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AirPods SiP Audio Module - System Plus Consulting

Advanced System-in-Package Technology in Apple’s AirPods Pro

Product code
EUR 6990
Mobile & Consumer
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Analysis of Apple’s first SiP found in the latest AirPods, featuring a fully integrated SiP for audio codec and Bluetooth connectivity.

AirPods SiP Audio Module - System Plus Consulting

The System-in-Package (SiP) market delivered huge revenue – $13.4 billion – in 2019, and is expected to reach approximately $18.8 billion in 2025. The market is mainly driven by increased need for advanced architectures in electronic devices, mostly in mobile and consumer products. Advanced technology asks for higher levels of die and functionality integration in a single package at lower cost. Since 2015, Apple has integrated several generations of SiP in its smartwatch. This year, for the first time, the company has chosen the same type of solution for its earbuds. This came in two different SiPs, one for the Bluetooth connectivity and one for the audio codec.

In the latest AirPods Pro, the SiPs influence device compactness and size reduction of the wireless headsets. The AirPods Pro, designed and manufactured by Apple, comprise several SiPs assembled together: two Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs), one Bluetooth module and one audio codec module. The IMUs are standard Land Grid Array (LGA) SiPs from STMicroelectronics.

The Bluetooth H1-Module is packaged using double side molding technology in order to integrate a memory under the System-on-Chip (SoC). This structure enables a wireless connection, drives Apple’s voice-enabled Siri assistance and allows real time noise cancellation. The audio codec integrates up to eight dies and 80 passive components with a density of 0.96 components per mm². The module has a special shape that is designed to meet the mechanical constraints of the earbuds to minimize the lost area in the system. Both SiPs are designed in order to have better power management, higher performance and high cost effectiveness.

The report includes all the packaging details from the substrate to the dies from both modules. The report focuses on the packaging processes of the two SiP modules and the final assembly. High resolution images of the package cross section at different positions and angles enable full package and assembly process analyses. It also includes a full description of the process and the manufacturing cost of the dies and the packaging. Finally, a physical comparison of the two SiP Modules is included.

AirPods SiP Audio Module Cross Section 2 - System Plus Consulting AirPods SiP Audio Module back side chip - System Plus ConsultingAirPods SiP Audio Module Cross Section - System Plus Consulting
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Apple Company Profile

AirPods Evolution and Teardown

Physical Analysis

  • Summary of the Physical Analysis
  • Module System Assembly
    • Module views and dimensions: Optical, x-ray, opening
    • Module cross section, internal shielding, PCB substrate
  • Audio Module Front Side
    • Audio codec, audio amplifier, touch controller, LED driver, circuit regulator physical analysis
  • Bluetooth Module Back Side
    • Memory, H1 SoC, RF switch die physical analysis
  • Physical Comparison
    • Audio module and bluetooth module comparison
    • Copper RDL and UBM vs aluminum RDL and UBM

Manufacturing Process

  • Die Front-End Processes and Fabrication Unit
  • Packaging Process Flow
  • Audio Module Packaging Process Flow
  • Bluetooth Module Packaging Process Flow
  • Full Assembly Process Flow

Cost Analysis

  • H1 SoC Die Front End
  • H1 SoC Die Cost
  • H1 SoC Component Cost and Price
  • Audio Module Packaging Panel Cost
  • Audio Module Process Steps
  • Audio Module Component Cost
  • Bluetooth Module Packaging Panel Cost
  • Bluetooth Module Process Steps
  • Bluetooth Module Component Cost
  • Final Assembly Panel Cost
  • Final Assembly Process Steps

Estimated Price Analysis

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