Oculus Rift Teardown

Using the Oculus Rift in VR mode

This is the future of Starbucks coffee tables across the country. (Cue the 2001: A Space Odyssey music.)

We had the majority of the iFixit team try the Oculus Rift, and pretty much all of us were queasy after about 10 minutes of playing Team Fortress 2 in VR mode. But now that we have a taste of it, we can barely wait until this technology is perfected. The Rift is an experience we’ve never seen before—even the non-gamers among us were amazed.

The good news doesn’t stop there. The Rift—at least in Developer Kit form—scores an excellent 9 out of 10 on our repairability scale. It uses standard screws, has pretty much no adhesive, and the whole thing comes apart in under ten minutes. However, our Rift is essentially a beta product, so we’re not sure how much it will differ from the final, consumer version. We’ll put the final version under the knife in due time, but so far so good!

Oculus Rift TeardownTeardown highlights:

  • One of the most innovative technologies brought about by the Rift is its head tracking capability. Accomplished with a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer, the Rift allows for 3 degrees of freedom so you can look around the virtual world without having to move your entire virtual body.
  • We thought we could just jump into playing TF2. Not so fast. Apparently we have to choose either A cups, B cups, or C cups for our eyes. Then we have to measure our IPD (inter-pupillary distance), and put TF2 into VR mode. A couple of hours later, we’re finally ready to play.
  • A couple of clips and some sticky foam adhesive hold the display securely into the front panel of the Oculus, ensuring a firm grip on the screen while you’re whipping your head around in-game.
  • The Oculus uses an Innolux HJ070IA-02D 7″ LCD. Chimei Innolux is Taiwan’s largest LCD manufacturer and is rumored to be a replacement source for Apple’s iPad Mini screens. The back of the LCD hosts a Himax HX8851 timing controller.
  • The main component out of the headset is the Oculus Tracker V2 board, custom designed and optimized for a 1000 Hz refresh rate. Here we find the chips controlling the revolutionary head-tracking device:
    • STMicroelectronics 32F103C8 ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller with 72 MHz CPU
    • Invensense MPU-6000 six-axis (gyro + accelerometer) motion tracking controller
    • A983 2206—we suspect this is a three-axis magnetometer, used in conjunction with the accelerometer to correct for gyroscope drift
  • Our Development Kit control box is a pretty basic device, consisting of buttons for adjusting the Rift’s settings and a handful of I/O ports. The main chips on the control box motherboard:
    • Realtek RTD2486AD display interface controller
    • Winbond W25X20CL 256 KB serial flash
    • Techcode TD1484A synchronous rectified step-down converter

Of course, you don’t have to settle for just the highlights. Check out the full teardown.