In this Teardown Tuesday, we are going to take a look at the insides of an Amazon Fire TV.

Amazon is investing more and more into hardware. The Amazon Fire TV is another step in that direction. The Fire TV’s operating system, Fire OS, is based off of Android but doesn’t contain the normal Google integration. This teardown was pretty simple, but there isn’t a lot a user could easily replace once inside the media player.

 

The Fire TV. Image Courtesy of Amazon

 

 

Opening it up!

Opening up this Fire TV was pretty painless! A small flathead screwdriver was used to pry up the bottom panel. With the bottom panel removed, the circuit board was exposed. The circuit board was held in place with a handful of Phillips head screws. With the Phillips head screws removed, the PCB simply slid out. A large heatsink was attached to the plastic enclosure using an adhesive.

 

Circuit Board

 

The Top of the only pcb in the fire tv

The top of the PCB

 

There is a single circuit board inside of this media player. This PCB is double-sided with mixed construction. There are a few unpopulated footprints and minimal reference designators on this board. This board has green solder mask and white silkscreen on both sides.

 

The bottom of the only pcb in the fire tv by amazon

The bottom side of the PCB

 

EMI Shielding

 

The emi shielding on the bottom of the media player

The flexible EMI shielding on the bottom shell

 

This board has EMI shielding nearly everywhere! Starting at the bottom, the bottom plastic cover has adhesive EMI shielding mounted to it. The through-hole pins of the HDMI connector are also covered by an EMI shield. The SoC, RAM, and radio are covered by EMI shielding cans.

 

One of the many emi shielding cans on the amazon fire tv

One of the many shielding cans

 

Radios!

 

The 2.4ghz and 5.8ghz antenna

The 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz antennas

 

For the radios to transmit and receive, this PCB has three antennas on it. There is one antenna for 5.8GHz Wi-Fi and two antennas for 2.4GHz shared between bluetooth and Wi-Fi .

An interesting note with regards to the radio is that this device went through the FCC under the company “Quill Royal LLC” in an effort to prevent specifications about the device leaking before it was announced.

 

An internal RFID tag

A RFID tag inside of the Fire TV

 

In addition to the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radio, there is also a little RFID tag inside of the device. This tag is most likely used for inventory and product tracking at the Amazon warehouse.

 

Power Supply

 

a switching power supply

The switching power supply

 

This Fire TV is powered by a 21W AC-to-DC converter that takes mains voltage down to 15V with a max current of 1.4A. A barrel jack is used to connect the external power supply to the PCB. Once on the board, the voltage is further regulated by an onboard switching DC-to-DC converter.

 

System-on-a-Chip

A mediatek cpu

The Mediatek CPU

 

In this streaming media device is a Mediateck SoC. This is their MT8173 processor that, according to them, was intended for high-performance tablets. This processor is a 64-bit quad core processor with both ARM-A72 and ARM-A53 clusters.

 

Sandisk SSD

The SanDisk SSD

 

So that the user can store content on the device, there is a 8GB Sandisk solid state drive. This is part number SDIN9DS2-8G. This drive communicates over a eMMC 5.1 interface that allows for data transfer speeds upto 400 MB/sec using an 8-line serial interface.

 

Conclusion

This media player is built like a smartphone with a handful of interface options. This seems to be the trend with streaming media boxes such as the NVIDIA shield and Apple TV. The performance of the flagship smartphone electronics is generally more than adequate to power these media boxes.

Thanks for taking a look at this Teardown Tuesday! Stop by next week for another teardown!

 

Next Teardown: Akai LPD8 Laptop Pad Controller

 

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