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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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155859-broadcom_bcm4329_500.jpg


iFixit has managed to get its hands on a 32 GB third-generation iPod touch and is in the process of tearing apart the device to get a look at the internals. While the new iPod touch is similar in many respects to the second-generation model, especially given the absence of a camera module, there are some hardware differences.

One of the more intriguing differences uncovered so far is the inclusion of a Broadcom BCM4329 combination Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chip, which supports the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard in addition to 802.11a/b/g standards. The iPhone 3GS and the second-generation iPod touch utilize a different BCM4325 chip, which supports only the 802.11a/b/g standards. While Apple has apparently not activated 802.11n capability in the iPod touch and it is unknown whether it will choose to do so in the future, the new iPod touch hardware does appear to be capable of supporting the standard.

Hints of the BCM4329 chip were initially spotted in early iPhone OS 3.0 betas, leading to speculation that the next-generation iPhone might support 802.11n. The iPhone 3GS, however, was ultimately released with the BCM4325 chip and thus unable to support the faster Wi-Fi standard.

Other reports earlier this year pointed to the BCM4329 chip's ability to both receive and transmit FM signals as a sign that Apple might look to add an FM tuner and possibly add the ability to transmit audio wirelessly to car stereos via FM radio. At the time, Apple had shown no interest in adding FM capabilities to its iPod line, but Apple's new iPod nano released this week does include an FM tuner, suggesting that Apple may be rethinking that strategy.

Apple routinely does not take full advantage of the capabilities of various hardware components of its devices for various reasons, and there has been no indication that the company has plans to utilize the BCM4329 chip's expanded capabilities, but the possibility of such features being enabled in the future makes for interesting speculation.

Article Link: Third-Generation iPod Touch Teardown Reveals 802.11n-Capable Wi-Fi Chip
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,595
2
Seattle, WA
This is interesting. I wonder if Apple will charge you to activate the wireless N capabilities like they did for the MacBook Pros a few years back.
 

puffnstuff

macrumors 65816
Jan 2, 2008
1,469
0
I would love the ability for it to transmit FM

Such a pain to go through the whole set up of plugging it in my car and then having to unplug. Plus when I rent a car I forget to bring the cord or at someones home no way to plug it into the radio
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,688
170
any word if there is an empty space where a camera was supposed to be? the one that was removed 2 weeks ago due to manufacturing problems?

I think transmitting FM would require FCC approval
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,216
1,607
The chip was prob cheaper at time of production as there would be no benifit to the device having pre-n if were all honest.
 

BeyondtheTech

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2007
2,130
635
Good thing I'm remaining eligible on two of my lines to get the successor to the 3GS. Given their track record, it'll be a nice jump for us in the summer of 2010 to go from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3GX. ;)
 

RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,226
245
Iowa, USA
I guarantee that in a few months, Apple will relelase an "iPod touch 802.11n enabler," and it will cost you $10. Guarantee it.

I could also see something similar happen with FM receiver software and possibly an FM transmitter (how cool would THAT be to not need an external transmitter?!) in the future.
 

NathanA

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2008
739
16
Whoa, hey, WAIT a minute...

...is it possible that the difference between the two different models of 3GS is that one contains the 4329 (11n) Broadcom chip and the other the 4325?? (Hey, I can dream, can't I?)

The Broadcom chip's markings in the FCC's documents are blacked out in the pictures, so there is no way to tell from the FCC filings. Someone really needs to do a dissection of both the BCGA1303A and the BCGA1303B and see if the differences are more than just variances in PCB designs!

-- Nathan
 

Beric

macrumors 68020
Jan 22, 2008
2,148
0
Bay Area
Just updated: it has room for the Nano camera, but not the iPhone's.

Wonder if Apple felt the Nano's camera wasn't "good enough" for the Touch?
 

zygo

macrumors member
Dec 17, 2006
70
0
UK
The chip was prob cheaper at time of production as there would be no benifit to the device having pre-n if were all honest.

Would be handy for my media network... my media is running off a Mini, to Apple TV. But I can't use the remote app without it dropping that network to G.

If I connect to the G network I can't control my media.

Oh well-by the end of my 2yr contract [3GS] hopefully they will have enabled it on the next iterations of the iPhone.
 

iVoid

macrumors 65816
Jan 9, 2007
1,137
162
Interesting that there's room for a camera in there. Seems to indicate the production problems might have been true or Apple decided to leave the camera for the next rev of the Touch.


As for the Wireless-N, they might not use that functionality since they'd need more antennas than B/G. So even if the chip supports it, Apple might just have used it because it had all the other features they needed and not for the N capability.
 

lostngone

Contributor
Aug 11, 2003
1,431
3,803
Anchorage
They used the chp for the FM receiver, however I wonder if they added the logic to use the 802.11n part of the chip. Its hard to believe they would go through the trouble and then just leave it dormant.

Of course I am still wondering why the Mighty Mouse has a speaker in it.
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,688
170
Why not activate it now? But, its a good that they put a N capable chip in.

last i heard N is still not a final spec. once it's final Apple will be able to write drivers for it that will work with a variety of access points
 

Vandam500

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2008
1,834
85
Wow, that gets me pretty mad. Why? I have a 3GS and the Wifi chip doesn't support Wireless N. Why am I mad? An iPod Touch 3rd Gen owner pays $299 or $399 and that's it, no monthly fees. An iPhone 3GS owner pays $200 or $300 (I paid $430 btw) plus a steep monthly fee (2 years) which of course Apple gets a % of. Without a doubt 3GS owners are paying Apple minimum $500 dollars for the device and yet there are more advanced parts in a iPod Touch which they make less money off? Wow, just wow.
 

Beric

macrumors 68020
Jan 22, 2008
2,148
0
Bay Area
Wow, that gets me pretty mad. Why? I have a 3GS and the Wifi chip doesn't support Wireless N. Why am I mad? An iPod Touch 3rd Gen owner pays $299 or $399 and that's it, no monthly fees. An iPhone 3GS owner pays $200 or $300 (I paid $430 btw) plus a steep monthly fee (2 years) which of course Apple gets a % of. Without a doubt 3GS owners are paying Apple minimum $500 dollars for the device and yet there are more advanced parts in a iPod Touch which they make less money off? Wow, just wow.

It was probably just as cheap for Apple to put the chip in as not. Or like 10 cents more.
 

NT1440

Contributor
May 18, 2008
12,829
16,698
last i heard N is still not a final spec. once it's final Apple will be able to write drivers for it that will work with a variety of access points

Draft N has been on the market for years now, and the board that does it stated that they will be fully supporting it in the official specs. My guess is either battery or some other limitation.

Probably. It's worthless. Seriously.

funny, gizmodo seems to think its just under if no on par with other handheld cameras like the flip.....
 
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