[Vaio Z Teardown (5)] Very Similar to Light Peak

Oct 15, 2011
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad
The small PCB equipped with the optical transmitter/receiver module is being removed.
The small PCB equipped with the optical transmitter/receiver module is being removed.
[Click to enlarge image]
The main board is being removed.
The main board is being removed.
[Click to enlarge image]
The removed main board. The receptacle is mounted on a flexible PCB.
The removed main board. The receptacle is mounted on a flexible PCB.
[Click to enlarge image]
The flexible PCB being removed from the main board.
The flexible PCB being removed from the main board.
[Click to enlarge image]
The optical transmitter/receiver module is housed in a metal socket.
The optical transmitter/receiver module is housed in a metal socket.
[Click to enlarge image]
The socket's cover is removed. The PCB of the optical transmitter/receiver module can be seen.
The socket's cover is removed. The PCB of the optical transmitter/receiver module can be seen.
[Click to enlarge image]
The optical transmitter/receiver module removed from the socket (top side)
The optical transmitter/receiver module removed from the socket (top side)
[Click to enlarge image]
A prototype of the Light Peak that Intel showed at 2010 CES
A prototype of the Light Peak that Intel showed at 2010 CES
[Click to enlarge image]

Continued from [Vaio Z Teardown (4)] Full of Flexible PCBs

The engineers began to examine the small PCB equipped with the optical transmitter/receiver module. But, first, we would like to review the optical interface employed for the Vaio Z. It is based on the "Light Peak" (code name), which Intel Corp announced in 2009.

To use the optical interface, the Vaio Z has dedicated parts in both the main body and the Dock. They are a control chip for the optical interface, optical transmitter/receiver module and connector.

The control chip functions as a bridge chip used to utilize the optical transmitter/receiver module. For example, it converts the PCI Express signals from a chip (input/output chip) having various input/output interface circuits into signals for the optical interface. And the optical transmitter/receiver module conducts photoelectric conversion of signals from the control chip and outputs optical signals.

We took out the small PCB equipped with this optical transmitter/receiver module. It is located at the center of the main body. The control chip and the connector for reception (receptacle) are embedded in a side of the main body. The optical transmitter/receiver module and the receptacle are connected by an optical fiber cable.

We tried to take out the small PCB, but it did not go well because the optical fiber cable coming from the module was in the way. So, we took out the main board equipped with the receptacle from the chassis. When we looked at it, we realized that only the receptacle of the optical interface was mounted on a flexible PCB. We removed this flexible PCB from the main board.

At this point, we finally succeeded in removing only the dedicated parts for the optical interface such as the small PCB equipped with the optical transmitter/receiver module and the receptacle.

When we looked at the surface of the small PCB, we found that the optical transmitter/receiver module was housed in a metal socket. The surface of the socket was printed with the word "FOXCONN." The optical transmitter/receiver module transmits and receives electric signals via a terminal inside the socket.

"Oh, it's almost the same," said an engineer who was looking at the socket and the optical transmitter/receiver module stored in the socket.

Its external appearance was very similar to the Light Peak's optical transmitter/receiver module that Intel has showed at trade shows, etc.

"I thought Sony has made many changes to the module for commercialization," the engineer said.

Probably, he raised his voice because their appearances are more similar than he expected.

Next, we started to examine the receptacle.

Go to next page