[Kinect Teardown (3)] 3-layer Structure Found Inside

Nov 29, 2010
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad
The Kinect with its upper chassis removed. The front side of the Kinect is facing up. There are three layers inside. An infrared laser, a camera for infrared light, a camera used to detect visible light and other optical parts are mounted on the first layer (the front most layer). The middle layer is mounted with a middle-size circuit board and a small circuit board, and the third layer is equipped with a large circuit board. The infrared laser, the camera for infrared light and the camera used to detect visible light on the first layer are connected to the middle-size circuit board on the middle layer via flexible circuit boards. Also, a thin metal heat sink is attached on a chip mounted on the large circuit board.
The Kinect with its upper chassis removed. The front side of the Kinect is facing up. There are three layers inside. An infrared laser, a camera for infrared light, a camera used to detect visible light and other optical parts are mounted on the first layer (the front most layer). The middle layer is mounted with a middle-size circuit board and a small circuit board, and the third layer is equipped with a large circuit board. The infrared laser, the camera for infrared light and the camera used to detect visible light on the first layer are connected to the middle-size circuit board on the middle layer via flexible circuit boards. Also, a thin metal heat sink is attached on a chip mounted on the large circuit board.
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Cables with various sizes run through narrow gaps.
Cables with various sizes run through narrow gaps.
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A cooling fan is seen in the center of the picture. The lateral chassis is being held by the hand. The rubber case for the fan was detached together with the lateral chassis.
A cooling fan is seen in the center of the picture. The lateral chassis is being held by the hand. The rubber case for the fan was detached together with the lateral chassis.
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The main body without the lateral chassis and the cooling fan
The main body without the lateral chassis and the cooling fan
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Continued from [Kinect Teardown (2)] Struggling With Double-faced Tape

After opening the chassis of the main body, we began to examine the internal structure of the Kinect. There were three layers inside, and they were connected together by screws and connectors, constituting a module.

An infrared laser, a camera for infrared light and a camera used to detect visible light were mounted on the first layer (the front most layer). The middle layer was mounted with a middle-size circuit board and a small circuit board, and the third layer was equipped with a large circuit board.

The infrared laser, the camera for infrared light and the camera used to detect visible light on the first layer were connected to the middle-size circuit board on the middle layer via flexible circuit boards. Also, a thin metal heat sink was attached on the chip mounted on the large circuit board.

At the first glance, the three-layer structure of the main body looked simple. But we thought it was untidy because there were various types of cables running through narrow gaps.

There were air holes on both sides of the Kinect's main body, and a cooling fan was mounted on the left side (when seen from the front) as well as the infrared laser. The cooling effect was enhanced by using the fan to send air through the gaps between the three layers. The fan was located near the laser probably to efficiently cool the laser element.

The cooling fan was placed in a rubber case.

"It is probably for reducing the noise of the fan so that it does not affect voice recognition," an engineer said.

We removed the fan from the main body and continued the teardown.

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