Defective 'nasne' Recorder Gets Teardown Treatment
The release of the "nasne" recording server developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCE) was suddenly postponed on the day before its planned release date. But, because the postponement was decided at the last minute, it was delivered to some users.
According to SCE, the release was postponed because they found that the nasne's HDD was partially broken. Even though it was shipped after quality checks at a manufacturing plant, an unexpected accident happened when it was being delivered, the company said. In fact, some of the "nasne" servers delivered to users did not operate because of their HDDs. To find out the cause of the failure, we obtained a nasne and started to break it down.
The teardown of the nasne turned out to be quite easy. When we took out four small covers located on the four corners of a side of the nasne, we found a screw under each of the covers. After removing the screws with a cross head screwdriver, we pried open the case by inserting a flat-blade screwdriver, fingernail, etc into a gap on the case.
The inside of the nasne was very simple. It contained only a large main board. The HDD mounted on the main board was printed with "HITACHI." It was the "Z5K500," a 500-Gbyte HDD manufactured by Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc (HGST). The thickness, size and rotation speed of the HDD are 7mm, 2.5 inches and 5,400rpm, respectively.
There was no component that cushions impacts applied to the HDD such as a shock-absorbing material. When seen from a side, it looked as if the HDD was floating in midair. Actually, the HDD was mounted on the main board via four small bases that were attached to the back side of the main board with screws.
Therefore, shocks applied to the main board will be certainly transmitted to the HDD. There was no shock-absorbing material used for the main board, either. So, if the nasne is hit or shaken, the vibration will probably be transmitted to the HDD via the main board.
Except for the HDD and the tuner module, the largest component was a semiconductor chip manufactured by Canada-based ViXS Systems Inc. It was the "XCODE 4210" media processor, which not only decodes video data encoded using MPEG 2, H.264, etc but also transcodes video data. Probably, the transcoding function is used when a TV program is recorded on the HDD in the 3x mode.
On the main board, there was also Toshiba Corp's "TC90532XBG" chip for demodulating terrestrial digital broadcasts (ISDB-T) and satellite digital broadcasts (ISDB-S). In addition, it was mounted with four "K4B1G1646G-BCH9" chips manufactured by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. They seemed to be 1G-bit DDR3 SDRAM chips. Near the Ethernet port, there was the "RTL8211EG" Ethernet transceiver manufactured by Taiwan-based Realtek Semiconductor Corp.