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Patent And Technology Partner To The World's Most Successful Companies

Patent And Technology Partner To The World's Most Successful Companies


Inside the Samsung Galaxy S4

Outside it is evolutionary, inside . . . revolutionary
The byline sounds like hyperbole, but the facts are that this is the first handheld device to come along in a while that has had this much NEW silicon. It is keeping us busy to be sure!Since we see differences from region to region, it is worth pointing out that this particular GT I9500 phone was sourced in Latin America.


Samsung Galaxy S4 Teardown

Looks familiar

Despite having a huge number of SKUs when compared to (for instance) Apple, Samsung’s leading devices seemed to have settled into a few best selling form factors at 5″, 7″, and 10″. 
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is not all that distinguishable from the S III. However, on the spec. front, the bar has moved. Features include:

  •  1920×1080 Super AMOLED 5″ diagonal display
  • 13 MP primary camera with a 2 MP secondary camera
  • Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5410 processor with PowerVR SGX 544MP3
  • A host of wireless standards, up to and including 802.11ac
  • Pressure, temperature, and humidity sensor
  • Android Jelly Bean


Looking at the major design wins (click images at right to enlarge)
Between the application processor, memory, and new PMIC, we are seeing a lesson on in-sourcing. Here are a few of the flagship devices from Samsung:

  • Samsung N5VA101 Exynos 5 application processor
  • Samsung KMV3W000LM-B310 NAND
  • Samsung K3QF2F200C-XGCE 2 GB DRAM
  • Samsung S2MPS11 power management IC (shown at right)


Samsung Galaxy S4 Teardown Board Side 1
Samsung Galaxy S4 Teardown Board Side 2
Samsung Galaxy S4 Teardown Board Side 2b

A closer look at the Exynos 5 Octa 5410
This latest powerhouse is a Quad 1.8 GHz (max) ARM Cortex-A15 Harvard Superscalar processor core + Quad 1.2 GHz (max) ARM Cortex-A7 Harvard Superscalar processor core, ARM big.LITTLE architecture, 64/32 bit multi-layer AHB/AXI bus, ARM TrustZone, ARM NEON SIMD engine, dual-channel DDR2, LPDDR2, LPDDR3, DDR3L SDRAM interface, NAND flash, moviNAND, SATA, eMMC 4.5 interface, eSD 3.0, USB 3.0, embedded GPS module, OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenCL support, HDMI 1.4, triple display controller, and 533 MHz 3-core PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU.The device is fabricated in a Samsung 28 nm low power process and sits under the DRAM (X-ray and die photo at right).Note: the LPDDR3 DRAM is nothing new, having  seen it previously in the Nexus 10.Pictures at right show the top metal. The dimensions are 10.73 mm x 11.28 mm from the die seal and 10.88 mm x 11.37 mm for the entire die.


A closer look at the image sensor design wins
Based on evidence from the stacked technology and a resolution of 13 MP, we are comfortable saying that the primary sensor is the Sony IMX135 stacked image sensor. We first saw this in the Oppo Find 5 X909.Vias are shown at right. The secondary sensor is the Samsung S5K6B2YX03 2 MP sensor. At time of publication, this is a fairly new 1.34 µm pixel sensor.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Primary Camera

Samsung Galaxy S4 Secondary Camera

What’s new (in terms of package markings)

  • Samsung S2MPS11 power management IC
  • Wolfson WM5102e audio hub codec (showing their national pride with a die mark of Scotland at right)
  • Intel PMB9820 baseband processor
  • Intel PMB5745 RF transceiver
  • I274 U311 – likely Bosch BMP180 or STM 331 pressure sensor; to be verified (shown)
  • Sensirion SHTC1 humidity and temperature sensor
  • Synaptics S5000B touch screen controller (shown)

Wolfson Audio Codec Die WM5102E

A nifty little Wi-Fi module
The Wi-Fi module is quite complicated. It is a two-sided board featuring the state-of-the-art Broadcom BCM4335 on one side, along with two GaAs chips and the Skyworks 2.4 GHz SKY85303-11 (two die) inside a cavity on the underside. An impressive looking SiP. The following were identified from their markings:

  • Broadcom BCM4335 in an interesting Wi-Fi package; second instance of this flagship part that we have seen, with the first being the HTC One (die shown)
  • Skyworks SKY85303-11 2.4 GHz QAM WLAN/BT front end module.

And all the rest . . .

  • Broadcom BCM2079 NFC chip (shown first)
  • Two Knowles S1039 microphones (shown second)
  • Silicon Image SI8240BO transmitter
  • Skyworks SKY77615-11
  • Maxim MAX77803
  • Murata SWC GKF48 antenna switch module
  • Broadcom BCM47521 GPS device (shown third)

BCM20791 NFC Chip
Chipworks teardown Samsung Galaxy S4

A few more die photos . . .
The fact that Intel has the baseband design win for a world-leading phone (non-US version) is impressive. We all know that they are pushing hard to become a player in the handheld chipset market, but to date, we haven’t seen them in many Tier 1 phones. However, their dominant position and deep pockets might mean it is only a matter of time. Perhaps winning in the Samsung Galaxy S4 is the ESPN Turning Point.A nice top metal and polysilicon die image are provided at right.Also shown is the Broadcom BCM4752 GPS device. This is their third generation solution that provides sensor integration technology with the other sensors to improve urban navigation performance.

Intel PMB9820 Die
Intel PMB9820 Polysilicon

So much interest in the MEMS inertial sensors

(update added May 17)The gyro and accelerometer are a 4-die combination part by STMicroelectronics featuring separate ASICs and MEMS for both the gyroscope and the accelerometer. ST has been shown to used various combinations of ASIC and MEMS structures in their other design wins. Based on package size and specifications, this one corresponds to the LSM330. It is, however, unique to the prior version of the LSM330 that we looked it which used a single MEMS combination die and the same 2 ASICs. So it is some variant by ST, we just aren’t certain which one of the two is described on their website.We’ll be looking at the North American variant to confirm whether things are the same across the world, but that is data that will live in our database I am afraid. At this point, the teardown article is closed.
STMicroelectronics Inertial Sensor - Cap On - 5NM_C5L28A_140527
STMicroelectronics Inertial Sensor - Cap On - 2
STMicroelectronics Inertial Sensor - ASIC 1
STMicroelectronics Inertial Sensor - ASIC 2

Back to the future

Just a little bit of fun here. The Sensirion chip featured a die marking of a little space invader right out of the late 70′s video game, with 8 cores, 2 GB of RAM and yes, it can literally handle Space Invaders.

Reports on devices mentioned in this teardown of the Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung 28 nn LP Process Structural Analysis Report

Bosch BMP180 Pressure Sensor Circuit Analysis (to be confirmed above)

Sony Stacked Sensor Technology Process Analysis from ISX014

Broadcom BCM2079 Circuit Analysis Report