - 6-Bit Output, 800xRGBx480
SODIMM DDR2 Module - Samsung - M470T6554CZ3-CD5 - SODIMM DDR2 - 512MB, 32M x 16 x 8, 1.8V
Flash - SST - SST49LF008A-33-4C-EIE - NOR, 8Mb(1M x 8-Bit), Firmware Hub, 33MHz, 3.3V
WLAN Mini PCI Card
Atheros - AR2413A - WLAN - Single-Chip, 802.11b/g
Epic Communications - PA2409 - PAM - WLAN 802.11b/g, 2.4-2.5GHz
Hitachi - 40GB, 1.8', UDMA/100 ATA-7, 4200RPM, 2MB Buffer
Chunghwa Pictures Tube Ltd - CLAA070VA06T - 7.0' Diagonal, Color TFT, 800 x 480 Pixels, w/ Touch Screen
Broadcom BCM92045NMD - Bluetooth V2.0+EDR Module