IFixit lays bare Microsoft Kin smartphone

Have you been itching to know what's under the Kin's skin? The helpful demolition experts at iFixit and Chipworks lay it all for you in a step-by-step disassembly of Microsoft's just-introduced, youth-oriented smartphones.

Microsoft's design is a bit bulkier than high-end smartphones like the iPhone and Motorola Droid. It's 0.77 inches thick compared to 0.48 inches for iPhone and a bit thicker for Droid.

Part of the thickness is due to the fact that the Kin models are slider phones, with two halves sliding apart to show a simple full QWERTY keyboard. The teardown revelas Microsoft uses two springs to keep the halves fully open or fully closed. (Close-up photos from Chipworks are online at iFixit)

The heart of the phone is the first-generation mobile chip from Nvidia, the Tegra APX2600. Tegra is the chip vendor's mobile silicon platform, based on an ARM core, with a companion GeForce graphics core and other components. It's been designed for good quality multi-media applications, and Microsoft already uses it in its line of Zune music players.

Later this year, the first smartphones, many of them apparently Android-based, with Nvidia's next generation CPU, the Tegra 2, will become available.  The company is also targeting tablets and netbook-style devices. More details can be found at Nvidia's Website.

The onboard camera, a Sony IMX046 with an impressive 8 megapixels, only takes up 0.3 cubic inches. Sony fabricates it with a 90 nanometer CMOS process. Chipworks notes it's one of the first phones to feature 720p High Definition video.

Networking connectivity is provided by a Qualcomm QSC6085 CDMA processor and, for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (and FM radio) a Texas Instruments WL1271A chip. The touchscreen controller is from Synaptics: its Clearpad technology in a device marked T1021A.

Storage is via the Samsung moviNAND KLM8G4DEDD package, based on an advanced 30-nanometer architecture, with up to 8GB of capacity.

* Avago has two chips inside the Kin Two: an ACFM-7103 CS/Cellular/S-GPS Qunitplexer and an ACPM-7353 dual-band power amplifier.

* The camera is the Sony IMX046. The IMX046 is fabricated using a 90nm CMOS process. The camera's resolution is 8.11 effective megapixels (8 active megapixels), 1.4 μm sized pixel, 1/3.2" optical format. Samsung was the first to use this camera in the M8800.

* Taking a cue from the iPhone and Zune HD, the Kin Two has an accelerometer. It's an STMicro 331DL 3 Axis nano MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) device.

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Tags smartphonessonyiPhoneZune HDmicrosoft kinChipworksiFixit

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John Cox

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