New iPad Using Same Camera Sensors Found in Older Products
The most interesting -- though perhaps unsurprising -- discovery is that Apple has apparently reused cameras from prior products for both the front and rear cameras on the new iPad. The rear camera, pictured above, appears to be the same 5 megapixel CMOS Image Sensor that was used in the iPhone 4.
That unit was the Omnivision OV5650. The OV5650 is the second generation back illumination (BI) technology from OmniVision. This 5 Mp camera features 1.75 µm pixels, and is designed to deliver DSC quality in a mobile phone application. The sensor supports HD (1080p) video at 60 fps. Apple specifications for the new iPad also tout the same specification. So the analysis we have just completed… drum roll please... says that the 5 Mp back illuminated CMOS Image Sensor in the new iPad is the same, it is the Omnivision OV5650 (die mark OV290BF).
The front camera in the new iPad is the 0.3 megapixel Omnivision OV297AA unit seen previously in the iPad 2 and the old camera-equipped iPod Nano. Chipworks notes that this isn't the first time Apple has recycled parts into new products, and that the strategy keeps costs and technological risks low.
Chipworks has a few other notes from the teardown, as well, including the observation that Apple is dual-sourcing DRAM for the iPad 3. iFixit's unit utilized DRAM from Elpida, while Chipworks' unit has DRAM from Samsung.
Additionally, Samsung is the foundry for the A5X processor and Apple is again using the company's 45nm CMOS manufacturing process. The A5X's die is 36.5% larger than its predecessor, measuring 162.94 mm^2 versus 119.32mm^2 for the A5. Chipworks is continuing to examine the A5X and promises additional cross-section photos soon.