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Mobile Devices

Samsung SGH-Z520 Mobile Phone Teardown

30 April 2006
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

Main Features

High-end clamshell 3G UMTS / Tri-Band GSM dual camera phone (2 megapixel and VGA secondary) - also features other higher end features such as a 2.0 inch 262K color 320 x 240 resolution screen (with special split frame secondary featuring 'always-on' portion, stereo speakers, airline 'off' mode, and media player. Phone also features Bluetooth 2.0 (Enhanced Data Rate - EDR), USB and 1Gb of NAND flash and 512Mb of SDRAM (no NOR Flash) with MicroSD card expansion slot.

Samsung SGH-Z520 Mobile Phone Main ImageSamsung SGH-Z520 Mobile Phone Main Image


We have seen a lot of Samsung phones, and although evolution in Samsung designs is constantly ongoing and evolving, it is rarely a breakthrough design that completely changes the Samsung design paradigm. This is yet another phone in the constantly evolving lineup that we have seen to date, primarily from an electronic design perspective. On a completely different tack, it is odd that Samsung can take aesthetic steps forward and produce a very sleek and attractive phone like the SGH-D500 slider, then take 3 steps backward aesthetically and produce a phone like this and the ZV40, that look like so many ho-hum silver clamshells of yesteryear for Samsung. The look is clunk and old for Samsung, but the features are fairly cutting edge with dual cameras (2MP primary), Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, EDGE, and the core Qualcomm chip even features 3.5G HSDPA, although the phone itself does not appear to have that level of functionality.

Target Market

Although this phone has fairly high-end features, the styling is mainstream Samsung silver flip. Lack of marketing materials makes it hard to ascertain if a specific hiche is targeted. Based on the WCDMA/3G feature-set, regionally this would be focused on Europe and Asia.

Samsung SGH-Z520 Mobile Phone - Main PCB TopSamsung SGH-Z520 Mobile Phone - Main PCB Top


Barcelona, Spain, February 13, 2006 - 3GSM World Congress 2006, Samsung announced this modelo along with another 9 3G models.

Pricing and Availability

239 Euros per German website, at the time of writing (May, 2006).

Volume Estimations

We are assuming a lifetime production volume of 1 million units for this model, a slightly lower number than assumed on other models, because of the higher-end nature of the phone features and market.

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

In the broad context of mobile phones, iSuppli forecast 850 million unit shipments for all handset types in 2006. Isuppli further expects, in 2006, for WCDMA 2100 & GSM tri and quad-band phones, are expected to ship in quantities of about 68 million units. Furthermore, within that group, iSuppli forecasts that Samsung will ship about 7 million units, representing about 10% share for this particular band segment.. Samsung, overall is expected to grow it's market share of about 13% of unit shipments in 2006.

Function / Performance

Functional testing was not performed on the Samsung SGH-Z520.

Samsung SGH-Z520 Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisSamsung SGH-Z520 Mobile Phone Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Phone costs are largely feature driven, but also driven by general manufacturing complexity, design for manufacturing (or DFM), component counts and of course the country where they are assembled. This phone is fairly complex, due to some extent to the clamshell form factor but primarily because of the higher-end nature of the phone and feature set driving costs - mainly dual cameras, stereo speakers, the 3G functionality which increases the RF section cost by several dollars, and also twin TFT displays, and a large memory MCP.

Main Cost Drivers representing approximately 64% of total materials costs

Primary Display Module - 2' Diagonal TFT

Samsung - MCP - 1Gb NAND Flash 512Mb Mobile SDRAM

DBB - Qualcomm - MSM6275

Display Module - Split Screen

Camera Module - 2MP, CMOS, 1/3.2' Format - Fixed Lens


Bluetooth 2.0 Module - Contains Broadcom BCM2045

Camera Module - VGA, CMOS, 1/6' Format - Fixed Lens

Materials and Manufacturing*

* - The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect only the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), manufacturing and test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the manufacture of the core device itself - cost of 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 itself.

Manufacturing Notes

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

As is typically the case with Samsung phones - the product is labeled as Made in Korea, and even the charger, surprisingly (although we have seen this before with Samsung) was labeled as Made in Korea - whereas, almost every charger we now see is made in China. Furthermore, we have assumed that for the Z520, the PCB was also stuffed in Korea, but that custom mechanicals (plastics and metals) were sourced from China.

The high production volume assumption effectively amortizes most NRE and tooling costs to a point where changes in quantity assumptions, or even the country of origin will have a minor effect on overall pricing.

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The Samsung SGH-Z520 nearly tops the list in sheer component count against all other Samsung phones analyzed to date. At a component count of 942, the Z520 is between the recently analyzed SGH-Z140 (829 components), and the previously seen Z105 (986). In fact at component counts of 900 and above, phones are clearly in a high-complexity category.

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, increased in this case because of assumed labor rate applied for Korea vis--vis much lower rates applied when the country of origin is 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

The bulk of the design here revolves around a Qualcomm chipset. The phone uses another 'all-in-one' DBB baseband solution from Qualcomm (MSM6275). This chip really centralizes all of the functionality of the phone including even Bluetooth baseband functionality, as well as GPS functionality. We have also seen the Qualcomm MSM6250 chip in the SGH-ZV140 design, and parallel SGH-ZV40 analyses.

Aklso like the SGH-ZV140, this device has a NAND/SDRAM only memory configuration, which seems thus far to be a Samsung unique feature. It is uncommon to see phones with no discrete NOR Flash. This memory architecture competes with the classic NOR/PSRAM memory combination seen in most mobile phones.


  • DBB - Qualcomm - MSM6275 - Digital Baseband Processor, Quad-Band GSM/GPRS, GPS, UMTS, HSDPA & Bluetooth

Battery / Power Management

  • Power Management IC - Qualcomm - PM6650


  • MCP - Samsung - KBE00F005A-D411 - 1Gb (2 Die x 512Mb) 2.7V NAND Flash, 512Mb (2 Die x 256Mb) 1.8V Mobile SDRAM


  • PAM (GSM) - TriQuint Semiconductor - TQM7M5003 -Quad-Band, GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • PAM (WCDMA) - Anadigics - AWT6275RM20P8 - WCDMA, 1920MHz - 1980MHz
    RF Transceiver (GSM/UMTS) - Qualcomm - RTR6250 - ZIF, Quad-Band GSM/GPRS Transceiver and Tri-Band UMTS 800/1900/2100MHz Transmitter
  • RF Transceiver (GSM/UMTS) - Qualcomm - RTR6200 - Dual Band GSM 900/1800MHz/GPRS Transceiver and UMTS 2100MHz Transmitter
  • RF Receiver - Qualcomm - RFR6202 - ZIF, Dual Band UMTS 800/2100MHz
  • LNA - Qualcomm - RFL6202 - Dual, UMTS 800/2100MHz
  • Antenna Switch - Sony - CXG1198AEQ - Antenna Switch - GSM/UMTS Dual Mode

User Interface

  • Bluetooth Module - Contains Broadcom BCM2045 - Blutonium Bluetooth 2.0+EDR Single Chip HCI Solution
  • FM Sound Synthesizer - Yamaha - YMU769


  • Primary - 2' Diagonal TFT, 262K Color, 320 x 240 pixels
    Secondary - Split Screen: Blue Monochrome /TFT Color Screen Area

Camera Module

  • Primary: 2MP, CMOS, 1/3.2' Format - Fixed Lens
  • Secondary: VGA, CMOS, 1/6' Format - Fixed Lens

Samsung SGH-Z520 Mobile Phone - Device - Bottom View w/ Bottom Enclosure RemovedSamsung SGH-Z520 Mobile Phone - Device - Bottom View w/ Bottom Enclosure Removed

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