The Amazon Echo Dot version 2 is out. Here's a look inside.

The Echo is Amazon's smart speaker and voice-activated Wi-Fi-enabled system, activated by the name "Alexa". The Dot is a smaller version with the same functionality, released in March of 2016.

This October, an upgraded Dot was released with improved voice recognition and the ability to determine the proximity of someone issuing commands, allowing for better cooperation between multiple Dot or Echo units.

Let's crack one of these new versions open and see what it's made of.

 

Disassembling the Echo Dot

The Second Generation Amazon Echo Dot is held together with four M2.2 x 1.6mm thread-forming screws whose T8 heads are covered by the anti-slip mat at the base of the dot.  

Begin by carefully peeling back an edge the soft rubber-like mat to reveal the clear rigid vinyl base layer. Use a sharp tool to lift the clear rigid vinyl base away from the Echo Dot to reveal the four case screws. Remove the case screws and gently shake the case to release the circuit boards and other components. The speaker can be removed with one or two firm raps against a hard surface.

 

Overview of the parts and pieces that are inside the Echo Dot

 


The two circuit boards inside the Amazon Echo Dot v2

 

Unfortunately, many of the components in the Amazon Echo Dot are very small and do not contain manufacturer's identification markings—this makes positive identification difficult and time-consuming. But confirmation, once known, should be fast and easy.

I have supplied the information as it appears on the component. If you are familiar with these components and can provide a link to the manufacturer or distributor web page or datasheet, please comment below and we will update the table to include information that is not available at the time the article was written.

 

Circuit Board #1

Component MarkingDescriptionCostMore Information
M1735 ◦1932 M2 346Microphone
M1738 ◦6697 M2 346Microphone
ADC 3101 TI 681 AE4XAnalog-to-digital converter$1.50Website
Light/color sensor
R3019 3236Microcontroller
RGB LED

Top of Circuit Board #1

The top of the first circuit board has the following components:

  • Four tactile switches (red) that control volume, the microphone mute button (in white), and an action button
  • One microchip U3 that appears to be a light sensor or color sensor (orange)
  • Also visible are 6 equidistant perimeter holes and one central hole for microphones located on the opposite side of the circuit board

 

Image of front of topmost circuit board from inside the Amazon Echo Dot

 

Closeup image of the optical sensor highlighted next to a switch

 

This little green window is about the width of a grain of rice

 

Hyper closeup image of the sensor

 

Bottom of Circuit Board #1

The bottom side of the topmost circuit board has:

  • Two variations of surface-mount microphones (red)
  • Twelve RGB LEDs (yellow) that are used to indicate volume, action, and microphone off
  • Four two-channel analog-to-digital converters (orange) that convert the microphone outputs to digital signals
  • A microcontroller (blue) that connects the switches and the LEDs
  • A ribbon cable connector that leads to the bottom circuit board

 

​​Amazon Echo Dot Circuit Board 1

 

Circuit Board #2

Component MarkingDescriptionCostMore Information
DAC 32031 TI 68k CQ61Digital-to-analog converter
MEDIATEK MT6625LN 1628-AJC8L BAP0M972 ATG14T114-in-1 Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / FM / GPSDatasheet
MEDIATEK MT6323LGA 1629-AGAH CTG14U07Power management IC$2Datasheet
MEDIATEK ARM MT8163V 1636-KBCAH CCMKYRHS64-bit quad-core tablet platform$7.50Website
MICRON 6PA98 JWB304GB LPDDR3 memoryWebsite
6521 OEW
UL 1k16 A6 2S1107
VB6MC

Top of Circuit Board #2

The second circuit board has the following components:

  • A ribbon cable connector that leads to the top circuit board
  • Two mechanical spring connectors (light green) that connect to the speaker
  • A digital-to-audio converter (orange)
  • An unknown microchip marked "MJ" (yellow)
  • An unknown microchip marked "XL" (purple) connects to the silver micro USB port
  • An audio jack that is mechanically fastened to the circuit board next to the micro USB port
  • Printed copper antennas (on the far left and far right of the circuit board)

 

Top-view of the second circuit board

 

Bottom of Circuit Board #2

The bottom of the second circuit board houses:

  • The power-management IC (yellow)
  • The Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chip (green)
  • A 64-bit quad-core processor (orange) that is also used in multiple tablets
  • 4GB of memory (red) used as a data buffer or for firmware upgrades
  • Unknown microchips marked "YA" (pink), "UL 1K16" (purple), "Jb 6mm" (cyan), "VB6MC" (brown), and "SKB" (pink)

 

Bottom view of the second circuit board

 

Speaker

Two spring clips that are soldered onto the bottom of the second circuit board connect to two metal contacts on the speaker housing. The speaker housing is a hollow plastic cavity that amplifies the sound volume.

 

 

Conclusion

The second generation Amazon Echo Dot is built around Mediatek microchips. Mediatek, unfortunately, does not provide datasheets or technical briefs for these microchips on their website.  

This little device is quite easy to disassemble and reassemble and, as an added bonus, it works after reassembly.

Thanks for checking out this Teardown Tuesday! Be sure to come back next week to see what else we're tearing down.

 

Next Teardown: Wireless Home Remote

 

Comments

6 Comments


  • g3vjm 2016-11-11

    What happened to the voice over?

    • Mark Hughes 2016-11-11

      Hi @g3vjm,
          That might be my fault, I’m not certain I sent the voice over along with the edited video.
          I’ll try to fix that on the next one.
      Mark

  • tompatriot 2016-11-15

    Hey quick question, how did you identify that MICRON 6PA98 JWB30 is MT29TZZZ4D4BKERL(https://www.micron.com/resource-details/b3cb650e-1811-4e88-854a-60667ac0e68f) as I dont find any reference for that on Google or any other search engine. Could you kindly explain that?

    • Mark Hughes 2016-11-16

      Hi @tompatriot,
          Not a problem—it’s not an easy thing to find.  Micron FBGA (Fine Pitch Ball Grid Array) part numbers are encoded by Micron into a five digit code.  Go to https://www.micron.com/support/tools-and-utilities/fbga and input the second 5 digit code “JWB30” into the FBGA decoder to reveal the part number and use that to perform a search for the part at Micron MT29TZZZ4D4BKERL-125-W Search.  I know it’s a bit convoluted, but I hope that helps.
      Mark

      • tompatriot 2016-11-16

        Thank you sir. appreciate that. Yupp it is a lot convoluted then I thought. Did you ever find the data sheet for it? As it looks like Micron protects it like a secret closely guarded. I am hoping eitehr JtagBox or some eMMC reader should help read the chip. Byw have you tried reading it any other way?

    • Mark Hughes 2016-11-16

      @tompatriot,
          Hello, new contributor.  Micron device datasheets are protected through non-disclosure agreements.  And while I didn’t report on it, I did my due diligence by contacting Micron engineers who, off the record, told me about the microchips inside the Echo dot.  Micron plays it extremely close to the vest—the employee I spoke to was able to point me in the right direction (Southwest of the Pacific) without sharing anything about his colleagues across that great blue ocean.

      Anyhow—as a contract employee of AAC, I can’t help you with your endeavor, but I wish you the absolute best of luck.  Please let me know if you discover more about the Echo and we’ll post it here.

      Thanks,
      Mark