Wireless Connectivity

Ubee EVW3200 Cable Modem Teardown

17 May 2012
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

IHS Insight Perspective

Ubee (formerly Ambit) is a Taiwan-based tier 2 player in the cable modem space. We define the top tier players in the space as Cisco, Motorola and Arris, and collectively represent roughly 80% of this market. Ubee had about 6% share overall of the market at the end of 2011. We have also adjusted some of our pricing assumptions down significantly in the area of the DOCSIS 3 chips and WLAN ICs to align with our analyst's understanding of the market.

Ubee EVW3200 Cable Modem Main ImageUbee EVW3200 Cable Modem Main Image
Overall Significance

This is a cookie-cutter reference design cable modem and router made by Ubee for different cable service providers. It's hard for cable modem OEMs to differentiate themselves in feature set - as most OEMs are designing with the same components. It all comes down to supplier leverage and efficiencies in manufacturing and is a very competitive market as a result.

Feature Significance

Cable modem and router featuring DOCSIS 3.0, 4-port Ethernet connectivity, 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless, and telephone line connection. This is a basic cable modem with router functionality.

Ubee EVW3200 Cable Modem - Main PCB TopUbee EVW3200 Cable Modem - Main PCB Top

Design Significance

Cookie cutter reference design from Broadcom - resembles previously analyzed Netgear CG3100 very closely and is nearly identical. Both cable modems leverage Broadcom heavily for all core functions in a handful of chips.

Target Market

Cable Service Providers

As with other such equipment - this cable modem is distributed and subsidized by cable service providers - this particular unit came from a service provider in the Netherlands, based on the literature included. It appears that Ziggo is a service provider in the Netherlands offering this Ubee modem with their service.

Ubee EVW3200 Cable Modem - Disassembly View 1Ubee EVW3200 Cable Modem - Disassembly View 1


For such equipment it is hard to determine when the product was released, as these are not sold directly to consumers.

Pricing and Availability

Unknown MSRP

For subsidized cable modems, 'pricing' is always subsidized to a greater or lesser extent and can even be a money-maker in the long run, if it is 'rented' to consumers. But the bottom line is that such equipment is not 'sold' per se in a normal retail arrangement.


This particular box seems to be offered by Ziggo in the Netherlands, but may, in other variants, be available from other service providers throughout the world.

Volume Estimations

500,000 Total Units
3 Total Years

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an Annual Production Volume of 500000 units and a Product Lifetime Volume of 3 year(s).

Teardown volume and 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.

Market Performance

Per IHS iSuppli's research: DOCSIS 2.0 is quickly being replaced by DOCSIS 3.0 in the cable broadband space, and we now see all modem and gateways for DOCSIS 3.0 outnumbering DOCSIS 2.0 in 2012 by a factor of 3.5 to 1. Gateways are becoming increasingly popular in the mix of units shipped (and now represent nearly 60 % of total unit shipments in 2012), and the overall market is expected to grow as cable broadband grows faster than DSL and operators swap out CPE for an upcoming IPTV simulcast transition.

Ubee EVW3200 Cable Modem Cost AnalysisUbee EVW3200 Cable Modem Cost Analysis
Cost Notes

Pricing assumptions and margin assumptions for Broadcom have been lowered significantly in this analysis (relative to other recent cable modem teardowns), as a result of our internal discussions at IHS iSuppli with our analyst that covers this space who reports that based on interviews that DOCSIS makers 'are a duopoly because margins are too thin to support more players". We have interpreted this as 30 to 40% margins fro Broadcom on the core IC, but even WLAN is an extremely competitive space (as are even wired Ethernet chips!) making for a lower BOM than in our previous Netgear analysis.

Total BOM: $49.49
Top Cost Drivers below: $34.78
% of Total BOM 70%

Main Cost Drivers below

Broadcom BCM3380ZKFSBG Cable Modem IC - DOCSIS/EuroDOCSIS 3.0, 8-Channels 320Mbps Downstream, 4-Channels 160Mbps Upstream, w/ Integrated Octal Demodulator & Quad Modulator- (Qty: 1)
WLAN Half Mini PCIe Module - IEEE802.11a/b/g/n, Contains BCM43224KMLG Single-Chip Solution- (Qty: 1)
HongHengSheng Electronical Technology 4-Layer - FR4, Lead-Free- (Qty: 1)
Broadcom BCM53114KFBG Ethernet Switch - 5-Port, 10/100/1000Mbps, 65nm- (Qty: 1)
Bothhand GS5014 Ethernet Magnetics Module - Dual Port, 10/100/1000Base-T- (Qty: 2)
DSA-24PFD-15 FEU AC Adapter - 12V, 2A, w/ 5ft Cord & Plastic Bag- (Qty: 1)
Ceramic Multilayer - X5R/X7R- (Qty: 390)
Enclosure, Main, Top - Injection Molded ABS, Printed- (Qty: 1)
Monolithic Power Systems (MPS) MP1482DS DC-DC Converter - Synchronous Rectified, Step-Down, Adjustable, 2A, 340KHz- (Qty: 2)
Macronix MX25L12845EMI-10G Flash - NOR, 128Mb, 104MHz, SPI- (Qty: 1)

Not Included in 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.

We do provide an Excel tab 'Overall Costs' where a user can enter their known pre and post production costs to build a per unit cost reflective of theirs actual expenditures.

Manufacturing Notes

As with most electronic hardware, this equipment may be built for Ubee by an outside contract manufacturer, but may also be built in-house, as is often the case for OEM/ODM type companies which are common in Taiwan. For the purposes of our analysis, our cost structures in manufacturing represent the cost to the manufacturer, without markup. If an EMS is involved, one would have to add a fair margin for the EMS provider, on top of our cost assessment, in order to provide a 'fair price' to the manufacturer. EMS providers often operate in the low single digits on margins, but tend to make up for such low margins when working with low volume products such as this.

Country of Origin

For the purposes of this analysis, we are assuming the following country(ies) of origin for each level of assembly, based on a combination of 'Made In' markings, and/or assumptions based on our knowledge of such equipment.

Box Contents - Vietnam
Main PCB - Vietnam
Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly - Vietnam
WLAN Half Mini PCIe Module - Vietnam

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 display modules), 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.

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 pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design Complexity

Component counts by assembly and the number of assembly are indicators of design complexity and efficiency.

Component Qty: 720 - Main PCB
Component Qty: 89 - WLAN Half Mini PCIe Module
Component Qty: 15 - Box Contents
Component Qty: 23 - Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly
Component Qty: 847 - Grand Total

This box is extremely similar to a recently analyzed Netgear cable-modem (CG3100). This device features a slightly lower component count (832 components excluding box contents in this Ubee, vs. 867 in the Netgear). All of the main Ics and components are pretty much identical to the Netgear design.

Design Notes

Cookie cutter reference design from Broadcom - resembles previously analyzed Netgear CG3100 very closely and is nearly identical. Both cable modems leverage Broadcom heavily for all core functions in a handful of chips including the core BCM3380 cable modem SoC, and peripheral BCM43224 (WLAN chip - as part of half-mini PCIe card), as well as Broadcom BCM53114 Ethernet switch (5-Port, 10/100/1000Mbps).

Ubee EVW3200 Cable Modem - Box ContentsUbee EVW3200 Cable Modem - Box Contents

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