Teardown confirms DAC chips in Apple's Lightning EarPods and 3.5mm Adapter

The report reveals that both come embedded with small digital-to-analog (DAC) chips. However, the exact supplier isn't known yet.


After the iPhone 7 teardown by iFixit, a Vietnamese site Tinhte has ripped apart the EarPods and Lightening to 3.5mm adapter. The report reveals that both come embedded with small digital-to-analog (DAC) chips. However, the exact supplier isn't known yet.

The DAC in the EarPods carries a label that reads 338S00140 / A0QK1623 / TW, and the one in the adapter reads 38S00140 / A0MU1621 / TW. The 'TW' is speculated to be Taiwan, considering many Apple suppliers are from there. An AppleInsider report points out that the chips could be designed by  Cirrus Logic, but would have been possibly manufactured by Taiwan-based TSMC. TSMC also manufacturers Apple's A-series processors.

 Teardown confirms DAC chips in Apples Lightning EarPods and 3.5mm Adapter

Credit: Tinhte.vn

DAC enables EarPods and traditional analog headphones with 3.5mm jacks to function over the Lightning connector, and is protected by a metal shield with two layers of plastic. With the launch of iPhone 7, Apple's courageous move to skip the 3.5mm headphone jack had caused quite a stir. However, Apple did bundle the adapter to make it convenient for users.

Meanwhile, a teardown by IHS Markit reveals that including $5 in basic manufacturing costs, total cost to manufacture the iPhone 7 mobile rises to $224.80, $36.89 higher than the business research provider’s estimates for the iPhone 6S.


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