iPhone 4 Wallpapers: Gyro and Internals

June 30, 2010 Hardware, Site News — Miro

This morning we published a teardown of the iPhone 4′s vibrational gyroscope. We tried our best to explain how vibrational gyroscopes function and have documented their internals at a microscopic level.

The pictures were worth a thousand words. Everyone was thrilled to see Chipworks‘ images of vibrational gyroscopes, and one user even made an iPhone wallpaper out of them.

We loved the “gyroscope wallpaper” idea so much that we re-created the same wallpaper for everyone to enjoy, and included an “iPhone 4 Internals” wallpaper to boot:


Just click on the pictures above within your iPhone’s browser to access the full-resolution images. If for some reason you cannot click on the images, you can use the Gyro and Internals links, respectively.

iPhone 2G, 3G & 3GS users, do not fret — the images are 2:3 ratio and will look just fine on your phones.

This is a buy zero, get two free promotion, practically unheard of outside of iFixit. Enjoy!

iPhone 4 Gyroscope Teardown

June 30, 2010 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

Apple first announced the iPhone 4′s gyroscope at WWDC 2010, but it was largely overshadowed by other big players inside the phone — the A4 processor, Retina display, and external antennas. A lot of technology gets stuffed into vibrational gyroscopes (the type found in the iPhone 4), yet a casual observer may barely notice the chip itself, let alone the phenomenal contents within it. We’ve partnered with Chipworks to show you exactly what’s inside these little gems.

GK10A MEMS die, found in the iPhone 4's gyroscope

Vibrational gyroscopes have a ton of practical uses, including automotive yaw sensors, game controllers, and image stabilization in cameras. Now, iPhone 4 applications and games can also benefit from their superb accuracy. The teardown covers not only the iPhone 4′s gyroscope, but vibrational gyroscopes in general. We tried our best to explain how vibrational gyroscopes function and have documented their internals at a microscopic level.

ST LYPR540AH Tri-axis MEMS gyroscope, shot by a scanning electron microscope.

iPhone 4 Repair Guides

June 25, 2010 Hardware, Repair Guides, Site News — Miro

We’ve had the iPhone 4 in our hands for only a couple of  days, which happens to be just enough time to create a comprehensive set of repair guides! We hope you never have to use our guides, but we’ve got you covered if you do.

During our teardown, we investigated the repairability of the front and back glass panels. It turns out that you’ll be able to replace the back glass with little effort, but you won’t be able to replace the front panel without also replacing the LCD. The LCD, glass panel, and digitizer come as one unit in the iPhone 4, and they are inseparable without damaging the device. We’re going to keep investigating to see if there are some methods of separating the LCD from the rest of the front panel, but the “outlook [is] not so good,” so to speak.

The good news is that whatever goes wrong with your beautiful iPhone 4 — whether you crush the home button, damage the front-facing or rear-facing camera, or short out the iPhone logic board while taking a swim — you can fix it, and we can help.

Removing the rear panel

Replacing the rear camera

Replacing the front panel assembly

Replacing the logic board

iPhone 4 Teardown

June 24, 2010 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

We had a blast taking apart the new iPhone 4. Apple definitely spent time giving the phone a thorough makeover, meticulously changing every little facet.

We are happy to splay the fruits of their labor for your enjoyment!

You can view the teardown, or head to YouTube to check out our video slideshow.

Teardown highlights:

  • Like the iPhone 3G and 3GS, there are two silver Phillips screws at the bottom of the phone. But removing these screws releases the rear case instead of the front glass, giving you immediate access to the battery.
  • Unfortunately, the LCD panel is very securely glued to the glass and digitizer. If you break the glass, you’ll have to replace the glass, digitizer, and LCD as a single assembly.
  • The 3.7V, 1420 mAh Li-Polymer battery is not soldered in place, and is very easy to remove.
  • In what can only be described as a work of genius, Apple has integrated the UMTS, GSM, GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth antennas into the stainless steel inner frame.
  • The iPhone 4 sports two cameras — a VGA front-facer, and a 5 MP beauty on the back. Both are located on their own independent boards, making it possible to physically remove the cameras without damaging the phone.
  • The phone uses the 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 core, much like its bigger sibling, the iPad.
  • Unlike the iPhone 3GS and iPad — which are both equipped with 256 MB of RAM — the iPhone 4 has a whopping 512 MB.
  • The AGD1 is the new 3 axis gyroscope that we believe is designed and manufactured by ST Micro for Apple. The package marks on this device do not appear to be the currently available commercial part, L3G4200D.
  • Broadcom provides both a BCM4329FKUBG 802.11n with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and FM receiver and a BCM4750IUB8 single-chip GPS receiver.
  • We’ve identified chips from Broadcom, Cirrus Logic, Numonyx, Samsung, ST Micro, Skyworks, Texas Instruments, and TriQuint.

Removing the camera

The iPhone 4 splayed out

Mac Mini Mid 2010 Teardown

June 16, 2010 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

We were finally able to acquire a Mini after some patient loitering outside our local Apple store. We were the only people in line, but we’re a committed bunch.

The 2010 Mini has been heavily revised. The main external difference is the new “pancaked” look — it’s wider than the previous Mini, but significantly thinner.

The power brick is gone (the power supply is now internal), and Apple has finally included an all-important HDMI port. However, Apple’s engineers didn’t stop there, and we found some very cool internal improvements!

You can check out the teardown, or alternately, view our YouTube video slideshow (for those who like moving pictures).

Teardown highlights:

  • With a simple counter-clockwise twist, we were able to gain access into the Mini’s internals. Gone are the days of the putty knife. You will be missed, old friend!
  • Removing the RAM is very simple this time around, requiring only the simple prying of two clips.
  • The fan doesn’t have too much work to do, since the new Mac Mini is the most energy-efficient desktop, running on less than 10 watts at idle!
  • There are two blind holes in the case of the Mini that are meant for the ends of Apple’s custom U-shaped logic board removal tool. We just used two Torx screwdrivers. We call them the “Mac Mini logic board removal tool.”
  • In keeping with its space saving design, the fins directing air toward the vent hole are slanted to allow for better fan placement.
  • The new Mini’s power supply churns out a minuscule 7 Amps at 12V. Compare that to the 25.8 Amps at 12V cranked out by the iMac Intel 27″, and you can understand how they fit the power supply inside the Mini.
  • The Mini’s 3/8″ woofer dome won’t be popping ear drums anytime soon.
  • Apple had to get creative with the antenna placement because they switched to unibody construction for this Mac Mini.

Removing the logic board

Mac Mini in pieces

iPhone 4 Specs Revealed

June 7, 2010 Hardware, Site News — Miro

Steve Jobs just announced the new iPhone 4. We were surprised that some of the inner workings of the phone were revealed, a first for Apple.

Some great new features of the new iPhone 4:

  • Glass front and back, steel frame. The frame is used as part of the antenna system, which should make reception much better.
  • Apple A4 processor confirmed.
  • 5MP camera with LED flash, shoots 720p video at 30 FPS!
  • “Retina Display” with 326 ppi density. That translates to a 3.5″ display with a 960×460 resolution, 78% of the pixels of the much-larger iPad.
  • A new battery that allows for “7 hours of 3G talk, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of WiFi browsing, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music…”
  • A three-axis gyroscope!
  • Video conferencing with a front-facing camera through Wi-Fi.

This is how the internal frame/antennas look:

Apple also showed off some of the manufacturing processes for the iPhone 4 frame:

Pre-orders start on June 15th; you’ll be able to hold one in your hands (and we’ll be tearing one down) on the 24th. Big thanks to Engadget for providing the photos. Go figure, we’re not on Apple’s invite list for these events!

HTC Evo 4G Teardown

June 1, 2010 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

We managed to snag an HTC Evo 4G before it went on sale to the general public. In true teardown fashion, we turned it on, played with the gorgeous screen for 5 minutes, and immediately relegated it to the carving table. Our friends at Wired were nice enough to record our disassembly for the world to see:

The Evo 4G was wonderfully easy to take apart, which should make servicing/repairing the phone very easy. Even so, HTC managed to avoid “ghastly” visible screws by using a removable back panel. Once the panel was removed, we were able to access the six T5 Torx screws and underlying components using a bit of care and precision.

Teardown highlights:

  • Removing the glass is not terribly difficult. This is great news for those unfortunate enough to drop their shiny phone and crack the glass.
  • Like most reasonable phones, changing the Evo’s battery is a snap. All you have to do is remove the back cover and unplug the battery.
  • The 3.7 V, 1500 mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery contains 23% more capacity than an iPhone 3GS, 15% more than a Droid Incredible, and 7% more than a Nexus One.
  • Look out! There’s a liquid damage indicator on the battery’s top edge — a first that we’ve seen. Of course, you can just replace the battery if you douse the Evo in water. There are other liquid damage indicators on the phone, however, so you can’t fool the manufacturer that easily.
  • The Evo’s internal frame houses the stand, antennas, LED flashes, and speaker, and connects to the logic board via several ribbon cables.
  • The dual LED flash assembly consists of no more than two LEDs soldered to a small interconnect board.