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Inside Cell Phones
Inside Cell Phones
Abstract: Ever wonder what's inside your cellphone? We did, and so we cracked one open, took some pics and tried to explain a little bit of the mystery...

 Company link  Category  Published  Author 
Qualcomm   Mobile Devices   May 29, 2000   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Page Title: A cellphone's computer looks like....

The front side of the PCB is pretty barren considering all the features that are packed into this phone, and the small foot-print it has to work with in. Again we see the perforated enclosures shielding groups of components, and possibly action as moderate heatsinks.

Rather then use LED's for the display, like some of the older Motorola phones, a larger liquid crystal display has been chosen. One of the best features about this type of display is the amount of electricity required to operate it.

In one instance I saw an LCD display being powered by a persons right-hand finger while the other hand held a bare low voltage wire. All it took to run, was the juice flowing through this person's arms, which isn't much. With that in mind it's easy to see why these types of displays are so popular.

The most interesting bit of this side of PCB lays hidden beneath the small metal box at the very bottom, just above where the microphone connects in.

Below the cover lay the brains of the whole operation. This particular phone uses the MSM3000 chip to run the show (BGA chipset at dead center). A quick trip over to the Qualcomm website tells us some interesting factoids about this little chip.

MSM first of all stands for 'Mobile Station Modem', of which the MSM3000 is a 5th generation variant. The chip is capable of 64Kbps transfer rates, employs the 'SuperFinger 6-8 channel demodulator, supports voice recognition - even though the phone doesn't - and includes a few selected bits of an ARM microprocessor imbedded in the design.

"Performs baseband digital signal processing and executes the subscriber unit system software It is the central interface device in the subscriber unit, connecting RF, baseband and audio circuits, as well as memory and user interface features."

There also appears to be a Mitsubishi RAM module at the very top, and a slice of silicon with the Intel mark to the right. This bare piece of silicon is about the size of the coppermine's die (no it isn't) and is laser etched " F80083T". Sorry no info on that one.

That brings to an end the wonderful world of "inside the Cellphone". I've tried to include as much info about what the bits and pieces do. If you have any insight into these components, drop a wire and let the rest of us in on what they do.

Since cellphone's appear to be moving towards what the everyday home computer does these days, it may be a good idea to start early and get to know their insides as much as possible. Heck, some day we may be overclocking them to get faster internet access... who knows!

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 2: — A cellphone's computer looks like....

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Time stamped: 10:03PM, 09.18.2019
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