Teardowns I've Worked On


  • Answer to: New iMac hard drive thickness?

    The HGST 5K1000 drive that is in the teardown unit is a 9.5mm drive. However, perhaps with a modified holder, I'd imagine that a 12.5mm unit should fit without too much difficulty. Larger than that might require more "creativity".


  • Project Tango Teardown

    To add a bit, consider a scanner that projects a line onto an object and records that with an offset camera. Imagine that the projector is on the left, the camera is on the right (both pointing away), while the line is projected up and down. In this case, the shift of the line to the left or right directly corresponds to how far away it is from the scanner. Where the line projects onto something close, it is shifted to the left, and where it projects onto something far, it is shifted to the right. This setup works great, except that it only gives you one stripe's worth of data. You need to scan it across a scene to get the whole picture.


    This setup is doing the exact same thing, except instead of projecting a line, it is projecting a dot pattern. By measuring the displacement of each dot, it can figure out how far away it is from the camera. The dots are arranged in a special pattern so that the logic can tell one from another. Since the dots cover the whole scene, you don't have to scan it.

  • iPod Touch 3rd Generation Teardown

    Quote from nofunsir:

    In your teardown, have you guys seen any place where a camera would connect to the logic board?

    A camera could connect using as few as 4 pins (ie, USB). With that in mind, two things pop out: the 6-pin device to the left of the camera space (is it a connector?), or the 5 solder pads below it around the hole (do they already connect something?).

  • Nintendo DSi XL Teardown

    What you call the antenna connector on the mainboard, is it perhaps a microphone connector? Isn't that what's on the end of the black cable? That would perhaps make the PAIC chip an audio interface controller?

  • iPad Wi-Fi Teardown

    The A4 is likely a multi-die package, with the CPU and DRAM mounted on the same substrate. (High-speed logic and high-density memory require fabrication processes that are less-than-optimal for the other.) That would explain the multiple part numbers. Other folks have pointed out that the K4X2G643GE part number is for a 2Gb (256MB) part.

  • iPad Wi-Fi Teardown

    The connector at the lower-left, next to the metal screw bracket, seems to be unaccounted for. What plugs in there? Is it used for testing and initial bring-up, I wonder?

  • iPad Wi-Fi Teardown

    Hmm, I also can't seem to account for the small ribbon cable connector that's next to the big double-ribbon connector for the touch-screen.

  • iPad Wi-Fi Teardown

    Also, next to the light-sensor connector at the top, you'll see empty spaces for a tiny 25-pin BGA chip and a 6-pin connector. If I had to hazard a guess as to their purpose, I'd say the chip is camera-related, and perhaps converts the raw camera output to USB, and the 6-pin connector brings out the USB input for testing.

  • iPad Wi-Fi Teardown

    Quote from ouimetnick:

    The original iPhone had buttons such as the sleep/wake, volume up and down, and the silent/ringer switch were all held on to the aluminum back with screws.

    The original iPhone's back was a stamped aluminum case plus a glued-on cast metal frame, along with a tack-welded metal screw bracket. The buttons and other pieces screwed into the frame that was glued onto the back. The main problem with this was that all the Chinese replacement parts makers advertising on Ebay were selling the plain back case without the frame and other parts necessary to use it. Also, sometimes the frame would become partially unglued from the back when you opened the phone.

    The iPad should not have these issues, as the back is a solid hunk of aluminum (though it does have some tack-welded screw mounts). I do foresee iFixit and others selling lots of replacement screen clips that hold the unit together, though.

  • iPad Wi-Fi Teardown

    Quote from Travis Funk:

    Wait, no moving parts? Can't wait to find out this thing's achilles heel.

    The moving parts are the various buttons and the no-tilt slide switch. The Achilles' heel will be the small amount of RAM and limited flash storage space. The 2nd gen will most likely address the latter (just by increasing it), and possibly the former.

  • iPad Wi-Fi Teardown

    Quote from Andrew Bookholt:

    It's for the headphone jack, seen here.

    Ah, thanks. I think I saw that when I examined the FCC pictures, but I failed to notice it this time around.