Back in April, Roku announced updated Roku 2 (4210X) and Roku 3 (4230X) units. These modes are, according what what Roku has stated before the FCC, substantively the same as the 2013 vintage Roku 3 4200X. Given that I have yet to rip apart my old Roku 3, it’s time to take a look and see what there is to see.
Roku 3 4200X Teardown Top-side
As with the Roku 2 XS, all the major goodies are on the top of the board.
Almost all the external connectors are again present on the top side. Going from the lower left corner around clockwise, we see the HDMI connector, the Ethernet connector, the power supply port, the USB connector, and the LED & IR sensor.
For the Roku 3 4200X, the antenna positions and styles were changed from chip-antennas seen in the Roku 2 XS to three dimensional bendy wire structures. The antenna positions were also updated to be rotated 90 degrees from each other and spread out across the front of the box. I presume this was done to improve wireless reception.
One other item that caught my attention was the logo placed somewhat prominently on the USB port. Reading closely, we see the unmistakable name “Foxconn”. To my knowledge Foxconn doesn’t independently sell components like USB sockets. From this, I would infer that my Roku 3 4200X box was manufactured by Foxconn and also that Roku is using them as their contract manufacturer for their streaming boxes.
And finally, there’s a variety of microchips found on the top side:
- Processor: Broadcom BCM11130 (more on this later)
- Ethernet Phy: Broadcom BCM5241 provides 100 Mbit (100base-T) ethernet support
- DRAM: Samsung K4B2G1646Q chips for DDR3 DRAM. These chip have 4 gigabits or 512 megabytes of capacity.
- Power Supply Chips: Multiple chips are used to generate power supplies required for all the various pieces and parts that make this box play.
Roku 3 4200X Teardown Bottom-side
The bottom of board has a few items but is not notable.
For external interfaces, the micro SD card slot is nestled quietly on the bottom. In addition, a 256 MB of flash memory hides near the top side of the picture.
The Main Processor
The Roku 3 has the Broadcom BCM11130 processor. The internet has declared that it’s a 900 MHz core, but the Google has scant other details about the nebulous brain at the center of Roku’s processing goodness. Let’s dig into the mists and see what we can uncover.
The 1st hint is a 2013 Broadcom product brochure that lists the BCM11130 processor as a “Dual-Core Enterprise Applications & Multimedia Processor”. Most notably, it’s a listed as slightly lower performance version of the “High-Performance” rated BCM11140. Most curious.
Looking a the BCM11140, we see:
- Dual ARM Cortex A9 processors
- Video accelerators for encoding and decoding 1080p video
- 40 nm manufacturing process for low power operation
- Built in ethernet support
The BCM11140 goes for about $3 in Asia.
The BCM11130-based Roku 3 platform has served well and appears to have the horsepower for the foreseeable future given that the recent refresh has maintained this platform. The next major hardware released expected out of Roku will be the long rumored Roku 4 box with 4k video support.