[Google TV Teardown (2)] Same SoC Found in TV for Sale in Japan

Nov 17, 2010
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad
Solder being melted to remove the heatsink
Solder being melted to remove the heatsink
[Click to enlarge image]
The SoC that is designed for TVs and mounted on the NSX-24GT1 Google TV-compatible LCD TV. Its model number is "MC10157F1."
The SoC that is designed for TVs and mounted on the NSX-24GT1 Google TV-compatible LCD TV. Its model number is "MC10157F1."
[Click to enlarge image]
The SoC that is designed for TVs and mounted on Sony's 22-inch TV for sale in Japan. Its model number is "MC10157BF1."
The SoC that is designed for TVs and mounted on Sony's 22-inch TV for sale in Japan. Its model number is "MC10157BF1."
[Click to enlarge image]

Continued from [Google TV Teardown (1)] 'TV Board' and 'Android Board'

We detached the TV board from the NSX-24GT1 Google TV-compatible LCD TV and started to remove the heatsink on the board. A TV engineer who participated in the teardown tried to melt the solder by using a soldering iron. But he found it not easy because heat was going away to the heatsink.

"Though it might sound odd, we should apply more solder in a case like this," said an engineer, showing his experience.

When solder was added by using the soldering iron, the original solder began to melt. We pulled the pins of the heatsink little by little, and one of the pins was successfully pulled out. We thought it was not a difficult task once we got the knack of it. A short time later, we pulled out the heatsink and removed the left solder by using a metallic solder sucker.

The SoC that is designed for TVs and mounted on the TV board turned out to be a product of Renesas Electronics Corp. Judging from the fact that the model number printed on the back of its package was "MC10157F1," we estimated that the SoC is the EMMA3TL2 (MC-10157), an image processing SoC that is designed for digital TVs and supports ATSC of the US, DVB of Europe and ARIB (ISDB) of Japan.

The compatibility with ISDB means that it is easy to develop a Google TV for use in Japan. Because a demodulating circuit is considered to be included in the CAN tuner, it is possible to make a Google TV for use in Japan by (1) replacing the CAN tuner with a tuner designed for terrestrial digital broadcasts in Japan, (2) adding a B-CAS card slot and (3) installing firmware designed for use in Japan.

At this moment, we became interested in what kind of SoC Sony uses for its TVs for sale in Japan. Does it use an SoC specialized for ISDB to reduce costs or an SoC supporting ATSC, DVB and ISDB to use the same design around the globe? So, we removed the heatsink mounted on the TV board of the 22-inch TV that we used for comparison.

We could not find the name of a manufacturer on its package. Its model number was "MC10157BF1," which shares the first seven characters (MC10157) with the MC10157F1 mounted on the Google TV's TV board. Therefore, this can also be considered to be Renesas Electronics' EMMA3TL2 (MC-10157). In other words, Sony's Google TV and 22-inch TV have almost the same SoC designed for TVs.

It is too early to conclude that all of Sony's TVs for sale in Japan are equipped with this chip. But, at lease for small-size TVs, the company is trying to use the same chip for products being sold around the globe.

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