Nikkei Electronics has acquired and started breaking down the "PV150," jointly developed and manufactured by Sharp Corp. and Danger, Inc. and sold by US mobile phone carrier T-Mobile USA, Inc. as the "Sidekick iD" on April 25, 2007 (part 1, part 2). The PV150 is a PDA mobile phone (smart phone) targeting the younger generation and marketed at the low price of $99.99 (USD) with a 2-year service subscription in the US.

The main substrate was exposed as we removed a total of 7 screws that were holding the chassis together. In the PV150, most components were integrated and mounted on the single main substrate. It was apparently designed to make assembly easier and lower manufacturing costs.

Most of the substrate's upper surface was occupied by operational components, such as a full QWERTY keyboard, a trackball and a 10-key pad. Components related to the PDA and communication capabilities were mounted on the back surface of the substrate.

On the back surface of the substrate was a heavily shielded circuit based on Texas Instruments (TI) Inc.'s "OMAP331" mobile phone application processor, which is believed to control the PDA functionality and Enfora, Inc.'s "MLG0208-00" GSM telecom module.

The circuit based on the OMAP331 utilized Korea's Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.'s multi chip module (MCM) integrating SDRAM and flash memory into a single package. This seemed to be aimed at reducing the mounting area compared to the previous model. With a SIM card connector equipped next to this circuit, the allocation appeared to be meant for some other purpose. Passive arrays, which integrate multiple passive components, were relatively more common than other types in this circuit.

Enfora's telecom module, in which TI's application and base band processors are installed, can provide all the necessary functions required for a GSM mobile phone. Accordingly, the OMAP331 is apparently dedicated to functions other than communications.

動画Breaking down the $100 smart phone (part 3) (about 4 min. 13 sec.)
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Overview of the PV150. When opened by rotating the LCD panel, a QWERTY full keyboard shows up. The "bumpers" (gray parts on both upper and bottom sides of the body) made of soft resin can be removed easily and "changed like an outfit." The display is a 2.4-inch, 240 x 160 pixel resolution panel capable of displaying about 65,000 colors. The main unit measures 64 x 130 x 23 mm and weighs 176 g.

The main substrate removed from the chassis. On the right is Enfora's "MLG0208-00" GSM telecom module. The OMAP331 and its peripheral circuit are housed under the shield on the left.

The bottom side cover of the chassis with the substrate removed. It is embedded with very few components. The black component on the left is the antenna, while that on upper left near the center is the vibration motor.

The antenna (left) has a simple structure, in which a chrome-plated metal sheet is simply bonded to a plastic part.

Overview of the backside of the main substrate. The shield plate covering the circuit, as well as the GSM telecom module, has been removed.

Magnified shot of the circuit area based on the OMAP331. The frame that supports the shield plate has been removed to show more detail. In the center is Samsung Electronics' MCM, which incorporates 512 Mb of both SDRAM and flash memory. The OMAP331 sits on its right, while TI's battery management IC packaged with the OMAP331 chipset sits on its left and the audio IC is set below the MCM. Compared to other similar products, there are not a lot of passive components. The fact that the circuit uses a lot of passive arrays stands out.

Enfora's GSM "MLG0208-00" telecom module with the shield plate removed. The use of very common GSM mobile phone components seems to account for the product's low price. According to Enfora's catalogue, this module supports GPS functionality, but the PV150 does not feature GPS reception capability.