Apple TV 2nd-gen teardown

Apple TV 2nd-gen teardown

Summary: The guys at iFixit have their hands on a 2nd generation Apple TV device, so what's the first thing they do? Tear it apart of course!

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TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, Hardware
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The guys at iFixit have their hands on a 2nd generation Apple TV device, so what's the first thing they do? Tear it apart of course!

Here are some teardown highlights:

  • The Apple TV has 256MB of RAM, just like the 4th Generation iPod Touch and the iPad. The A4 processor package is "K4X2G643GE," which is identical to the marking found on the iPad.
  • There is a Samsung K9LCG08U1M 8GB NAND flash chip inside the Apple TV, the exact same chip found in the iPad. All that storage in a $99 device.
  • There is an empty spot right next to the Samsung NAND flash that looks to be the perfect size for putting another Samsung NAND flash chip. Could Apple be planning a higher capacity Apple TV in the future?
  • Apple TV features a WiFi board by Panasonic, a first for an Apple device.
  • The Panasonic WiFi board contains a Broadcom BCM4329XKUBG 802.11n Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM, exactly the same as the one found on the iPad.
  • Apple is continuing its theme of hiding power supplies inside their devices. It's especially impressive here, considering that the Apple TV is only slightly larger than a 60W MacBook AC adapter.
  • The sticker on the power supply has this rating: 3.4V @ 1.75A, just 5.95 watts!

iFixit rate the repairability of this device as an 8 / 10. The ease of repairing this device, integrated high-efficiency power supply, low 6-watt power consumption, and efficient stand-by mode lead the iFixit guys to believe this may be the most eco-friendly set-top box of all time.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware

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11 comments
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  • Add 3rd party apps...

    ...and I'll pick one up. No brainer. And six months later I might buy the HBO app. Who needs cable/satellite? In the future, HBO certainly won't.

    From the specs, it looks like it's only a matter of time.
    rynning
    • If you jailbreak the Apple TV, you can add all the apps you want...

      @rynning If you jailbreak the Apple TV, you can add all the apps you want. Apparently it run iOS. :)

      I might buy one just for a hobby.
      olePigeon
      • RE: Apple TV 2nd-gen teardown

        I'm sure that option will be available soon, if not already. But Apple will have to add it for "mainstream" apps to appear.
        rynning
  • From an engineering point of view, the Apple TV inside view ...

    is drop dead gorgeous. To give an automotive manufacturing analogy, under-the-hood engineering began to focus on visual esthetics in addition to functionality as early as the late '70s. (The Europeans took this concept further with their underbody floorpan design work)

    Even though most owners could care less or even look under the hood of their new vehicles, automotive manufactures sought a unified color and coherent design paradigm. This, they thought, would convey a sense of "quality" and enhanced their reputation in the eyes of the consumer.

    Apple isn't the first computer component manufacture to show this form of design discipline since it is my opinion that this honor actually goes first to PC hobbyist that began building their own PC desktop computers (with their associated attention to inside wiring cleanliness details, among other things) but Apple seams to have taken the current lead in the computer industrial design category.
    kenosha77a
    • Take a look at the Mac Pro, and the inside of a MacBook...

      @kenosha7777 Take a look at the Mac Pro, and the inside of a MacBook. Apple puts an unusual amount of time into the aesthetics of the [i]inside[/i] of a computer that you'll likely never see.

      I work in IT in my school district, and I've opened up a few MacBooks. They're pretty darn cool on the inside.
      olePigeon
    • RE: Apple TV 2nd-gen teardown

      @kenosha7777

      The theory is you don't design in aesthetics: form follows function. A well defined function that is designed well and implemented with care will end up pleasing to the eye.
      7mgte
      • Define "designed well"

        @7mgte
        If you mean by "designed well" any object which performs it's intended function than the term "Rube Goldberg" should not exist.

        If you also include the provision that a "designed well" object must use the least amount of material in order to function as intended than perhaps form does follow function. However, there is also what is known as an "elegant design" and in that regard, Apple usually produces "elegant designed" products.

        Oh .. this topic reminds me of a story I once heard about "well designed" objects. An Aeronautical Engineering Professor at the University of Michigan once instructed his class to design the best flying object from the sheet of paper he had just given them. The students busily created fantastic and varied paper airplanes and then tested them. Afterwards, the Professor than showed the class what the most efficient flying object ever designed from a sheet of paper was. He took a sheet of paper, crumpled it into a tight ball and then tossed the ball across the room. He made his point. Form does follow function but a crumpled up piece of paper certainly could not be described as "elegant" .. except by an aeronautical engineering professor.
        kenosha77a
  • Adrian forgot to mention the intended purpose of the NAND memory

    I read about the Flash memory in another online article regarding the Apple TV gen 2. Apparently, the 8 gigs of flash memory are used to buffer the data being streamed to the HD TV and the 256 megs of RAM are not tasked for this purpose. (Actually, Adrian did mention the NAND Flash memory but not its intended purpose.)
    kenosha77a
    • RE: Apple TV 2nd-gen teardown

      @kenosha7777
      An 8GB buffer? Seriously? It has exactly the same specs as a 8GB iPad, and adds a couple media outputs. This thing will run apps one day, and lots of them.
      rynning
      • You meant an 8 GB iPod Touch .. correct?

        @rynning
        I agree .. the hardware capability to run apps is present in this gen 2 design.
        kenosha77a
  • RE: Apple TV 2nd-gen teardown

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