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Sony PlayStation Vita teardown reveals the guts of the high-end portable gaming device

The Sony PlayStation Vita goes on sale in stores next week, but the folks at iFixit have already torn one apart to figure out what’s inside.

If the device takes off, then the teardown will give a clue as to which chip makers might be getting a lot of orders from Sony as well as how easy the system is to repair. The deconstruction also shows that Sony’s device is a modern marvel of engineering that combines high performance with low-power consumption.

Inside is a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 MPCore processor designed by Sony, a quad-core SGX543MP4+ graphics processing unit, 512 megabytes of random access memory from Samsung, and 128 megabytes of video RAM. It has a 5-inch organic light emitting diode (OLED) touchscreen display and a rear multitouch touchpad. It has front and rear cameras, two analog joysticks, and standard PlayStation buttons.

The device is easy to take apart because it has standard screws, lots of connectors, and a modular design. Potential repair problems come from the fact that the liquid crystal display is fused to plastic. The battery is secured to the back case via screws, so users could actually replace the batteries themselves using a standard 3.7 volt battery.

The wireless card (which provides WiFi or WiFi plus 3G connectivity) uses a Qualcomm PM8028 power management chip and a number of power amplifiers from Avago, a Sony antenna switch modulel, an Epcos duplexer, and a Qualcomm MDM 6200 modem chip which supports data rates of 14.4 megabits per second on the HSPA+ network.

The device has two 640×480 pixel VGA cameras. The 5-inch touchscreen has an Atmel mXT 224 touchscreen controller, which is attached to the rear touchpad and enables multi-finger simultaneous recognition. The Sony device uses proprietary Sony flash memory cards. The 3G card is actually inserted into a slot in the side of the device for connection to an AT&T 3G network.

Among the chips inside are: Fujitsu MB44C026A; Marvell 88W878S-BKB2 Avastar WLAN/Bluetooth/FM Single-Chip SoC; Wolfson Micro WM1803E audio codec; STMicroelectronics 3GA51H gyroscope; and a Kionix KXTC9 three-axis MEMS accelerometer.


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