Amazon Kindle Teardown

Assignment 1


The Amazon Kindle is one of the most popular ebook reader in the United States. It was exciting to get this product to unravel its inner workings.

The Kindle 2 and its AC adapter.
Cracking open the back.

Closer look of the inside of a Kindle.

Tools used to take apart the Kindle 2

To remove the Back Casing(1) of the product I used a metal chisel. I must say this was an exciting look into a product with electronics. I then used a screwdriver to remove the small screws and lifted the logic board and display assembly out of its plastic housing.

Disassembled: Front View

The Back Casing (1) and Front Casing (2) are made from Plastic that is obtained from oil through the process of injection molding. The Back Casing has speaker holes on the top right and left. Amazon is not discrete about what plastic they use for the production. However, when we are done using our Kindle we can send it back to Amazon and they will properly dispose it. The Keyboard (3) seems to be a blend of plastic and rubber. It’s has an elasticity, when we press any key, it comes back to its original position. The Metal Case (4) is a part behind the Electrophoretic Display (5). The display is held by a “window frame” of adhesive on the Front Casing (2). After a couple of gentle twists I was able to separate these parts. The Electrophoretic Display (5), is made of tiny titanium dioxide, hydrocarbons, black dye and oil.

Disassembled: Back View

The Keyboard (3) fit into the Front Casing (2). 16 screws (6) attach the Front Casing (2) to the Metal Casing (4).

Disassembled: Back View

The back of the Electrophoretic Display (5) has a mirrored shinny appearance and is sandwiched between these two pieces. The lower end of the Display is attached with a copper coated piece known as a Flex Circuit Connector (11) Flex circuits are typically manufactured in China using a polyimide (Kapton) material and one to multiple layers of copper. It is responsible for allowing electrical circuits to flow through the device. The Lithium Ion Battery (7), Controller Board (8) and EMI Shield (9) are secured with screws on the grey area of the Metal Case (4). The Lithium Ion Battery (7), is a rechargeable power source that is made using heavy metal such as Lithium, Cobalt and Lead making it extremely important to dispose correctly. The battery is Model No. S11S01A. It’s a 3.7 V, 1530 mAh lithium polymer. The Controller Board (8) is used for video cards and Random-access memory (RAM) which allows connection of different video source inputs to be selected and shown on a screen. The EMI Shield (9) is a metal piece attached on top of the Controller Board (8) to prevent electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI) from impacting sensitive electronics. The black piece (10) is attached to the red and black wire. It looked like a plastic part that felt like the control for the exterior button

Disassembled: Back View

The Logic Board (12) contains 7 chips that are protected by different EMI Shields (13). It also has a wireless card (16) that was inserted in its own Card Casing (15).

Close-up of Logic Board

The wireless card (16) is by Oberthur Technologies , a French digital security comment that enables the Kindle to connect to the internet via radio wavelengths. Most of the chips are made by Freescale, Samsung and Epson. The main processor of the Kindle 2 is the Freescale chip which is  labeled MCIMX353DjQ5C M99V BTHV1052C SNGPR (12 A). It is a 532 MHz, ARM-11 90nm 14mm package. The MC13892AJVL CTGL 1103K (12 B) is a Freescale battery management chip that is made in china. The Samsung semiconductor K4X1G323PC -8GD8 (12 C) is a Mobile-DDR SDRAM chip. There another Samsung SDRAM chip, KLM4G1EEER (12H). The WM8960 (12 D) is a low power, high quality stereo codec designed for portable digital audio application. The Atheros Chip (12E) supports for Kindle’s WiFi.  The Texas instrument SN92009 A2 TL 11L A14G G4 (12 F) is the power management chip. The co-branded Epson and E-Ink chip (12 G) is the display controller. It is a PFBGA package that supports “high speed screen updates (2048×1536 at 50Hz+) 

All the parts

Interesting Design Elements:

The redesign of the Kindle 2 from its first generation seemed to have cleaner lines and carefully designed proportions. Despite new models, the Kindle 2 still has an evergreen design and personally I love the white. Additionally, the Kindle 2 is a good example of Design for Disassembly. I only required 2 tools (Metal Chisel and a Screwdriver) to take the whole tablet apart. This helps facilitate future changes and dismantlement for any parts that need to be replaced and recycled.

Avent Electronic Breast Pump Teardown

Carter Brigham

Original Item
1st Step
Open alt angle
Remove tubes
Exposed screws
Separate alt angle
Remove motor
Remove board
Hand pull
Remove diaphragms
Gear Molds
Gears disconnect
Saw hard plastic
Sawed down

The materials in the pump were hard plastic (high-density polyethylene- HDPE), plastic tubing (polyurethane), gears (steel, gear oil, magnet), flexible diaphragms (polyurethane, hard plastic fittings to attach – HDPE), clips (HDPE), screws (steel), screw covers (polyurethane), circuit board (copper-plated fiberglass material, epoxy resin, polyamide and polyester film), resistors (metal, PVC insulation), capacitors (electrodes, metal plates, dielectric insulating material, ceramic material), microchip (semi-conductor material, silicon, wires -copper, PVC insulation), motor (steel, wire, brush, electro-magnet, gear oil).

Manufacturing techniques needed to make a breast pump include, but are not limited to, injection molding for hard plastic (reciprocating screw, venting air, coolant, ejector pins/sprue removal, stamping), machining aluminum mold for injection mold (16,000 lb machine, reamers, end mills, torque wrench, gauges, cobalt steel twist drill, coolant), electrical wire (copper block, lubricated pulleys dye and stretch, low voltage conductors, insulated plastic extrusion machine, coat with PVC, precision laser confirm uniformity, cool in water trough, stamp information, voltage test), plastic tubing (vacuum hose, dry, augers mix, heat, extruder, heat, cool in trough, pulled through water through rollers, laser measure uniformity, pull by conveyer), gears (automated band saw slice, drill, cool, turret with blades drill, stamp, titanium cutter shape gears’ insides, gear hopper cuts outside, furnace, inject with carbon, grinder), circuit board (cut board, apply resin and film, etch, chemical bath), resistors, capacitor, motor, microchip (ventilation, vacuum to maintain dust-free space, cut silicone, oxidize in furnace, centrifuge, stepper exposure machine, plasma etching).

To take apart the breast pump I used a Phillips-head screwdriver, a wrench, hand saws and my hands.

The designers chose to create a device that allows the machine to mimic the woman’s own baby’s sucking rhythm. By manually pumping, she can press a button on the handle when she finds a match. The machine will then repeat or ‘remember’ the timing. I don’t understand how this works but it is the selling point of this model.

An electric breast pump exists because the diaphragm covers the breast and the motor pulls at regular intervals mimicking the real experience so milk is released and expressed into an easy-to-use container. The action begins with sharp, short pulls of suction and then increases to longer and stronger motions. As a working mother this invention made my intentions for the health of my babies what I wanted.

Limerick PJ’s Comfort Breast Pump Teardown

Parts of the Breast Pump

  1. Hard Plastic Case
  2. Two silicone control knobs on top
  3. Silicone Tubes with three way plastic connectors
  4. Mother Board
  5. Motor (Inside – Copper wire encased in a cylinder which is creates a magnetic effect)
  6. Five part rotor disc made of silicone and plastic and attached to the motor
  7. Copper wire wrapped with cello tape and encased in a cuboid
  8. Seven Black and Red Wires coiled together and attached to the motherboard
  9. Wide silicone strips holding the motor in place
  10. Absorbent foam inside a plastic cylinder
  11. Sixteen nails
  12. Bolts
  13. Washers

Tools used to take it apart of screw drivers

  1. Philips and Slotted Screw Drivers
  2. Xacto Knife
  3. Hands

Design elements I liked about the device

  1. The colour
  2. The curved and old telephone like shape of the object

Both of these elements make it seem a bit more approachable and familiar device.

Bop It BLAST Teardown



What I teardown is bop it. It was originally a talking and glowing guy, and the way to interact with it was mainly pressing the center part, pulling the blue feet and twisting the green feet. A round head contains the most important circuit boards and springs, and its two feet are mainly where batteries, some extended wires, buttons, small circuit boards, and mechanical parts are placed.

The Teardown

I first removed the shell on one side with a screwdriver and found that the battery is on its legs, not on its head. The buttons are located above the left leg and touch a small circuit board.

When I removed all its shell, I can see that the main chip is placed on its head. On the head chip board, there are various circuits extending to its legs. The ports of the circuit are connected with battery, buttons, lights and beads.

Next, I started to disassemble its head. When the plastic fixing piece was removed, a spring jumped out. This is why the head can be pressed.

When I further disassembled its head, a speaker was pasted on the back.

At this point, it still has the other half of the head that I haven’t removed it yet. You can see that the orange button corresponds to the button on the chip.

There is still a spring inside this half of the head, and a red lamp bead behind it.

Next is the teardown of the two feet, I will use a video to illustrate.


1. AA battery 2. Speaker 3. Fixed cover 4. Spring 5. Battery cover 6. Silicone button  7. Button  8. Shell 9. Screw(and Square nut) 10. Plastic lever 11. Polyethylene slider 12. Control button 13. Chip 14. Battery holder 15. Lamp bead 16. Circuit 17. Rebound spring

Manufacturing technique used to make it

Injection molding

Chips Sheet

  • Debounce time setting(when you press on your standard mechanical switch, it hits the contact and then it bounces briefly from momentum of you hitting the key/switch, sometimes the momentum can be enough for the contacts to touch again and cause a double click. Debounce time is basically and amount of time that the switch doesnt register another click.)
  • D1-D7 (Diode)
  • Q1-Q3 (Tertiary tube)
  • MS (Synchronous motor)
  • GS (Synchronous generator)
  • SP- (Speaker?)
  • GND (Ground)
  • BR (Bridge rectifier filter)
  • T1 (Transformer)
  • BB (Thermal relay)
  • JMP1-JMP2 (Jumper?)
  • 8OZVC116-MANRO1H
  • C1-C3 (Capacitance)
  • P20、P30、P33 (Electric power)
  • R1-R15 (Resistor)
  • J1-J2 (Jumper)
  • BG (Backside Grinding)
  • QB (Quit button?)
  • Q4 (Tertiary tube)
  • VCC (Voltage)
  • BB (Thermal relay)
  • 8OVC116-KEYBRO1H
  • D3、D4 (Diode)
  • S1 (Switch)
  • SP-、SP+ (Speaker?)
  • VC116-KEYCRO1H
  • S1 (Switch)
  • P/T (?)

Tools used

  1. Screwdriver
  2. Scissors

Design elements I am interested in

  1. Put the battery on its legs not in its head. (In addition to the realization of the function, the internal parts distribution must also consider its appearance. Its legs have just enough space for the battery, and it is easier for users to teardown.)
  2. Use the user’s pull and twist to press the button. (Make full use of the user’s behavior and use mechanical buttons to save costs.)

iPhone 6 Teardown

Tools & Technique
Pentalobe screwdriver
Sanding tool (used as an improvised plier)
Heat gun

One of the most difficult parts was just getting this iPhone open. The screwdriver was only able to remove one tiny screw at the bottom of the iPhone that holds the phone together. Luckily the screen was slightly popping from that lower half of the phone so I was able to stick a small sanding tool in the corder and twist to separate the two halves. After that it was many many tiny screws and a bit of heat to separate the battery from the base.

Serial Numbers
8212172a – Camera light sensor
H2jtfg8yd1bms – Memory
1971-a 821- LCD digitizer

The Process
Since the iphone was neatly designed to split into two halves I worked on one half at a time.

Side 1: Screen side with parts for camera, microphone, home button, earpiece

Side 2: Bottom side with parts for sim card, LCD, vibration, volume, speaker camera battery, circuit board (memory), sim card


USA: The blueprint, crystal, specialized parts and processors
Japan, Korea and Taiwan: display panels, chipsets and memory
Europe: gyroscope
Mongolia: Rare earth minerals
China: The final manufacturing

The body of an iPhone is made by aluminum milling and finishing with diamond tools. It takes about 400 steps to assemble the iPhone, including polishing, soldering, drilling and fitting screws. That doesn’t include all of the more complex processes and chemical engineering for things like the battery and processing chip.

Interesting Design Features

I think one of the most interesting things about the interior of the iPhone is how neat it is. It reminds me of the UX design where everything is perfectly placed. It’s incredibly well organized and perfectly splits into two halves. I think this was intentional so that parts were easily fixable. I also think this type of design is in engrained in Apple’s ethos.

The other thing I noticed is that the memory and processing chip are encased. It is not possible to see the chip itself (as far as I know). I think the designers did this as an added layer of protection since that is the brain of the machine…After googling I found this was done to protect the chip from Electromagnetic interference.

Apple TV Box Teardown

My teardown object is the 3rd Generation Apple TV Box, which was first released in the market in 2012.

Exterior Outlook

The box is 4 inch by 1 inch tall. The back side of the box features an AC Adapter port, HDMI output port, Micro-USB (for service and support), optical audio out port, and a 10/100 base ethernet port.

Material Breakdown
Material weight/breakdown
The Breakdown

Step 1: The first challenge was to remove the core of the rubber-coated base from the upper case. Using an X-acto knife, I was able to loosen the parts from one another and using a metal spludger, I snapped it open and the base popped right off.

Step 2: Once open, the base is secured with a metal heat sink. To remove the metal sink, I used a screwdriver to release the 5 screws.

Step 3: The logic board is held in place by the power supply connector (recycled plastic) and using a metal spludger and pliers, I was able to disconnect it and free the logic board. The power supply rating is 3.4V at 1.75 A.

Step 4: Using pliers, the status LED is freed from the metal pad.

The logic board has a few elements that required some research and understanding.

  • The single core processor is the application processor with Apple A5
  • Toshiba THGVX1G6D2HLA018GB NAND Flash- is an interface which handles essential functions, including writing block management, error correction and driver software. It simplifies system development, allowing manufacturers to minimize development costs and speed up time to market for new and upgraded products.
  • Broadcomm BCM4330 – single chip device which provides the highest level of integration for a handheld wireless system
  • SMSC LAN9730 standalone USB to ethernet controller – Microchip’s LAN9730 was specifically designed to provide a high-performance, low-cost USB to 10/100 Ethernet connectivity solution with a Hi-Speed Inter-Chip (HSIC) interface.
Remote Control Teardown

Material: Aluminum casing

Tools and techniques: X-actor to remove the different buttons and feedback chips.

Features: Bluetooth wireless technology, IR transmitter and Lightning connector for charging

  • All the components are housed on the logic board, which means that if it breaks, it could be expensive to replace.
  • This product is ultra-compact
  • PVC free
  • Made with recycling materials (100 % recycled aluminum in the Remote, 100% recycled tin in the solder of the main logic board and 35% of recycled plastic in multiple components)

Oregon Scientific Weather Station Teardown

Model: BAR 806; Solar, Wireless

The Oregon Scientific BAR 806 is a wireless, solar weather station. Its LED display showcases forecasted weather, time and date of day, and temperature. Also, despite the “solar” attribute, it is not fully solar — the solar capabilities are an environmentally friendly way to save energy and prolong battery life. Lastly, the device did not turn on so I decided to start the teardown (especially since it’s capabilities are overshadowed by an iPhone’s weather app).


  1. Heat gun: for any glue/adhesives.
  2. Multitool (mainly pliers): to pry, pull and hold pieces.
  3. Pencil: to press on small pieces during the teardown and knolling process.
  4. Xacto knife: to make small cuts to snap off, open up and pry pieces.
  5. Screwdriver: unscrewing screws.


These show how I got inside the weather station. I pried the buttons off, along with the glass for the led screen, which separated the front from the back.

Once the back was open, the PCB was exposed and I began to remove each piece either by hand, screwdriver or plier to get ready for knolling.

Here are some process shots removing wires, circuit boards ontop of circuit boards, radio transmission springs, etc.

Lastly, I took a heat gun to the LED screen (in an attempt to remove the film) but no success, so I began to knoll the pieces.

Components, Materials, Parts

Parts of the Weather Station (Knolled image on the left)

Components of the Circuit Board (layered PCB with copper paths — I actually learned from Anne that they are double-sided and you are not viewing the back of one side on the other).

  1. Resistors: “R”, reduce the flow of current, are seen along each other in a series and are within yellow boxes on the circuit board.
  2. Capacitors: “C”, store electrical energy and are primarily seen on the large circuit board as Red, Green and Black “Chiclet” shapes.
  3. Diodes: “D”, allow current to flow in one direction, and look like a small fire extinguisher.
  4. Transformers: “T”, transfer power from one device on the circuit to another, and look like a match on the left side of the large circuit board .
  5. Integrated circuits: “U”, are microchips with many functions, such as storing memory, and are within black boxes or circles on this circuit board.
  6. Antennas: “antenna” or “H”, they transmit and receive signals. One on this circuit board is located on the upper right side and is a white box with a “3”. It is the humidity sensor.
  7. Transistors: “Q”, they amplify or control electrical signals, and are micro-sized black boxes on this circuit board.
  8. Black “Blobs” are components/chips encapsulated by epoxy. For this circuit, some control the LCD (on the larger PCB) while some process information from the sensors (on the medium sized PCB) to determine Barometric pressure.
  9. “EU/UK” Switch in the middle to toggle between radio signals.
  10. EM94AB (on the medium sized circuit): semiconductor for data regarding the Barometric pressure and weather clock.
  11. Unmarked semiconductor (on the small circuit): most likely for data of the temperature sensor.

Design Takeaways

This Weather Station is definitely unique and it’s interesting to see how all of the technology is packaged (I assume by machine) within the object encasing itself (for both indoor/outdoor use), and also on the circuit boards. It is so much data, energy and storage within such a small piece of hardware — very cool. Also, since many chips on the board have black epoxy over them, I have concluded that most of the technology is proprietary to the company as they also cannot be found on the internet. Then, it is interesting to see the various methods to achieve the same result, as seen from the antennas and transmitters for transmissions/signals. Lastly, I appreciated the switches for a user to toggle between Celsius and Fahrenheit (for weather) and EU/UK (for radio signals).

Google Home Mini Teardown

I changed my object from Netgear wi-fi extender to Google Home Mini, an old generation model I do not use anymore. It is the smallest and the cheapest model in Google Home family. I was always wondering about how big and clear sound it makes considering its size (and price range).

Fast forwarding the teardown

As you can see in the video, it consists of four main parts – Top shell (with Primary PCB attached to it), aluminum frame, Speaker driver and bottom shell.

What fascinated me during the teardown was acoustics engineering of this little gadget. If you look into it, you can easily see why Google Home Mini has wonderful sound for its size. First, speaker driver is almost as big as Home Mini itself. Second, aluminum frame which is between the top shell and the speaker driver functions as a sound diffuser which spreads sound horizontally throughout the room.

(1) Top shell
– Plastic frame covered with fabric
– Primary PCB (including dual microphone and 4 LED indicator)

(2) Aluminum frame
– Plastic pieces (Black) for better Antenna performance (Wi-fi)
– Omni sound diffuser

How sound travels inside Google Home Mini

(3) Speaker drive

(4) Bottom shell – it has power input (micro USB) and toggle switch for microphone on/off.

Magic Mouse 2 Teardown

For this project I did a complete teardown of Apple’s Magic Mouse 2. This product, originally released in October of 2015, offered a new integrated lithium ion internal battery making it rechargeable. If you ask me, the rechargeable aspect of it is kind of dumb, due to the fact that the charging port is in the bottom, making it useless while it is charging. Six years have passed since this product came out and apple has yet to change this, so they are definitely up to something.

The teardown of the mouse was quite difficult because it was mainly glue holding the object together. It gave me the impression that they don’t want the average consumer looking into how they manufacture their products. So I started picking the plastic rails from the bottom with a box cutter in order to cut away the glue until I had enough surface to pull the whole piece out. After that I started prying open the top part with my fingers and realized that it was held by these four plastic clips that were part of the main tray that held the battery, as well as the motherboard and most of the electronics. Once I exposed the motherboard, I took apart all of the screws with a tiny screwdriver, this just mainly took apart the spring that would make the mouse click.

By the end of the teardown, the only thing I had left to do was to take out the battery. This was probably the most tricky and scary part due to the fact that it was completely glued to the plastic tray. I was kind of skeptical about taking it apart because I once poked a lithium battery and it did not go well. so I carefully went about it and managed to take it out using a flat screwdriver to pry it out of the case.

Motherboard Parts:

  • ST Microelectronics STM32F103VB 72 MHz 32-bit RISC ARM Cortex-M3
  • Broadcom BCM20733 Enhanced Data Rate Bluetooth 3.0 Single-Chip Solution
  • Unknown 303S0499—probably a proprietary Apple touch controller
  • NXP 1608A1 Charging IC
  • Texas Instruments 56AYZ21

Mouse Parts:

  1. Bottom sliding rails
  2. Motherboard
  3. Click Switch
  4. On/Off Switch
  5. Lithium Ion Battery with Lighting Port
  6. Top Cover and Touch Sensor Array
  7. Aluminum Base
  8. Plastic Tray

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Materials used: Waterproof plastic with a matte soft touch finish, silicone rubber button casing, Lithium Polymer battery, iron or Aluminum speaker (which includes a cylinder plate, magnet, basket with a soft wire mesh cloth for the “spider” and “cone”, and a dust cap at the end, see diagram below for a speaker breakdown!).

Looking up the parts and chip numbers on the circuit board was no easy task. I managed to find a couple but not all. (see list below)

A1SHB: P-Channel Trench Power MOSFET (The A1SHB uses advanced trench technology to provide excellent RDS(ON), low gate charge and operation with gate voltages as low as -2.5V. This device is suitable for use as a battery protection or in other switching application.)

SS14: Surface Mount Battery Rectifier (Guarding protection, low forward voltage, reverse energy tested, high current capability.)

K8002D: Electronic Component Integrated Circuit (ICs) which functions as an amplifier — in practice denotes any semiconductor-based chip comprising an integrated set of digital circuitry

2TY: Silicon Epitaxial Planar Transistor

J3y: Plastic-Encapsulate Transistors (Complimentary to S8550)

I used a pair of clippers, a magnifying glass and my bare hands to tear this speaker open. There wasn’t much to it really, just some brute force.

I do love the overall circle motif of the speaker’s design. Every outer surface piece of this was rounded, from the button interface to the plastic suction cup at the back. I thought this was a lovely extension of the circularity of the internal shaping of the speaker mechanism.

I also do appreciate how compact this speaker was built – the LiPo battery was stuck onto the circuit board with 3M double sided tape, with no indication of the battery voltage or care for alignment. The somewhat haphazardness of the construction of this item subtly implied the story behind who put this together and how potentially speed was valued over precision.