Teardown Tuesday: Qi-Compatible Samsung Wireless Charger
In this teardown, we will look at a Samsung wireless charger that can charge mobiles (with the needed technology) to be charged by simply placing the phone on the unit.
Modern society has a passion for getting rid of wires wherever possible via Wi-Fi, radio, and ethernet over power lines. In this teardown, we will look at a Samsung wireless charger that can charge select mobiles by simply placing the phone on the unit.
The Samsung Charger
There are chargers of all shapes and sizes. The most common chargers on the market are those that utilize a USB Micro-B connector.
However, the charger for today's teardown is wireless (through electromagnetic induction) and only requires the user's phone to be placed onto the pad. The unit only has one port which is located on the bottom of the base at the back. This port is a USB micro-B connector which is used to provide power to the charger.
The Samsung wireless charger
From the outside, there appears to be no way in. The base is mostly rubber, as well as the inner ring on the large disc. So, drawing on what I've learned from previous teardowns, the screws to open the product are most likely found under these rubber parts. As expected, many screws were made visible upon removing the rubber base.
Base of the charger
The rubber base removed
The Main PCB
Removing the base reveals a blue PCB with many surface-mount components and a flexible cable connector that connects the front indicator light to the main PCB.
The flexible connector to the front LED
The main PCB in the base
The first IC of interest is the IDTP9236 which is a wireless charger controller designed by IDT. The IC is compliant with the Wireless Power Consortium Qi 1.1.2, contains a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0, and is designed to handle target devices of up to 10W.
The smaller IC that sits on the top-right of the main IC is the 4H602 DG417U, which is a difficult part to identify. The 4H602 has no online reference whereas the DG417U refers to an analog switch. However, looking at the PCB traces (and the components that connect to it), it is more likely to be an SPI serial memory device.
The main controller, the IDTP9236
The IC in the center of the image below is the 9280A USB charger controller which is produced by Samsung (this IC is also known as the S5830 / S5660).
Another IC nearby (up top), is labeled "909015JDW" which is an unidentifiable part.
The last main IC in this photo is the ABOV 8216SU which (according to ABOV) is a microcontroller with an 8051 core, 16KB Flash, 512 bytes of RAM, and various peripherals.
The various main ICs on the PCB
The 8216U microcontroller
The back of the PCB has virtually no components and mostly consists of a large copper flood plane. On the bottom is an identification, date of manufacture, and various other production line numbers. While not obvious in this photo, the text is actually in gold and not on the silk layer.
The back of the PCB
The Induction System
The PCB contains four thick cables that lead towards the coils that are used for wireless charging. The PCB also has two wires (black and red) that are connected to a connector but the purpose of these wires is unknown at this point.
Wires connecting to various other parts
Obtaining access to the coil was done by removing the rubber ring on the front of the charger. This revealed multiple plastic layers and screws which eventually show the charging coils.
The two induction coils on the back of the unit
The back plate from the charger was removed which revealed the function of the black and red wires that come off the main PCB. It turns out that the charging unit uses a small fan similar to those found in laptops.
Fan found inside the unit
Closeup on fan specifications
Fan removed from the charger
Side view of the fan to show its low profile
The charger in this teardown demonstrates many modern techniques including the use of surface-mount components for automated manufacturing, stitching via for EMC control, and sleek design of interior and exterior.
Wireless charging in phones is a young technology in the market but, considering how often USB cables and connectors get damaged, such a charging method will surely become popular in due time.
Next Teardown: PlayStation Move Controller