Video Overview

Introduction

Apple fans are doing the happy dance, what with a slew of new devices coming out of Cupertino—including the first new Apple TV in more than three years. Our teardown engineers look pretty happy too. That's because we've got our hands on a 4th generation Apple TV. That's right, kids. It's teardown time!

Don't touch that dial—unless you're looking for more teardown news on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Apple TV 4th Generation, use our service manual.

Image 1/3: Dual-core, 64-bit Apple A8 chip Image 2/3: Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, IR receiver, and HDMI 1.4 connectivity Image 3/3: ...whilst the remote is packing:
  • We like to start with some specs, and in this case a lot of the good stuff is packed into the fancypants new remote. The box itself contains:

    • Dual-core, 64-bit Apple A8 chip

    • Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, IR receiver, and HDMI 1.4 connectivity

  • ...whilst the remote is packing:

    • Glass Touch surface

    • Dual microphones

    • Accelerometer and gyroscope

    • Bluetooth 4.0, IR transmitter, Lightning connector

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Image 1/3: It seems to have lost a port in the process—the optical audio out has gone MIA. Image 2/3: Meanwhile, the micro-USB port has morphed into a USB-C port. It doesn't bring anything new for end users, though—it's still for diagnostic and service functions only. Image 3/3: Our teardown engineers go to work on the Apple TV and quickly find access through the bottom of the device—similar to the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Apple+TV+3rd+Generation+Teardown/8293#s33180|3rd generation Apple TV].
  • The Apple TV has really packed on some pounds since its last iteration.

    • It seems to have lost a port in the process—the optical audio out has gone MIA.

    • Meanwhile, the micro-USB port has morphed into a USB-C port. It doesn't bring anything new for end users, though—it's still for diagnostic and service functions only.

  • Our teardown engineers go to work on the Apple TV and quickly find access through the bottom of the device—similar to the 3rd generation Apple TV.

  • Only a few plastic clips stand in the way here, with no adhesive or screws in sight.

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Image 1/3: We take our [https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Parts/Pro-Tech-Screwdriver-Set/IF145-239-1|Pro Tech Screwdriver Set|new_window=true] out for a quick spin to release the combo heat sink/EMI shield. Image 2/3: By the looks of it, this plate also serves as a bracket, giving the clips on the lower case something to latch onto. That's three functions in one component, folks. Image 3/3: By the looks of it, this plate also serves as a bracket, giving the clips on the lower case something to latch onto. That's three functions in one component, folks.
  • Under the hood, we spy a few Torx screws.

  • We take our Pro Tech Screwdriver Set out for a quick spin to release the combo heat sink/EMI shield.

    • By the looks of it, this plate also serves as a bracket, giving the clips on the lower case something to latch onto. That's three functions in one component, folks.

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Image 1/2: Apple A8 APL1011 SoC, with SK Hynix H9CKNNNBKTBRWR-NTH 2 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM Image 2/2: Universal Scientific Industrial 339S00045 Wi-Fi module
  • Here are some chips to go with your TV:

    • Apple A8 APL1011 SoC, with SK Hynix H9CKNNNBKTBRWR-NTH 2 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM

    • Universal Scientific Industrial 339S00045 Wi-Fi module

    • SMSC LAN9730 USB 2.0 to 10/100 Ethernet controller

    • Apple 338S00057 (similar part number to the 338S00055 custom memory controller found in the Retina MacBook 2015)

    • DP2700A1

    • Texas Instruments PA61

    • Fairchild Semiconductor DF25AU 010D 030D

Is it possible the Apple 338S00057 is a power management IC? The NAND flash controller is typically integrated into the SoC, and the parts surrounding the 338S00057 look like chokes or inductors.

Mark Reimlinger - Reply

I would agree with you. The caps/inductors completely surrounding that smell a lot like a PMIC.

Ian Hartwig -

I want to know if 16gb version also has 2G RAM

good best - Reply

There is no 16GB version! 32GB and 64GB

klave90 -

There is only a 32GB and 64GB version of this unit. Both are very similar with the same A8 processor and 2GB of SDRAM

dwenk -

The DP2700A1 has a Marvell logo on it. Any guesses to what this is?

Wendell Smith - Reply

Since the SMSC USB to 10/100 Ethernet has an integrated PHY, I'm guessing this is an HDMI interface IC (Either a level shifter, cable driver/ equalizer, or ESD/port protection). Maybe a Maxim part?

Mark Reimlinger -

It's MegaChips, not Marvell. Looks to be from their range of DisplayPort converters. Probably an eDP to HDMI 1.4 converter. Doesn't appear to be the full blown MCDP2800 DP 1.2a to HDMI 2.0 LSPCON ( http://www.megachips.us/products/documen... )

repoman27 -

So the 2800 definitely has 4K support, I couldn´t find any spec on DP2700A1 so we don´t know about that...Could this be an Apple specific version? It shouldn´t be too hard to buy with this with a purchase volume of 10 - 30 million...It seems that this chip has the definite answer to if 4K is possible on the hardware...

Kalle Kula -

Is USI-339S00045 a Wi-Fi Bluetooth combo or where are the Bluetooth LE from the remote received

Kelwin - Reply

Why only 10/100 ethernet and not Gigabit ethernet? I would think anyone considering buying this would think it is easily worth the extra few cents. 4k video requires 15 - 32 Mbps depending on quality, so why not use Gigabit to give more headroom on the bandwidth?

Insight - Reply

3-6 times headroom isn't enough? Seeing as though the majority of users will be streaming from the Internet, and the majority of those users don't even have 100Mbps or higher connections.

Steve McNally -

Image 1/1: SK Hynix [http://www.skhynix.com/inc/pdfDownload.jsp?path=/datasheet/Databook/Databook_4Q%272013_NANDFlash.pdf|H2JTEG8VD1BMR|new_window=true] 32 GB NAND Flash
  • More chips on the bottom of the logic board:

    • SK Hynix H2JTEG8VD1BMR 32 GB NAND Flash

    • NXP 1112 0206 5271B4K

    • V301 F 57K C6XF G4

Looks like there is room for a second 32 GB Nand Flash.

Detlef Duerre - Reply

It would be interesting to Ohm out the connection to the HDMI connector to see if it connects directly to the A8 CPU, or if it is possibly connecting to the 338S00057 chip. This would tell us if the A8 has HDMI built in, or if Apple is using a 2nd chip to create HDMI from some other signal like LVDS or Lightning serial.

Gregory Mack - Reply

Looking closer, it seems obvious that the DP2700A1 chip has the HDMI traces connected to it, so this is apparently some kind of HDMI transmitter? Does anyone know who makes this chip? It has a large M on the chip, which may be a clue to the manufacturer.

Gregory Mack - Reply

The big question here is if this chip has 4K capability (without current SW support from Apple)?

Kalle Kula -

Link to the flash datasheet is broken. I did a ton of Googling and could not find a link to the chip's detailed datasheet. Strangely, what SKHyinx calls a "databook" is just a list of part numbers with basic capacity and format specs and no other detailed information.

Collin Ong - Reply

Is the little chip on the front an IR emitter?

Cliff Barber - Reply

Looks like it to me, got two glass bubbles I'd expect to see

Andrew Nixon -

Image 1/3: Heat rises, so this heat-generating component lives on top of the stack, with the heat-sensitive logic board beneath. Image 2/3: The redesigned power supply is rated at 12V at 0.917A. Compare that to the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Apple+TV+3rd+Generation+Teardown/8293#s33183|3rd-gen Apple TV's main reactor|new_window=true], which pumped out 3.4V at 1.75A. Image 3/3: We noticed a distinct lack of cables connecting the power supply to the logic board. We're theorizing the power is either transmitted by magic, or through the heat sink screw posts.
  • Last to come out of the box: a great big chunky heat sink with a cute little power supply board tucked away inside.

    • Heat rises, so this heat-generating component lives on top of the stack, with the heat-sensitive logic board beneath.

    • The redesigned power supply is rated at 12V at 0.917A. Compare that to the 3rd-gen Apple TV's main reactor, which pumped out 3.4V at 1.75A.

  • We noticed a distinct lack of cables connecting the power supply to the logic board. We're theorizing the power is either transmitted by magic, or through the heat sink screw posts.

Heat doesn't rise. Heated fluids rise because of their decrease in density relative to cooler fluid.

Elias Levy - Reply

But heated air rises...

So on earth—unless you are in a vacuum—heat rises.

Hobowan Kenobi -

On the second picture showing the innards of the power supply, it looks like on the top left the bare screw delivers the power (you can see there's a PCB tracing coming off the cap to it) and the black screws are either for mounting or chassis return.

And looking at the heat sink, some of the posts appear to make contact with the metal rings around the through holes where they would line up, indicating the heat sink's use as a ground plane.

I have to admit, this is creative engineering.

shokikugawa - Reply

Air is a fluid. Come on.

AC - Reply

Yes, it looks like power goes through the silver screw at the top, and another screw that is hidden under the power supply clip? You can see on the circuit board where the screw has made physical contact.

spinningnucleon - Reply

Plase expand about power supply. I need to know if it's multi-voltage. I Live in Chile, a friend is travelling to US and I want him to buy an Apple TV. Here in Chile we use 220V 60Hz.

Edison Montes - Reply

Edison - if you zoom in on the 3rd photo in step 6 there's printing on the board that says "100-240V, 50-60Hz"

It's disappointing that Apple's tech info doesn't state that, or the power consumption, but practically every electronic device now can accommodate either 120 or 240 VAC.

techgineer -

You say "The redesigned power supply is rated at 12V at 0.917A. Compare that to the 3rd-gen Apple TV's main reactor, which pumped out 3.4V at 1.75A."

What you didn't say is: "The 3rd generation Apple TV consumed 5W of power, while the 4th generation consumes over twice as much at 11W."

The way you stated it sounds like maybe you were trying to spin it.

techgineer - Reply

Where can I get a replacement power supply?

steele6599 - Reply

Are the power supply separated so I can connect 12 VDC to in instead Lv 230 VAC?

Christer Dahlin - Reply

Image 1/3: Apple also packed in an accelerometer and gyroscope, which they hope you'll use to play games—[http://www.apple.com/tv/games-and-more/|and browse Airbnb]. Image 2/3: With Bluetooth 4.0, the new Remote doesn't need direct line-of-sight with your TV. Image 3/3: That is, unless you want to control your ''actual'' TV. Apple points out that the remote for their new TV [http://www.apple.com/tv/experience/| can also control a television or A/V receiver|new_window=true].
  • Behold, the new Siri Remote! Featuring dual microphones, a Glass Touch surface, and a Lightning connector, this remote is definitely a bit more complex than the Apple Remote of yesteryear.

  • Apple also packed in an accelerometer and gyroscope, which they hope you'll use to play games—and browse Airbnb.

  • With Bluetooth 4.0, the new Remote doesn't need direct line-of-sight with your TV.

Doesn't the ATV control the TV via HDMI? I don't think Apple uses infrared, so you shouldn't need to be in the line of sight as mentioned in the article.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Cupper Chopper - Reply

You're wrong, partly. The remote uses infrared for volume control on the TV, Bluetooth to talk to the Apple TV and CEC via HDMI for everything else.

Andy Norman -

Thanks for your detailed info!

Cupper Chopper -

Why would they use infrared for the TV volume only? That's, like, THE most basic of all HDMI-CEC commands! Not to mention that making it a programmable IR remote adds a whole other level of complexity to initial setup. Is it conceivable that the IR transmitter has some other purpose?

tooki - Reply

To adjust the volume on a connected stereo system as well. (...and it works, too.)

Koldbern -

ATV does control the TV via HDMI-CEC, it uses this protocol to command power, input/source selection and volume control of any CEC enabled HDTV. If you have an older TV that doesn't support the HDMI-CEC protocol the ATV remote can uses infrared to control the TV volume.

kenneth - Reply

  • We found where Apple was hiding all the adhesive! Looks like our iOpener and pick don't get the day off after all.

  • The entire top end of the remote is a giant button. Beneath it lies a gap that gives us a nice, consistent groove to pick apart.

  • "Hey, Siri—say Ahhhh."

    • If only it was that easy... Actually, it was pretty easy. It seems there's a first for everything!

Has anyone found where parts for the remote can be purchased? I need to replace the front face already.

Charles - Reply

  • We're suddenly having flashbacks to the iPhone 5s. The top half is connected by a ribbon cable, hidden in the center of the device.

  • Our in-house EOD expert gets to work with a spudger and carefully disarms the trap.

  • With the top and bottom separated we notice a hidden yin yang motif. That's so zen of you, Apple.

Ifixit did you tear down the Sub-Assembly on the right hand side of the third picture in step 9 ?

silicon - Reply

Ying-yang sing? I can't see it...

Pierre Merineau - Reply

Image 1/3: ST Microelectronics [http://www.st.com/web/en/resource/technical/document/datasheet/DM00034689.pdf|STM32L 151QD|new_window=true] ultra-low-power ARM [http://www.arm.com/products/processors/cortex-m/cortex-m3.php|Cortex-M3|new_window=true] MCU Image 2/3: Broadcom [https://chipworks.secure.force.com/catalog/ProductDetails?sku=BRO-BCM5976C1KUB6G&viewState=DetailView&cartID=&g=|BCM5976C1KUB6G|new_window=true] touch screen controller (as seen in the iPhone 5s/5c and iPad Air) Image 3/3: CSR (Qualcomm) [http://www.csr.com/products/bluetooth-smart-csr101x-product-family|CSR1010|new_window=true] Bluetooth radio
  • OICURAQT—That's what we say whenever we identify an IC, like the ones on this logic board:

    • ST Microelectronics STM32L 151QD ultra-low-power ARM Cortex-M3 MCU

    • Broadcom BCM5976C1KUB6G touch screen controller (as seen in the iPhone 5s/5c and iPad Air)

    • CSR (Qualcomm) CSR1010 Bluetooth radio

    • Texas Instruments TMS320C55 ultra-low-power digital signal processor

    • ST Microelectronics AS5C Y523

    • InvenSense ITG-3600 3-axis gyroscope

    • Texas Instruments BQ24250C battery charger and TI 49C37GI

I think the DSP link is wrong - TI think that the 320 is a C6000 series, not a C5000 series.

It's pretty %#*@ amazing that this remote control has more CPU power that a mid-90s PC (although I'm sure it mostly runs in a deep sleep state).

spinningnucleon - Reply

Ah, nope, TI are just trying to upsell me I think. A better link is http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/processors/dsp...

spinningnucleon -

Only a gyro is very unlikely, where is the accelerometer? Who can find it? Seems that INVN accel+gyro is not in it

carstenmichael97 - Reply

Is there an IR LED? If so, does anyone know the frequency output?

John Cameron - Reply

Image 1/2: If Apple can pack a ZIF connector into a tiny remote like this then why is the iPad Lightning port soldered to the logic board? Image 2/2: Answer: Apple proprietary secret.
  • Look at that! A ZIF connected Lightning port cable.

    • If Apple can pack a ZIF connector into a tiny remote like this then why is the iPad Lightning port soldered to the logic board?

      • Answer: Apple proprietary secret.

  • With just a bit of glue to pick apart, the Lightning cable/battery is out in a flash.

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Image 1/3: While we've never been a fan of soldered-on batteries, at least the Lightning port isn't soldered to the logic board! Image 2/3: Because this 410 mAh battery is rechargeable, you'll never scramble to find batteries for your TV remote again. Thanks, Apple! Image 3/3: At least not until it [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_cycle|dies|new_window=true] and you need to replace it.
  • With the Lightning port/battery assembly free of the remote, we see that the battery is soldered to the Lightning port.

  • While we've never been a fan of soldered-on batteries, at least the Lightning port isn't soldered to the logic board!

  • Because this 410 mAh battery is rechargeable, you'll never scramble to find batteries for your TV remote again. Thanks, Apple!

    • At least not until it dies and you need to replace it.

Notice how lightning port is fully connected. Not just for charging. This, I think will allow future firmware updates.

Piotr R - Reply

My battery has died, just after the warranty expired. What are my chances of a replacement?

Scott Calabrese Barton - Reply

Image 1/3: Modular construction and only a few major components simplifies repair. Image 2/3: The power supply is a separate, replaceable component, and even its AC-in jack is modular. Image 3/3: Standard Torx screws used throughout, nothing proprietary.
  • Apple TV (4th Generation) Repairability: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

    • Modular construction and only a few major components simplifies repair.

    • The power supply is a separate, replaceable component, and even its AC-in jack is modular.

    • Standard Torx screws used throughout, nothing proprietary.

    • The remote is held together with adhesive, but a wide gap makes it easy to pry apart.

    • The remote's battery and Lightning cable are soldered together—but not to anything else, so they should be an inexpensive component to replace.

    • Everything important is soldered to the logic board, meaning replacement or board-level soldering is required to solve port problems.

  • And that's a wrap. See you for an iPhone teardown down under! G'day, mate!

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21 Comments

Going from 3.4v to 12v! I have to wonder now what that A8 SoC is clocked at!

Brianthreedee - Reply

Geekbench shows all the Apple TV's at 1GHz apart from an outlier at 1.5GHz

http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench...

That suggests it's running at 1.5GHz...

name99 -

The 1.5 GHz one was recorded in 09. The heatsink is probably only there because there's a big AC-DC transformer on top of the apple tv. Odds are it's clocked in a similar fashion to the A8 in the iPad Mini 4

Kevin Connell -

Looks like a different design group worked on this. If it were Jonathan Ive's work it would have that iMac method of carving the case out of a chunk of aluminum and welding it shut with adhesive throughout.

Funny though - here's a device that is easy to get into, but one really doesn't need to whereas the iMac is something one might want to upgrade, but can't get into easily.

Terry Davis - Reply

@name99 The 1.5 gHz geekbench benchmark is actually on an overclocked first generation Apple TV, back in 2009.

Robert Nixon - Reply

Would it really kill Apple to give us a TV with a 4TB hard disk? Can't do very much with 32GB. At that size, it's no more practical than keeping your videos on a phone.

Chris W - Reply

The storage isn't for movies, it's for apps.

Remember this is a streaming device, not a storage device.

Although I do agree I wish Apple offered a cheap media centre type device.

(Home Sharing from your Mac works, but does have some limitations)

scott -

It is not for the apps. They have 200 MB limit. They will be able to download more when needed.

But that's funny. I can have couple of big games on my 16 GB iPhone so why not on the 32 GB Apple TV. Do they really think that Apple TV owners want to store music or movies on the device now on the 2015?

villelaasonen -

Does anyone know if the new AppleTV can be controlled via IR like previous generations? I know it's not ideal, but this is often needed when one is tucked away in the rack of a distributed video system.

Steve McNally - Reply

yes. the old apple TV remotes work on this one still

ralph -

Is the power supply replaceable like it is on the 3rd gen? I am wanting to replace the 110v AC with 12v DC so I can install it in my car.

Ryan Scott - Reply

So where is the IR sensor/receiver on this? I can't quite identify it on the tear down, and I'm pretty sure I've got my IR emitter in not quite the right place.

Thanks!

Mark Pietrasanta - Reply

Mark,

Did you get an answer on this?

I need to know the location too!!

GSM

Glen Miranker -

What is the 49C37GI? PMIC?

marksmith2016 - Reply

Hi,

do you know where the infrared sensor is located at the Apple TV? To integrate it in my B&O setup at home I have to put a small infrared eye on the sensor to operate the whole system with the B&O remote control.

Thanks,

Bernard

Bernard - Reply

Where is the Bluetooth IC in the Apple TV logic board?

Concerned about Bluetooth - Reply

Hi folks just did a big mistake and tried to push the lightning plug into the usb-c socket by mistake. Now I see that few contact are bent. Is there a chance to fix them again thus I will be able to use the correct usb-c cable. Cheers Marius

Pawlowicz - Reply

Hi, where can I buy Glass Touch surface for apple tv 4 remote control?

Alexander Volodarsky - Reply

Can you comment on where the antennae are located?

Bob Cassidy - Reply

it's "m8'' not "mate"

Juan Lara - Reply

Hi, where can I buy Glass Touch for apple tv 4 remote control?

Yassin - Reply

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