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Amazon Kindle Fire teardown: What's inside?

A teardown of the Amazon Kindle Fire, with a sneaky look of what's inside, and how it works.

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Topic: Networking
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1 of 11 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The Kindle Fire is Amazon's latest tablet, with a 7"-multi-touch display and a dual-core processor. It also has 512MB RAM and 8GB of internal storage, along with Wi-Fi networking and a tweaked Android operating system.

But what's inside this elusive device? Courtesy of those fantastic device strippers at iFixit, we can now see.

(Image source: iFixit)

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2 of 11 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The device itself is simple in design, made up of multiple pieces, unlike the iPad which is one unibody device. But nevertheless, it is a strong, sturdy device. 

It has three ports at the bottom: a 3.5mm headphone jack, but the device itself lacks hardware volume controls, as well as a micro-USB port for charging and data transfer, and the power button on the end.

(Image source: iFixit)

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The 'monstrous' battery is only kept in place by one single connector and glue, according to iFixit. But once the battery is pulled out (16.28 Watt-hours), it does not quite live up to the expectation that iPad users might have, which has a bit more power at its disposal. 

(Image source: iFixit)

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4 of 11 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

This image shows the display controller being freed from the motherboard, as the device-strippers continue to rip out the very innards that make the Kindle Fire what is is.

(Image source: iFixit)

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5 of 11 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The giant green section is the motherboard of the Kindle Fire, which houses all the chips and memory needed to make the device function. The grey area is where the battery once remained. The iFixit chaps are using a PH#0 screwdriver to remove the screws from that hold the motherboard in place.

(Image source: iFixit)

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Now that the motherboard is free, you can see (left to right):

Yellow: Texas Instruments fully-integrated power management IC with switch-mode charger.

Orange: Hynix mobile DDR2 RAM.

Green: Texas Instruments FlatLink 10-135Mhz transmitter

Red: Samsung 6GB flash memory.

Blue: Jorjin WLAN (802.11b/g/n) -- Bluetooth -- FM combo chip.

(Image source: iFixit)

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7 of 11 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

On the flip side of the device, you can see (left to right):

Purple: Texas Instruments low-power audio codec with a 1.3 stereo class-D speaker amplifer.

Black: Texas Instruments 5-bit dual-supply bus transceiver

(Image source: iFixit)

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8 of 11 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

Underneath the Jorjin cover, there appears to be a Texas Instruments wireless-networking chip, to allow the device to send and receive Wi-Fi data over 802.11 b, g and faster-n.

(Image source: iFixit)

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9 of 11 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

Only one screw holds the power control board in place. The only button that is on the device allows the device to be turned on and off, or simply to tell the device to sleep. iFixit has a brilliant humour in what one should do and not do when telling the device 'to do something'.

(Image source: iFixit)

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10 of 11 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The Kindle Fire has an LG 7-inch display that supports 16-million colours at a resolution of 1024x600 pixels, a slightly smaller display to many older netbooks. The older Kindle of course only had "grey" and "slightly greyer", according to iFixit.

(Image source: iFixit)

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11 of 11 ZDNet Editors/ZDNet

The digitizer and glass assembly is what makes the touch-screen work -- and slips away from the screen easily -- as noted by iFixit, which made a change from the usual "fused glass ordeals".

(Image source: iFixit)

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