© Apple Electronics Production | October 06, 2010

iSuppli: Apple TV uses iPad components

Although Apple's 2G Apple TV represents a dramatic departure from the 1G product, its internal design and key components are almost exactly the same as the iPad and iPod Touch, states market researcher iSuppli.
The new Apple TV carries a Bill of Materials (BOM) of USD 61.98, including additional items boxes with the product, based on a preliminary estimate from iSuppli. When the manufacturing costs are added in, the second-generation Apple TV’s production cost rises to USD 63.95.

"The first Apple TV was built like a net top computer. The architecture was basically a stripped down, small-form-factor desktop PC. The second generation Apple TV is more like an iPad or iPod Touch with no display. The Apple TV’s A4 processor core, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chip and power management chip are the same building blocks used in the, iPad, iPhone 4 and iPod Touch", observed Andrew Rassweiler, director, principal analyst and teardown services manager, for iSuppli.

While no two Apple designs are identical, and are always uniquely designed to fit a desired form and function, the commonality of elements and features among the Apple TV, iPad, iPhone 4 and iPod touch is striking, the researcher states.

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Samsung / Apple partnership continues with Apple TV

As in so many other recent Apple designs, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is the marquee component supplier for the Apple TV. Samsung manufactures the Apple-labeled A4 applications processor in the Apple TV, along with the mobile Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM, dominating the applications processor subsystem, which is the most expensive section of the Apple TV at a cost of USD 16.55 (26.7% of the BOM).

The second most expensive subsystem of the Apple TV is the memory section, costing USD 14 (22.6% of the BOM). This section is based on 8Gbytes of Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND type flash. Apple uses several suppliers; here it was Toshiba.

Interestingly, there is an empty slot on the Apple TV’s Printed Circuit Board (PCB) that suggests Apple can at least double the NAND flash capacity if desired. However, Apple appears to have forgone this option in order to maintain the USD 99 key price point, iSuppli continues.

The Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module features Panasonic Corp. and Broadcom Corp. devices, costing USD 7.65 (12.3% of the BOM).

Other suppliers for Apple's TV are Analogix Semiconductor (HDMI transmitter and Digital Audio Interface), Dialog Semiconductor (power management subsystem), Texas Instruments (6-bit microcontroller), Delta Electronics (Ethernet filter) and SMSC (Ethernet transceiver).


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