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25
May
2012

Intel Penwell inside the Lava Xolo

Yes, it is the running gag of the season. And the guys at Chipworks can hear it too - the 'Intel Inside' clarion call, long associated with the brand.
Clean and uncluttered on the inside

With the back off, a clean looking interior comes to the surface. Once the circuit board was exposed, a large shield covering much of the silicon comes into view, "but in a somewhat organized way", Chipworks indicates. Even the battery sported a reasonably clean look in delivering its 3.7 V 5.4 Wh performance.

The main circuit board

The majority of the functional silicon sits at the bottom of the board under the shielded portion. The Lava Xolo sports an Intel-branded baseband processor (9811) as well as a couple of devices from Infineon (with nondescript package markings 1.3 and 15A). Not really a well-defined chipset so to speak, but on its way to becoming one, is Chipworks assessment.

Introducing the Medfield (aka Penwell) chip

Sitting right under the Elpida DRAM die in a typical PoP fashion is the Intel Q152C489 – aka Medfield. This is the Intel Atom Z 2460, fabbed in their 32 nm SoC process, running at 1.6 Ghz. Die markings show the Penwell 2009 code. The package markings indicate (Chipworks believes) a manufacture date of “week 52, 2011″, which means that they were shipping these chips to manufacturers last year.

This chip features an Intel graphics core and Intel Burst Performance technology. It also features, more practically, 1080p video capabilities and includes on-board image processing for the 8 Mp camera phone.

This is not a true apples-to-apples comparison, but this Penwell 32 nm die measures 7.97mmx7.96mm versus the Tegra3 40nm we looked at, measuring 9.58mmx8.55mm, or the more recent Qualcomm MSM8960 measuring 9.9mmx8.9mm.

Texas Instruments scores big

Texas has scored a few critical design wins in this phone, including the Texas Instruments WL1283C WiLink 7.0 chip delivering WLAN, GPS, Bluetooth (and BLe), AND, and FM. "We found it curious to have a SiRF chip and a WiLink 7.0 in here, so it seems that not all the functionality of the WL1283 are being employed", Chipwork stated.

Also found:
  • Texas Instruments 95031B3 power management IC
  • Texas Instruments 24316DSG charge control and protection IC
  • Texas Instruments TPS61161 LED driver
  • InvenSense gyroscope (MPU3050)
  • Bosch accelerometer (package markings C3H)
  • Honeywell compass (L883)
  • Rounding out the sensing capabilities, the SiRF GSD-4T 9600 GPS chip
  • For near-field communications, the phone employs the NXP PN544 chip
  • The ubiquitous (and top performing) Atmel MXT224 provides the touch screen control.
  • RF Micro Devices RF6261 RF amplifier
  • RF Micro Devices 6561 power management IC
  • RF Micro Devices RF6590 power management IC
  • The 16 GB flash memory is courtesy of the Toshiba THGBM4G7D2GBAIE
  • The 8 Gb lower power DRAM is provided by the Elpida B806482PB
  • The device labeled “1CR 20, 1.3” is an Infineon SP5T / SP3T (seen before in the Samsung S II i9100) main antenna switch with one of its pins connected directly to the phone’s main antenna and feeding into the Murata filter banks and the Infineon PMB5712 RF transceiver.
  • The device marked “1SA 1130” is a diversity switch given that the phone has a clearly labeled diversity antenna attached to the external case. The 15A is an Infineon Single Pole 5 Throw (SP5T) antenna switch also found in the Apple iPhone 4S.

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More information can be found at Chipworks.
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