Microsoft Zune HD: Under the hood

It only hit retail Tuesday, but iFixit has already done a tear-down of the device and found a Nvidia Tegra processor based on the power-frugal ARM chip design.

iFixt in short order has done a tear-down of the Microsoft Zune HD media player, which hit retail Tuesday.

The core silicon in the Zune HD is an Nvidia Tegra processor (see photo) based on the power-frugal ARM chip design. The system-on-chip uses less than 0.5 watts of power. Tegra's defining feature is the integrated Nvidia GeForce graphics chip, which gives the Zune its graphics processing oomph.


The Zune HD also uses a SiPORT HD radio chip and an SDRAM chip from Hynix, according to iFixit. The accelerometer, for automatically orienting the display between portrait and landscape modes, is from Kionix.

Probably the most conspicuous feature of the Microsoft media player is a 3.3 inch OLED display capacitive touch screen. OLED screens draw significantly less power than a traditional LCD. "This isn't the first product with an OLED, but it's certainly cutting-edge technology, and something we haven't seen in any Apple devices yet," iFixit said.

Microsoft Zune features Nvidia Tegra ARM processor
Microsoft Zune features Nvidia Tegra ARM processor iFixit

The Zune also offers HD (720p) video out, Wi-Fi, a Web browser (with tap-to-zoom technology), built-in accelerometer, and a touch-screen QWERTY keyboard.

Microsoft claims the Zune's battery provides 8.5 hours video playback.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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