Winner, Name That Ware February 2010

The Ware for February 2010 is, to the best that I can tell, a variant of the HTC Touch Dual. Since this was an unknown ware for me, judging the winner is always very hard. Based on the link David Gabler sent (congrats on winning, email me for your prize!), I eventually landed at a page of mobile phone service manuals by Mike Channon, of which there is a link to the Touch Dual repair manual, e.g. the “Nike Series Mother Board Repair Guide” (the page asks not to link directly to any of the PDFs, so I’ll respect that and you’ll have to search for “Touch Dual” yourself).

The board outlines and connectors are at roughly the same places, but there are some significant differences in the position of ICs on the side with the SIM card connector. These different ICs are all related to the RF portion of the design, so quite possibly it’s a situation where the variant of the HTC Touch Dual motherboard shown for this ware simply has a different RF section in it from the one in the service manual. There’s a lot of good reasons for that variance — simply being able to work with different networks in different countries may necessitate a significant change to the RF section.

Addressing some of the comments in the ware discussion thread, the board is indeed using blind/buried vias, so with enough layers essentially the board designer gets the luxury of treating each side of the PCB as if they were two separate layouts. As a byproduct, you get the flexibility to pull off a feat such as swapping out all the components on one side of the PCB without affecting the layout on the other side. If a traditional through-hole board technology were used, this would be a nearly unthinkable option. This is a neat trick to see realized in a volume product, and one I will keep in my pocket for use at a later date.

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