Posted: November 1, 2013

As analysis keeps coming out of our labs we will be providing new information on the insides of the iPad Air.

Audio Amplifiers

Since last Thursday evening we have been searching for the audio amplifiers in the iPad Air. Last year’s iPad release featured Audio Amps from Cirrus Logic just like the iPhones have done now for a few generations. However, the new iPad Air did not utilize Cirrus audio amplifiers and has had many of us perplexed. In the last few days through collaboration with our industry friends and our great lab team we were finally able to reveal the audio amplifiers in the iPad Air. Behold the Maxim Integrated Products MAX98304 Mono 3.2W Class D Amplifier. These amplifiers escaped our eyes because they are so small and we could not readily decode the package marks. At 1 mm x 1mm, these amplifiers are as small or smaller than the passive devices adjacent to them. Congratulations Maxim. Job well done!

Audio Amplifiers

Maxim Audio Amplifier Top Metal Die AKB

Maxim Audio Amplifier Die Mark AKB


Power Management IC

The iPad Air’s Power Management IC, typically surrounded by inductors and resistors is pictured below. It is Apple branded with an Apple part number and it has always been manufactured by Dialog Semiconductor, who have had a tradition of naming their chips after female names that begin with the letter “A”. In the past we’ve already seen Angelina, Alexandra, Amelia and most recently, Ashley. Unfortunately, this time Dialog did not follow trend for the iPad Air, as the 343S0655-A1 does not feature the markings of a female name.

Apple 343S0655-A1 (Dialog)

Die Shot

Die Mark


The Image Sensors

Fitting bigger and better cameras into tablets is a tough call because the emphasis is on thin, and 8-Mp units such as the one in the iPhone 5s (or bigger) would take up too much space. So the iSight camera follows tradition, with a 5MP, 1.4 µm pixel size back-illuminated OmniVision die with OV2C2BBB die markings. It was last seen in iSight cameras from latest iPod Touch devices in October 2012, so definitely a case of re-use here. For social reasons I applaud this decision, since using tablets as cameras are a great way to block the view when there's something or someone to be seen..

The FaceTime camera is a 1.2 MP 1.75 µm pixel size back-illuminated OmniVision die with OV2E0BNN die markings. It was last seen in FaceTime cameras from recent iPhone 5s and 5c in September 2013. Die images provided below:

iSight Camera Front

iSight Camera Back

FaceTime Camera Front

FaceTime Camera Back

OmniVision OV2C2BBB CIS

OmniVision OV2E0BNN CIS


The USI WiFi Mdule

The USI WiFi module contains Broadcom's BCM43241 2x2 MIMO Dual-Band Combo Device Supporting 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0 + HS & FM Receiver for Tablet Computers. We have seen this BCM device before in the Samsung Galaxy Tab (Nexus 10”) and the Asus Transformer Book T100T

BCM43241 Top Metal

BCM43241 die mark

BCM43241 X-Ray Top


Other New Design Wins

  • lpdida F8164A1MD-GD-F, possible 1 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM, similar to the Elpida F8164A1PD-GD-F found in the Apple iPhone 5S

  • Texas Instruments TPS65143, a possible LCD bias with Integrated Gamma Reference

  • Parade Technologies DP655, a possible LCD timing controller (Tcon)

  • Skyworks SKY77575-13, Power Amplifier;

  • Skyworks SKY77493-20, Power Amplifier;

  • Skyworks SKY77494-22, Power Amplifier;

  • TriQuint TQF6514, Power Amplifier;

  • Murata 227, switch/filter module, with a Peregrine PE421510 SP11T switch in the module

  • Murata E50, filter bank

  • Murata AWH, switch/filter module

  • Two STMicroelectronics 331 microphones

Don't forget to check back often as new information comes out of our labs.