Apple A4 Processor Revealed

January 27, 2010 Hardware, Site News — Miro

Word around the campfire is that Apple came out with a new device. Well, we just happened to be at the right place at the right time, and managed to sneek a peek at the new Apple A4 processor, which powers the new iPad.

From Apple’s official video we found the following markings: H8MBT00V0MTR-OEM; VTJK00782; 1SB009A 0940

The last four digits indicate the manufacture date. Apparently this particular chip came into existence in Week 40 of 2009, which happens to be end of September / early October. So it’s been around for awhile, that’s for sure.

The rest of the markings are harder to decode. We will be taking apart the iPad as soon as we can get our hands on it.

Device Naming Conventions

January 21, 2010 Hardware, Site News — Miro

Engadget recently posted its revised style guide, which piqued my interest in reevaluating our device naming convention. Historically, iFixit tried to be faithful to manufacturers’ wishes with regard to device name capitalization—we capitalized it how they capitalized it.

Most of the time device naming is not an issue, but names with no capital letters (like iPod nano, shuffle, and touch, chumby one), look goofy. Such names make our writing appear ignorant, as if we failed to capitalize the device name letters when creating the titles.

The other aspect of this problem are device names with camel case (iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry, PlayStation), as well as all-caps names (DROID), that manufacturers devised to make the name stand out amidst other text.

We strive to be as readable and consistent as possible, and we have been debating capitalization conventions for some time. After much thought and deliberation, we have finally decided that:

  1. All device names will begin with either the first or second letter capitalized, depending on the manufacturer’s naming convention. An iPod remains iPod, but an iPod touch becomes iPod Touch. Similarly, the chumby one becomes Chumby One.
  2. Device names that are all-caps, such as DROID, will instead have only the first letter capitalized, and the rest lower-case. Hence, we call it the Droid.
  3. We will respect camel case—with a name like iFixit, who are we to judge? BlackBerry stays BlackBerry, and iFixit stays iFixit.

We feel these three simple rules will unify the look of our repair database while still preserving the manufacturer’s intent as much as possible.

iFixit Donates $1,000 for Haiti Earthquake Relief

January 13, 2010 Site News — Miro

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit right outside the city of Port-au-Prince, decimating most of the structures in its path. Several aftershocks followed suit, further damaging the surrounding area.

The people of Haiti need our help, however large or small, at this catastrophic time. iFixit has just donated $1,000 to the Doctors Without Borders foundation to help those unfortunate enough to have been near the epicenter.

Our hearts go out to the lives and families of those who had to endure this tragedy. If you have the means, please donate any which way you can.

MacBook Pro 15″ LCD Guides

January 12, 2010 Hardware, Repair Guides, Site News — Miro

Taking out the MacBook Pro LCD

You no longer have to replace your non-Unibody MacBook Pro display assembly in order to fix a faulty/cracked display. We’ve released a set of guides that show you how to remove the LCD from the rest of the assembly, and switch it out with a new one.

The entire process is relatively straightforward, but not for the faint of heart — it requires the user to separate the bezels from the LCD using a spudger, albeit from an LCD that’s already presumed to be broken.

This procedure can be performed on model A1150, A1211, and A1226/A1260 MacBook Pros; if you’re unsure which laptop you have, feel free to use iFixit’s laptop identification system!

Also make sure to choose the correct LCD type, as the A1150 and A1211 LCD differs from the A1226/A1260 model.

Nexus One Torn Down

January 6, 2010 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Miro

We heard the Nexus One was developed by HTC under close supervision by Google. We wanted to see what kind of Google magic lay inside the device, so we took it apart and made a video slideshow!

Once we took the fancy wrapper off the phone, the Nexus One revealed itself to be very similar to other smartphones, albeit with stronger hardware. Its thoughtful internal design did impress us, as did its ease of disassembly.

Teardown highlights:

  • The 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is quite speedy. We had a Motorola Droid on-hand for comparison, and it seemed to us that everything went a bit more smoothly on the Nexus One — at least before we took it apart.
  • The unbelievably easy task of removing the plastic rear cover gives access to the replaceable battery. Hey Apple, take notes!
  • This phone is very nicely put together and has no visible screws. Yet, we were able to remove the battery cover, unscrew three screws, and take off the battery holder frame. Depending on the part, the phone can certainly be user-serviceable.
  • It’s quite a colorful phone on the inside. HTC/Google was nice enough to include greens, yellows, oranges, dark grays, and all sorts of other colors inside the device.
  • Nexus One chip winners include Qualcomm (QCOM), Broadcom (BRCM), Skyworks (SWKS), Texas Instruments (TXN), Samsung, Synaptics (SYNA), Atmel (ATML), and Audience.
  • The 3.7-inch (diagonal) WVGA AMOLED touchscreen is made by Samsung, the same screen supplier as for Microsoft’s Zune HD.
  • Qualcomm is certainly the chip winner for the Nexus One, having three of the largest-profile chips in the device: processor, power management chip, and RF transceiver.
  • The 802.11n capability gives the Nexus an advantage over the iPhone 3GS, which only has 802.11g. The Broadcom BCM4329 chip in the Nexus is the same chip found in Apple’s newest (3rd generation) iPod touch, and also has Bluetooth and FM transceiver functionality.
Taking out the logic board

Taking out the logic board

Complete disassembly

Complete disassembly