We’re lucky. I mean, really lucky. We live in a global culture of makers, imaginers, and inventors. Every single day brings with it amazing, new technological advances. But somewhere between the constant innovation and endless product releases, we forgot something important. We forgot how to fix. Worse, we started to fear it.
When did people start believing that stuff was too complicated or too far-gone to repair? Why would a society of creators fear the things it creates? The answer lies in design. Under the guise of sleek and sexy branding, manufacturers seal things up with glue. They make products that are disposable and unfixable. Consumers get psychologically bullied into thinking that repair is beyond their capability.
And we are compliant. We agree to purchase $600 phones every year. We accept that our clothes fall apart after a couple of washes.
But when we don’t fix our things, we risk something far more vital than just the money in our wallets. We risk losing the ability to be thinkers.
Fixperts, a social project in the UK, is based on one simple idea: Fixing is thinking. It’s a simple idea, but one that is more important now than ever before.
“We tend to forget that fixing is really a gateway to creating, making, building, and imagining beyond fixing a cracked drawer in a fridge,” says London-resident and Fixperts’ co-founder James Carrigan.
Whenever we release a teardown of a new smartphone, people always ask us how their personal devices stack up in the ranking. We list our repairability assessment for a device at the end of every teardown, but we decided to make it easier for intrepid consumers to investigate all the most popular smartphones on the same page.
This morning, we released our Smartphone Repairability List. The list contains repair details on nearly 30 different smartphone models, as well as their various repairability scores. We hope this list will give repair-minded folks the information they need when making purchasing decisions.
One the same note, if you want to see just how repairable your tablet is, check out our Tablet Repairability List.
Our society is really good at building stuff. We’ve proven that we can build just about anything and everything—from large structures to small devices to entire communities. But why stop there? What happens when we challenge ourselves to build something even greater? What if we tried to build a whole new world? Literally.
Sustainia is an innovation platform in Copenhagen that celebrates today’s top visionaries. These are people who are chipping away at the world’s biggest problems using tangible solutions—all in the pursuit of a sustainable future.
Want to travel without harming the planet? Want to know how to salvage the mass amounts of food thrown away every year? Want to sport fashion that is ethically sound for the workers producing it? These are the tricky, uncomfortable, fear-inducing questions of our generation—but Sustainia is finding and celebrating the folks with the best answers to date.
Apple sent out a little press release this morning and announced a minor spec bump to its now-ancient 2012 iMacs. Not resting on our iPhone 5s/c teardown laurels — nor on anyone else’s laurels, for that matter — we harassed the folks at the Apple Store until they sold us a couple of units. So what did we find? Cha-cha-cha-changes!
But if you don’t have time, here’s the short, short version: Read the rest of this article »
Last week, while we were disassembling the iPhone 5s into pieces, Chipworks was able to confirm that the manufacturer of Apple’s A7 processor was indeed Samsung. Not being content with their discovery, they delved into the A7 some more — this time by bringing out the big guns, in the form of an electron microscope. Below are a couple of images they shot:
Even we have issues figuring out what the heck we’re looking at in the image above, so we feel a bit of explanation is in order— and the M7, iSight camera, and other components came along for the ride. We present to you the Apple A7 Teardown.
Some fun tidbits regarding the A7′s cross-section:
- Every little hump (through which you see that yellow line) is a transistor. By measuring the total distance between ten of these transistors, we can estimate a chip’s manufacturing process — essentially how tightly the manufacturer can pack in all that processing power.
- Turns out that the A7′s “gate pitch” — the distance between each transistor — is 114 nm, compared to the A6′s 123 nm. Big whoop, you say?
- Those 9 nm are a big deal. It turns out that the A7 is made with the same 28 nm process as the eight-core Samsung Exynos 5410, the current flagship CPU for Samsung’s own Galaxy line.
- So what does that translate to? Applying some mathematrickery, this seemingly small change equates to having the same computing power, but in 77% of the original area. And given that the A7 processor is even larger in area than the A6, that means even more processing power to lead a healthy, smartphone-laden lifestyle.
We have tons more analysis of the A7, the M7, and supporting players in our teardown.
Further digging by Chipworks gave us the identity of Apple’s mysterious M7 processor, a chip that was conspicuously absent from last night’s iPhone 5s teardown. It’s an NXP LPC1800 device that was buried beneath a neoprene-looking cover:
From Chipworks: “The M7 is dedicated to processing and translating the inputs provided to it by the discrete sensors; the gyroscope, accelerometer and electro magnetic compass mounted throughout the main printed circuit board. Traditional Apple techniques lead us to believe that the these discrete sensors will most likely be STMicroelectronics for the accelerometer and the gyroscope while the electro magnetic compass would again be an Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM). We have since confirmed the compass to be AKM’s AK8963.”