iFixit tears down the new 7th generation iPod nano

We got a look inside the new fifth-generation iPod touch last week thanks to our friends over at iFixit. Today, they are taking apart the seventh-generation iPod nano that Apple recently unveiled alongside the new iPod touch and iPhone 5 lineups. While it did not perform quite as poorly as the iPod touch in terms of repairability, it was still unable to outperform the 7 out of 10 repairability score given to iPhone 5. We see the usual suspects inside including flash memory from Toshiba and a TI touchscreen controller. However, a quick look at the Nano’s internals shows a few anonymous, Apple-branded chips as well:

* Toshiba THGBX2G7D2JLA01 128 Gb (16 GB) NAND flash
* Texas Instruments 343S0538 touchscreen controller
* Broadcom BCM2078KUBG Bluetooth + FM radio
* NXP Semiconductors 1609A1
* 75203 23017
* 75292 98820
* 339S0193
* Apple 338S1099
* Apple 338S1146

Thanks to many components being soldered to the logic board (battery, lightning connector, headphone jack, etc.), and a battery attached to the assembly, iFixit is giving the new Nano a 5 out of 10 for repairability. Here are some of the highlights:

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Intel’s new 520 Series SSD benchmarked: Easy on the battery, great data protection and compression features

Intel announced today the new 520 Series solid-state storage code-named “Cherryville” and a number of tech websites and blogs already have their reviews up. The Verge has a nice review round up, and MacWorld’s own review provides an extensive overview of the pros and cons of the device. Fabbed on Intel’s 25nm Multi-Level Cell process, the 520 boasts sequential read/write performance of 550/520MBps when using a system with a SATA 3.0 6Gbps interface. The spec sheet positions the 520 Series as a solution for media creators and tech enthusiasts.

Still, Samsung’s comparable 830 Series came in fastest during Tech Report’s review (see the chart below the fold), with sequential read/write speeds of 500/350MBps on a SATA 3.0 6Gbps interface. We reviewed the Samsung 830 and found it to be the fastest available. In addition, the 830 SSD is almost $150 cheaper and it is going into MacBook Airs soon, unlike the 520 Series that comes in a 2.5-inch form factor—so it only fits inside MacBook and MacBook Pros.

MacWorld’s review achieved read-writes of 303/324MBps (sequential) and 303/338MBps (random) with Xbench 1.3 and 456/241MBps in read/writes using Blackmagic benchmarking software with 4K blocks. The 520 Series also has lower-than-usual power requirements and delights with strong data protection and compression features…

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Report: Apple starts hiring chip experts in Haifa, Israel

Following our in depth report last night on Apple turning its Anobit purchase into a permanent Israeli  presence, a new report in Hebrew by Israeli daily business newspaper Calcalist says Apple is looking to open a research center in Haifa by the end of February.  This follows its acquisition of NAND flash technology provider Anobit for a reported $390 million. The facility is said to be located at the Matam technology district south of the Haifa city, right in the neighborhood of Intel, Microsoft and Philips who also run R&D centers there.

The company reportedly received “several hundred resumes” for various engineering positions. Specifically, Apple is seeking hardware engineers in chip development with strong emphasis on electrical circuits, analogue and hardware testing and verification. The publication learned that Apple’s new research center in Israel is not related to the Anobit acquisition. In fact, Anobit employees are not expected to participate in the activities of the Haifa research center.

The Yedioth Ahronoth Group is also behind Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s most widely circulated newspaper publishes Calcalist. The paper reported in December of last year that Apple dispatched its Vice President of R&D Ed Frank to investigating possibilities of an Apple-run development center in Israel. Apple joins other Silicon Valley firms that operate R&D facilities in the country, such as chipmakers Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcom, Internet giants Google, Yahoo! and eBay, software makers IBM and Microsoft and China-based handset maker Huawei.

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Report: Apple could turn Anobit purchase into development center, R&D VP Ed Frank touring Israel

Calcalist, a daily business newspaper published in Israel by the Yedioth Ahronoth Group (which also publishes Yedioth Ahronoth, the country’s most widely circulated newspaper) on Tuesday ran a story claiming Apple was actively engaged in talks to buy fabless flash memory chip maker Anobit for as much as half a billion dollars. In a follow-up story this morning, Calcalist reports that Apple’s senior research and development executive Dr. Edward H. Frank is already touring Israel, investigating possibilities of an Apple-run development center as numerous Silicon Valley technology giants already operate R&D centers in the country, including Intel, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Yahoo!, eBay and China-based Huawei, to name just a few.

Apple’s Frank is a member of Carnegie Mellon University’s Board of Trustees and chairs the university’s Inspire Innovation campaign. He is apparently holding meetings with a bunch of Israeli startups who are hoping to wow the world’s most valuable technology company with next-generation solutions promising to bring flash storage prices down while substantially extending the lifespan of flash memory chips. The delegation headed by Frank has already met with executives at Intel Israel, the Calcalist story claims.

Globes chimed in with information from sources that “Apple has hired Aharon Aharon, a veteran player in Israel’s high tech industry, to lead the new development center”.

Should the Anobit deal go through, reporters Assaf Gilad and Meir Orbach write, Apple may be interested in further acquisitions of other Israeli startups specializing in innovative flash storage solutions. This includes XtremIO which develops server-based storage systems and its rival Kaminario, as well as DensBits which specializes in controller based signal processing to improve the operation of flash memory chip processors.

DensBits licenses its technology which improves flash memory chips’ reliability to about 100,000 deletions – twice that of its nearest competitor Anobit – helping reduce the prices of flash memory chips dramatically. Both DensBits’ and Anobit’s technology is believed to be licensed by many flash memory chip makers. Specifically, South Korean Hynix uses Anobit’s solution for a flash memory chip inside the iPhone 4S. Interestingly, Apple co-Founder Steve Wozniak is lead scientist for a competing enterprise SSD operation called Fusion I/O.

Ed Frank can be seen in the below clip talking about his experience at Carnegie Mellon University and how it continues to influence him today.

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Sandisk 16GB Class 4 SDHC Card, 16GB Cruzer USB Stick: $15/ea+free shipping

SanDisk® SDHC™ Cards

From 9to5toys.com:


Staples has the 16GB SanDisk SDHC Card for $14.99 with free shipping.  That’s the lowest price we’ve seen for a 16GB SDHC card.  Class 4 represents a minimum speed of around 4MB/sec.

Staples also offers a Sandisk Cruzer 16GB USB stick for $14.99. 8GB is $8.99 and 4GB is $5.99.  Staples currently offers free shipping sitewide with no minimum. Read more