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iSuppli: Xoom Sports Fast Processor, Advanced Touch Screen Controller

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The IHS iSuppli team of teardown experts has obtained and opened up a brand new Motorola Inc. Xoom wireless 3G tablet—model MZ600—running Google Android 3.0 on Verizon Wireless’ CDMA network. The 10.1-inch display, 1.6-pound tablet closely approximates the Apple Inc. iPad’s dimensions but outdoes its year-old forerunner by including both a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 5-megapixel auto focus primary camera. Unlike the iPad, the Xoom now comes in only one configuration, with 32GB of NAND storage. However, the XOOM makes up for this lack of variety with its powerful dual-core Nvidia Corp. Tegra 2 apps processor, ample 1GB synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM) and loads of extra sensors.

While the Apple iPad incorporated a single-core ARM processor, the Motorola Xoom ups the ante with a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 solution. By using a dual-core design, the XOOM and can run processes and software much faster. The XOOM also includes nearly four times as much SDRAM for code storage that Apple’s A4 microprocessor employed, further boosting performance. The IHS iSuppli teardown team discovered this exact chip last year in an Android-based Toshiba Smartbook (AC100). The Tegra 2 provides very competitive performance relative to traditional microprocessors found in netbook PCs, platforms that compete with media tablets.

The Motorola Xoom is marketed to consumers as a device that is upgradable to 4G free of charge. The IHS iSuppli teardown reveals why XOOM owners must surrender their product back to the factory for a physical upgrade to 4G networking. There were no 4G components found in the XOOM tablet aside from a dummy miniPCIe card—an obvious placeholder for the future LTE upgrade. However, Motorola did provide two MIMO antennas and a SIM card slot in preparation for the LTE upgrade.

The Motorola Xoom uses the Atmel mXT1386 touch screen controller, a new 32-bit device capable of registering up to 16 discrete touch points. While the IHS iSuppli Teardown Analysis Team has identified single-chip Atmel touch screen controllers in the past in Android smart phones, this solution contains a whopping four-chip solution from Atmel.

The Motorola Xoom seems to be pushing the bounds for integrating a large number of sensors in a tablet. Besides the more mundane CMOS image camera sensors, there are a host of other sensors. These include an electronic compass from AKM Semiconductor, a 3-axis accelerometer from Kionix, a 3-axis gyroscope from STMicroelectronics and a pressure monitor from Bosch Sensortec. Why did Motorola include a barometer in a tablet? According to IHS microelectromechanical sensor expert Jérémie Bouchaud, this pressure sensor works in conjunction with the global positioning system (GPS) for indoor navigation applications.

For more information on IHS iSuppli’s Motorola Xoom teardown, please visit:

IHS iSuppli

3 comments on “iSuppli: Xoom Sports Fast Processor, Advanced Touch Screen Controller

  1. saranyatil
    February 28, 2011

    Xoom has caught the attraction of many gadget lovers when it was displayed in CES 2011, I myself have fallen in love with Xoom planning to get one by replacing the one i have now, though it s costing more than Ipad1 but the features are worth paying for. officially i feel there will be a tough competetion between xoom and Ipad, now ipad2 will also be launched shortly should see how the market will react between the both.

  2. hwong
    February 28, 2011

    Motorola, a major semiconductor design house back in the 90's with products from CPU to communication chips, pretty much has nothing key designed by them to drop inside Xoom's hardware platform. It will also be hard to justify the higher price they ask for.

  3. seel225
    February 28, 2011

    I would definetly say Motorola Xoom tablet is the best competition for Apple's iPad. Ipad got lot of people attention on the last year with its simplicity but it lacks many features. Xoom came up with some features were lacking on Ipad and some new added features. Xoom tablet offers technically powerful perfomance but cost of the device is bit high, people would think they can buy a high end laptop rather than this tablet.It lacks some good features like SD card slot for upgrade memory and Adobe Flash, but i would say it has got many good features and i would love to have it. 

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