vol 6 issue 3

The Teardown: the Kinect for Xbox 360

14 March 2011
By iSuppli editorial
Share |
Kinect for Xbox 360

Dimensions - Height: 73mm; Width: 283mm; Depth: 72.8mm; Weight: 564.5g

Inside the Kinect

Inside the Kinect

Kinect for Xbox 360

Prime Sense platform

Microsoft's motion-sensing controller is no loss-leader according to market research firm IHS iSuppli's analysis.

The Kinect for Xbox 360 is Microsoft's bid to respond to the controller incorporated in Nintendo's Wii games console. It seeks to extend the concept of 'immersive' play by using a technology that responds directly to body movement.

For example, a gamer playing a football game in front of the Kinect can control the avatars' body movements, 'kick' the ball or 'save' a penalty with his or her feet or hands. In addition, Kinect incorporates four microphones, which can pick up voice commands.

The device is bundled with sales of the Xbox 360 at a UK retail price of £229 for the 4GB version. A standalone unit is £120.

Watching you

Kinect consists of a set of visible and IR cameras that capture both 2D and 3D representations of the gamer directly in front of the device. This information is processed by a proprietary onboard image processor from Microsoft partner Prime Sense, and overlayed to the Xbox console as controller locations in 3D space.

From a physical design perspective, the Kinect resembles an oversized motorised webcam similar to those in enterprise video teleconference equipment. However, with only VGA resolution on both the IR (depth) and visible (colour) cameras, the bill of materials ($63.51 - £39.01) reflects consumer electronic pricing rather than that for premium capital goods such as office equipment. Overall component count is 1,088, of which 410 reside on the main printed circuit board (PCB) and 363 on the Image Sense PCB.

The primary cost drivers are the controls and proprietary image processing ICs from Prime Sense and also Marvell Technology. Note however that this analysis does not fully take into consideration licensing fees incurred by Microsoft for using Prime Sense's IP.

'We believe this licensing fee to be fairly significant and it would push the cost of goods of the Kinect – on Microsoft's accounting books – to a figure in line with other gross margins within their consumer electronics products,' says Wayne Lam of IHS iSuppli. 'Microsoft is likely making a profit on the Kinect accessory as opposed to the break-even business model typical of advanced gaming consoles.'

Design notes

The most prominent hardware features on the Kinect are the optical cameras. Since an IR camera requires an IR source to generate a depth image, an emitter is prominently mounted to the left of the colour and depth camera sensors.

The entire controller is mounted on a motorised pan/tilt platform with a MEMS-based three-axis accelerometer providing feedback controls. Also, the array of four microphones lined along the bottom panel pick up voice commands and, it is presumed, perform active noise suppression.

At the electronic core of the Kinect are the two control and image processing PCBs.

On the main PCB, Microsoft has a Marvell applications processor along with a 512MB DDR2 SDRAM package from Hynix. Also, there are a Renesas USB 2.0 hub controller chip and a pair of Wolfson Microelectronics stereo analogue-to-digital converters to support the microphones.

The Image Sense PCB contains the proprietary Prime Sense PS1080 image processor which performs most of the heavy lifting in 2D/3D image processing required to sense gamer controls. Also on this board is the motor driver for the tilt/pan controls.

Microsoft aims to bring the Kinect to PCs via its Windows operating system. The company is to release an initial SDK to software developers some time this Spring. *

IHS iSuppli provides teardowns for many leading electronics devices. Find out more at www.isuppli.com.

Share |

Major Components

Processors/memory

PrimeSense, PS1080 image processor, system-on-chip, multi-sense, depth/colour image, audio stream, w. USB 2.0 interface $6.89

Marvell Technology, 88AP1-BJD2 applications processor $5.19

Hynix, H5PS5162FFK-E3C SDRAM, DDR2, 512Mb, 1.8V $1.15

Marvell Technology, regulator $0.70

Sensors/cameras

IR emitter module, value line item $4.20

Depth camera module, value line item, IR camera, SXGA, 1/2' format, CMOS, fixed lens $3.45

Colour camera module, value line item, 1.3MP, 1/4' format, CMOS, fixed lens $1.65

Wire harness, 12 discrete insulated wires, four microphone elements, one 12-position pin socket connector, heat shrink tubing, silicone rubber tubing $1.75

Audio

Wolfson Microelectronics, WM8737LGEFL analogue-to-digital converter, stereo, 24Bit, 96KHz, 97dB SNR, w. microphone preamplifier (quantity: 2) $1.40

Texas Instruments, TAS1020BPFB USB audio controller, 8-Bit 8052 core, 8K Bytes ROM, 6016+256 Bytes RAM, two GPIO ports, I2C interface, w. integrated USB transceiver $1.00

Other

AC adapter, 12V, 1.08A, w. 3.2mpPower cord, 0.4m USB cord, USB type-A plug, USB type-A receptacle and two magnetic filters $5.50

Eton Electronics, six-layer printed circuit board (PCB), FR4, lead-free $1.29

Wire harness, seven discrete insulated wires, w. USB/power combined plug connector, 1 dual-row six-position pin socket, two-position pin header, two-position pin socket, two magnetic filters and heat shrinks $1.10

Foxconn, six-layer PCB, FR4, lead-free $0.96

Internal mounting bracket, three pieces, stamped/formed aluminum and metal, four rivets, w. four threaded metal standoffs $0.84

Total (main components) $37.07

Total (all components) $60.74

Total (all components and manufacturing) $63.51

Related forum discussions
forum comment To start a discussion topic about this article, please log in or register.    

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1606

"Where would Frankenstein and his creative mind fit into today's workplace? Should we fear technological developments or embrace them?"

E&T jobs

  • Graduate Electrical Engineers

    AECOM
    • United Kingdom and Ireland
    • Competitive

    Due to the diverse nature of our business there are many different teams each with very different responsibilities.

    • Recruiter: AECOM

    Apply for this job

  • Network Innovation Engineer / Analyst - UK Power Sector

    Premium job

    Nortech Management Ltd
    • Birmingham, West Midlands or Pershore (Worcestershire)
    • £30,000 - £35,000 (depending on experience) + benefits

    Network Innovation Engineer / Analyst to join a team of talented technology enthusiasts who design and support the low carbon networks of the future.

    • Recruiter: Nortech Management Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer with Strong telecoms background

    Premium job

    Sure South Atlantic Ltd
    • Falkland Islands

    Sure South Atlantic Ltd currently has a unique engineering opportunity in their Falkland Islands office. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, teeming ...

    • Recruiter: Sure South Atlantic Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Cyber, Communication, Information and Data Scientist roles

    Premium job

    Dstl
    • Porton Down, Salisbury
    • Competitive salaries

    Information is everything. Use it to serve your country and help keep us safe.

    • Recruiter: Dstl

    Apply for this job

  • Production Engineer

    Premium job

    Compact Engineering
    • Thirsk / Leeds / Banbury / Colchester / Cambridge
    • Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience, knowledge, aptitude and capability

    A Production Engineer with some knowledge and understanding of radiant energy transfer.

    • Recruiter: Compact Engineering

    Apply for this job

  • Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Nikon Metrology Europe
    • Tring, Hertfordshire

    Nikon Metrology is looking for an Electronics Engineer to join our Electronics Team based in Tring (UK).

    • Recruiter: Nikon Metrology Europe

    Apply for this job

  • Engineering Manager

    BAE Systems
    • Hampshire, England, Portsmouth
    • Competitive package

    Would you like to play a vital role in managing and implementing the correct governance in order to enable BAE Systems to provide assurance and integrity of supply chain data? We currently have a vacancy for an Engineering Manager - Product Integrity

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Engineering Project Manager - Electrical & Automation

    Nestle
    • York, North Yorkshire
    • c£45,000 + Car Allowance + Bonus + Excellent Benefits

    Nestlé Product Technology Centre in York currently has an excellent opportunity for an Engineering Project Manager

    • Recruiter: Nestle

    Apply for this job

  • Consultant Engineer - Test

    BAE Systems
    • Farnborough, Hampshire, England
    • Negotiable

    Consultant Engineer - Test Would you like to be a lead within an exciting team working on one of the UK's largest defence projects? We currently have a vacancy for a Consultant Engineer - Test at our site in Ash Vale. As a Consultant Engineer - Test, you

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • ELECTRICAL PROJECT ENGINEER

    SSE
    • Reading, Berkshire
    • SALARY: £37,588 TO £55,669 + CAR (SSE8/9), DEPENDING ON SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

    SSE are looking to recruit an Electrical Project Engineer into office in Reading

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T