Samsung Galaxy S5 teardown reveals all its innards

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is about to arrive on retail store shelves en masse on April 11th, but just around a week before the big launch, Chipworks has dissected the handset in an attempt to see the bigger picture of who makes which component and what makes the S5 tick. The crafty engineers have already identified a large portion of the chips, and - unsurprisingly - Qualcomm seems to have the most wins in the S5.

Samsung’s 2014 flagship uses more than just the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 system chip - it also comes with Qualcomm-made RF chips, audio codecs and more. Right below, you’d see Qualcomm’s chip wins in the S5:

  • QFE1100 (Envelope Tracking Power Amplifier PMIC),
  • WFR1620 (RF Receiver),
  • WTR1625L (RF Transceiver),
  • MSM8974AC (Snapdragon 801 (BB/AP SoC)),
  • WCD9320 (Audio Codec) and
  • PMC8974 (BB/AP Power Management).

Probably the biggest change in the Galaxy S5, however, comes in its image sensor. The Galaxy S4 (with the IMX135 Exmor-RS stacked chip), S III and the Note III all used Sony sensors for their camera, while the S5 is the first major Samsung launch in recent history shipping with its own, in-house ISOCELL technology. ISOCELL comes with the ambition to be the next big thing in mobile photography after backside-illuminated sensors (BSI), and it’s got the numbers to prove this: the ISOCELL tech secures 30% reduction in crosstalk and 30% growth in full well capacity. What’s particularly interesting is that now we also see a cross-section portrayal of Samsung’s earlier 8-megapixel ISOCELL tech, and while it’s not the same chip used in the S5, the underlying technology should be very similar, if not identical.

Samsung is not sitting still with ISOCELL either, so we can only expect the technology to improve in the near future. Just over a month ago, Samsung unveiled a new stacked 13-megapixel ISOCELL chip that is scheduled for mass production in the second quarter of 2014. Plenty to look forward to, but right now you can hit the source link below for the full Chipworks Galaxy S5 teardown.

source: Chipworks

Related phones

Galaxy S5
  • Display 5.1 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP (Single camera)
    2.1 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh
  • OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow
    Samsung TouchWiz UI



12. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

"Samsung described ISOCELL technology in a February webinar and again at Image Sensors 2014, promoting it as the next key image sensor technology after back-illuminated (BSI) sensor technology. The salient points include: the successful implementation of front deep trench isolation (F-DTI) and vertical transfer gates (VTG). We found both of these technology elements in 2013 from other companies: F-DTI from STMicroelectronics in its HTC ONE UltraPixel camera chip, and VTGs from Sony in a Cyber-shot camera [2]." So it turns out ISOCELL sensor, is just a samsung marketing name for F-DTI and VTG and they are also not the first to use the technology. Initially I thought they were creating something new and innovative but apparently not.

14. Karriope

Posts: 148; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

It could be their own design of ISOCELL sensor tech. Promoting it as the next "key (technology)" is not necessarily saying they are the first or the creator of the technology. Samsung promoted AMOLED as the next big thing in displays but they weren't the inventors of AMOLED either, were they? Just saying.

11. anush

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 15, 2014

i read that ISOCELL use some technology that sony patent,i think sony probably sue samsung

7. Lt.Green

Posts: 397; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

If only they adopted the Note 3s design language, I would've went for this.

4. Karriope

Posts: 148; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

Awww, no Wolfson audiophile DAC.

6. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

That's a bummer :(

9. AwesomestMaximuss

Posts: 148; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

Wolfson dac was always featured on the exynos model,,,the tear down shown above is a qualcomm one...i am sure exynos version of s5 ll have the wolfson dac..

8. AwesomestMaximuss

Posts: 148; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

Wolfson dac was always featured on the exynos model,,,the tear down shown above is a qualcomm one...i am sure exynos version of s5 ll have the wolfson dac..

10. SleepingOz unregistered

My concern exactly!

13. av911 unregistered

Get a real DAC! /jk Would be nice though.

3. livyatan

Posts: 867; Member since: Jun 19, 2013

Much better looking internals this time. Blue motherboard and black/gray casing instead of mostly neon green components that :p The Note 3 innards are also aesthetically nice

5. Karriope

Posts: 148; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

well, honestly speaking, how many people gut their phone that often? It was years before PCs started using colors other than green for their PCBs...

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5826; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I've been impressed with the S5 photos so far ISOCELL is looking very promising, finally someone to give Nokia and Sony serious competition

1. express77 unregistered

seems good phone but samsung hasnt wowed me since s3(note 3 is great though).

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