Apple’s iPhone X is a first in many aspects of iPhones. But it’s the introduction of an OLED display that brings it into a stronger competitive sphere with Samsung’s AMOLED displays. iRunway’s comprehensive teardown of the iPhone X, with a focus on its OLED display, tells you why the iPhone X is a ruler.
In another first, iPhone X has replaced its home button at the base of the display with Face ID Recognition components. It also includes better True Tone features, which Apple had introduced in the 9.7” iPad Pro. The infrared dot projector is used by the True Depth camera on the iPhone X for face recognition. It has a larger and faster 12-megapixel sensor. The durable glass back also enables wireless charging of the phone with Air power mats.
Here’s a glimpse into the teardown. Click on an image to zoom in.
The image below is a view of the stacked logic board (SLP) with the PCB cover removed, and includes the front and bottom view of board 2. The SLP allows a compact arrangement of components. Unlike any other iPhone, iPhone X has two small batteries. This is expected to have triggered the use of an SLP to reduce the overall footprint.
Components powering iPhone X
Unstacking the Logic Board of iPhone X
Processors in iPhone X
iPhone X employs the A11 bionic chip, a hexa-core CPU (4 high performance cores and 2 power efficiency cores), similar to iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The chip is present on the back of Board 2. The A11 bionic chip has a dedicated dual core neural engine that is capable of 600 billion operations/second, and appears to be pipelined though the new ISP. The new ISP is attributed with hardware noise reduction and faster face detection, which aids iPhone X’s Face Recognition feature. For a detailed analysis of the A11 Bionic Processor, click here.
Apple has continued to employ baseband processors from Intel and Qualcomm in its iPhone X variants. The A1901 iPhone X model analyzed by iRunway is equipped with Intel’s baseband processor PMB9948 and is located on Board 1.
Wireless Components in iPhone X
Apple has included the Apple/Murata A339S00399 Wifi/Bluetooth module on Board 1 to support Bluetooth 5 technology.
Apple iPhone X’s A1901 model uses two RF transceiver chips from Intel, an Avago Quadraplexer and two Skyworks RF switches. All of these are placed on Board 1.
NXP’s 80V18 NFC Controller placed on Board 1 enables iPhone X to read NFC Forum type 1,2,3,4 and 5 tags.
The A1901 iPhone X model is equipped with four Power Amplifiers that are placed on Board 1. These include Avago’s 8056LE099 Mid-band PAMiD, Avago’s 8066LC029 High-band PAMiD, Qorvo’s 76041 Lowband PAMiD and Skyworks’ power amplifier 77367-1 59232.1 1734 MX.
The A1901 iPhone X model anaylzed by iRunway includes a Qorvo 81004 Envelope Tracking IC placed on Board 1. The iPhone 8 Plus model A1864 analyzed by iRunway had employed P215 730N71T envelope tracking IC.
OLED Display of iPhone X
Unlike its predecessors, iPhone X includes a 5.8″ OLED screen from Samsung, which Apple calls “The Super Retina Display”. This is a diamond pixel arrangement which is different from the pixel arrangement in Samsung’s Galaxy phone displays. A closer observation of the pixel arrangement of the iPhone X OLED display shows that the space between subpixels appear lesser compared to the space between subpixels of Samsung Galaxy’s displays. The below images of iRunway’s teardown of iPhone X’s OLED maps the colour filters and circuitry of the OLED screen. On observation, it was found that the sizes of the RGB sub-pixels were different.
The use of two boards stacked above each other and the need to reduce the thickness of the phone could have propelled Apple to switch to the OLED display system in iPhone X.
Cameras in iPhone X
Rear-facing dual cameras
iPhone X front camera, face ID camera and IR projector
The infrared (IR) dot projector of the iPhone X is expected to support the True Depth camera on for face recognition.
Sensors in iPhone X
Peripherals in iPhone X
Flash Memory in iPhone X
Power Management in iPhone X
Lithium-ion batteries in iPhone X
Power Management ICs
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