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  1. BQ91's Avatar
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       #1  
    Some Intersting Pre design info:

    From DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

    Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN), Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), Sony Corp. (SNE) and
    Samsung Electronics Co. (SSNHY) are the main suppliers of parts for Palm
    Inc.'s (PALM) new Pre, according to a breakdown by iSuppli Corp.
    "With the Pre, Palm has made some surprising choices not only in the phone's
    features, but also in its design and component selection," said Andrew
    Rassweiler of iSuppli.
    Among those surprising choices is the Pre's use of two gigabits of SDRAM,
    double what is in Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone and most other smartphones.
    The larger amount of memory "likely is needed as a buffer to support the
    Pre's capability to multitask various applications," iSuppli said.
    Also, the Pre doesn't use Qualcomm's PM6650 chip, which performs the
    power-management function in almost all Qualcomm-based designs. Rather, the
    Pre uses Maxim Integrated Products Inc.'s (MXIM) MAX8695 power-management
    integrated circuit, which also is in the LG Voyager VX10000.
    In addition, the Pre employs eight gigabytes of Samsung's eMMC MoviNAND
    flash memory, rather than regular Multi-Level Cell NAND commonly found in
    mobile phones. EMMC is a premium variety of NAND flash memory that combines
    high-density MLC NAND flash with a memory management controller to deliver
    higher performance and easier integration into electronic designs, iSuppli
    said.
    The largest cost driver in the Pre is Sony's advanced Low-Temperature
    Polysilicon LCD display, which with Pre's touch screen module, costs $39.50.
    Sprint client since 1998. Treo 650, Treo 700, Treo 755p, Palm Pre till it died--- now have HTC EVO
  2. #2  
    Interesting! (being an electrical engineer...I appreciate these kinds of info) thanks
  3. #3  
    This is pretty intresting. I wonder if the heat issue is releated to the maxim power chip? Or is it directly related to the new TI chip?
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by cary328is View Post
    Interesting! (being an electrical engineer...I appreciate these kinds of info) thanks
    Can you tell us what it all means, then? ahahaha

    And why no mention of the TI OMAP processor?
  5. wprater's Avatar
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    #5  
    Im interested in the difference in the capacitive touch screen used in the Pre vs iPhone. Im talking about the touch sensor, not the LCD.

    When looking at the two screen in direct bright sunlight you can see the difference. The Pre has a large grid of sensors, where the iPhone has hundreds of tiny lines going through the sensor.

    Can anyone comment on teh difference?

    I will note that the iPhone is far superior to touch, sensitivity and responsiveness, so I hope this is not a hardware issue, but software. Something Palm can fix.

    I often find myself missing the touch point with the Pre and never had that issue with the iPhone. For example hitting a link in a google search. I can hit near that area and the iPhone will recognize, but the Pre needs a direct hit.

    TIA.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by wprater View Post
    Im interested in the difference in the capacitive touch screen used in the Pre vs iPhone. Im talking about the touch sensor, not the LCD.

    When looking at the two screen in direct bright sunlight you can see the difference. The Pre has a large grid of sensors, where the iPhone has hundreds of tiny lines going through the sensor.

    Can anyone comment on teh difference?

    I will note that the iPhone is far superior to touch, sensitivity and responsiveness, so I hope this is not a hardware issue, but software. Something Palm can fix.

    I often find myself missing the touch point with the Pre and never had that issue with the iPhone. For example hitting a link in a google search. I can hit near that area and the iPhone will recognize, but the Pre needs a direct hit.

    TIA.
    Yep, sometimes the the touching isnt as crisp as the iPhone. I didnt notice the gridpoints on the Pre at the beach the other day....theyre golden
  7. #7  
    I haven't had much pinpoint issues, but I come from the Instinct so this is a HUGE upgrade from that!
  8. Jeffdc5's Avatar
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    #8  
    Nice list of components but yeah the iphone really does feel more polished hopefully palm will drop a nice OTA update on us soon
  9. wprater's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffdc5 View Post
    Nice list of components but yeah the iphone really does feel more polished hopefully palm will drop a nice OTA update on us soon
    Moreover, I hope the hardware is adequate enough for it. If someone can comment or send a comparison of the hardware capabilities of the iPhone vs. Pre capacitive touch screen display, that would be great!
  10. #10  
    If you take the "interactive tests" in device info, the touch test lays out a grid for you to swipe your finger around on. The grid updates very quickly and accurately, so I think the hardware is definitely capable at rivaling the iPhone's touch screen. However, the overall sluggishness of the animations and scrolling make the experience a lot worse than the iPhone. Considering the iPhone has a slower CPU and less RAM, I believe PALM can tweak some stuff to improve tracking performance.
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  11. #11  
    Full article:
    What the Palm Pre Cost to Build - BusinessWeek



    What the Palm Pre Cost to Build
    A preliminary parts teardown from iSuppli says Palm spent more than $140, and perhaps as much as $160, to build its new Pre smartphone


    When the Palm Pre first hit store shelves on June 6, it took no time for analysts to take the device apart.

    Among them was Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst for teardown services at iSuppli, a market research firm based in El Segundo, Calif. His mission: to find out which suppliers made the smartphone's innards and come up with an estimate of how much it cost Palm (PALM) to build it.

    Rassweiler and his team estimate that it cost more than $140 to build the Pre, and possibly as much as $160. While that figure remains preliminary, it's already higher than an initial estimate of $138, issued in April before Palm released the Pre. Palm had no immediate comment on iSuppli's analysis.

    ISuppli takes consumer electronic devices apart and estimates the cost of its various components—including chips, displays, and packaging—to come up with its so-called bill of materials. Once you know a product's bill of materials, you can more closely estimate how profitable the device is on a per-unit basis.

    a first for a texas instruments chip?
    The main cost driver in the Pre, according to iSuppli's analysis, is the display. In the unit that iSuppli used for its analysis, Sony (SNE) supplied the 16-million color 320-by-480 pixel liquid-crystal display. It's likely that other companies are supplying LCD displays to Palm as well.

    Attached to the display is a touchscreen module that enables the user to touch the screen with more than one finger at a time in order to conduct "pinch" and "spread" motions that make items appear larger or smaller on the screen. It's not clear which company supplied this module, Rassweiler says. Candidates include Germany's TPK/Balda, which supplied the same technology for the first iPhone in 2007, and privately held Touch International, based in Austin, Tex.

    "The supply chain on the display is very similar to that of the iPhone," Rassweiler says. A chip from Cypress Semiconductor (CY) controls the entire display assembly, for a combined cost of $40.60.

    Other big winners in the Pre are chipmaker Texas Instruments (TXN), whose OMAP 3430 applications chip powers the phone's software features. It's the first time this chip has been seen in a handset analyzed by iSuppli.



    pre's large memory is a surprise
    Rassweiler estimates the applications chip's cost at $14 to $15, a few dollars higher than the $11 originally expected. TI also supplied chips for audio and power management, giving the company a total revenue share of $19.37, iSuppli says.

    Wireless chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM) also has a piece of the Pre. Its MSM6801 baseband wireless chip, combined with two other wireless chips, means Qualcomm's share of the silicon bill on the Pre comes to $18.45. One surprise, Rassweiler says, is that Palm opted not to use a fourth Qualcomm chip to manage the power needs of the other three. That job fell instead to a chip from Maxim Integrated Products (MXIM).

    Another surprise lies in the provider of the phone's memory, Rassweiler says. The Pre uses a lot more memory than other phones. Where Apple's (AAPL) iPhone uses one gigabit or less of SDRAM memory, for instance, the Pre uses two gigabits. Japan's Elpida Memory supplied the chips in the unit analyzed. The extra memory is what likely gives the Pre its ability to keep multiple applications open at once, Rassweiler says.

    costlier data storage chips
    Another type of memory seen in the Pre is NAND-type flash. Used to store data, NAND is common in many consumer electronics applications, from MP3 players such as the iPod nano to SD memory cards used in cameras. It also shows up in the iPhone itself. In the Pre, Palm opted to use a type of NAND specifically made for mobile phones, built with an integrated controller on the chip itself.

    Known in industry lingo as eMMC NAND, Samsung sells it under the brand MoviNAND. Others, including Hynix Semiconductor, Micron Technology (MU), and SanDisk (SNDK), sell similar eMMC chips, so the Palm probably has several flash suppliers.

    Apple, on the other hand, opted to use garden-variety NAND chips and put the necessary controllers elsewhere. "It's a trade-off," Rassweiler says. "The eMMC chips make it easier to design the handset overall, but they cost more." The 8 gigabytes worth of Samsung chips found in the Pre cost about $17, he says. By comparison, 8 gigabytes worth of NAND flash found in the iPhone 3G cost about $13, but require an additional controller chip.

    Other suppliers in the Pre include Kionix which supplied the accelerometer; Murata, which supplied the Bluetooth module that includes chips from Marvell (MRVL) and CSR; and China's Foxlink Group, which provided the USB charger.
    The value of knowledge is not in its possession, but in its use.
  12. wprater's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev1000000 View Post
    If you take the "interactive tests" in device info, the touch test lays out a grid for you to swipe your finger around on. The grid updates very quickly and accurately, so I think the hardware is definitely capable at rivaling the iPhone's touch screen. However, the overall sluggishness of the animations and scrolling make the experience a lot worse than the iPhone. Considering the iPhone has a slower CPU and less RAM, I believe PALM can tweak some stuff to improve tracking performance.
    When I do these tests, they do not fill all the way up.. I have to slow my swipes down.

    Im still concerned the touch sensor might not be as sensitive because there are less sensors. The iPhone has hundreds of grids, whereas the Pre has maybe 50. At least this is how it looks at first glance, im hoping for clarification that its a software issue not hardware.

    Thanks!
  13. #13  
    ISuppli takes consumer electronic devices apart and estimates the cost of its various components—including chips, displays, and packaging—to come up with its so-called bill of materials. Once you know a product's bill of materials, you can more closely estimate how profitable the device is on a per-unit basis.
    What about the R&D and developmental costs for the software and applications on the device? That has a cost as well and I gather if you add that to the component costs, the price of the unit cost of Pre could be even higher...
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  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by wprater View Post
    When I do these tests, they do not fill all the way up.. I have to slow my swipes down.

    Im still concerned the touch sensor might not be as sensitive because there are less sensors. The iPhone has hundreds of grids, whereas the Pre has maybe 50. At least this is how it looks at first glance, im hoping for clarification that its a software issue not hardware.

    Thanks!
    Go into a scrolling lists like contacts. I can barely, and I mean barely, move my finger and the Pre responds. This leads me to believe the 50 grid points you see are mainly for precision consistency, and not actual finger detection.

    In other words, if Palm can smooth out the large scrolling lists, it will be just as smooth as the iPhone.
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