iFixit released its teardown of the Apple HomePod. A few really interesting things:
- Hello Synaptics! Conexant’s chips are there for microphone processing. Yes, this is a different chip than the one used on AVS dev kits but still, interesting that it’s used for processing. Well done!
- The mics come in strips of three. This is a clever way of getting them placed. However, flexible multi-threaded cables can be expensive to manufacture compared to boards.
- There is an additional mic to cancel subwoofer audio or do additional audio processing outside of acoustic echo cancellation.
- It’s really difficult to repair (which is why Apple will repair it for about the cost of a new one… likely just replacing it and recylcing the parts).
- There’s likely some heavy lifting of the DSP for far field on the A8 processor.
This doesn’t look like a cheap or even cheaply made device. Based on the gluing and stacking of boards, there’s likely a lot of manual labour involved in putting this device together. Maybe future generations will have a more easily packaged assembly?