Magic Leap One Teardown: Breaking it up and breaking it down

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Date: November-December 2018
From: ECN-Electronic Component News(Vol. 62, Issue 8)
Publisher: Advantage Business Media
Document Type: Article
Length: 454 words

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The Magic Leap One's mixed-reality tech has been so much pie in the sky for so long, we can hardly believe we have it on our teardown table. Based on the amount of money raised for this project, we're hoping it's powered by pixie dust--but only a teardown will tell.

There's a lot to unravel here. Let's start with some specs...err, specifications:

* Nvidia Tegra X2 (Parker) SoC with two Denver 2.0 64-bit cores and four ARM Cortex A57 64-bit cores.

* Integrated Pascal-based GPU with 256 CUDA cores.

* 8 GB RAM.

* 128 GB onboard storage.

* Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 802.1lac/b/g/n, USB-C, 3.5 mm headphone jack.

That Nvidia SoC is designed for automotive applications, and is prominently used in autonomous vehicles, including Teslas. This seems like off-label use, until you consider the Magic Leap's multiple arrays of external sensors for mapping and understanding its environment--much like a self-driving car.

Inside the headband, we note a Class 1 Laser label. Twirling away the standard Torx screws and removing the panel reveals the first of two speakers, wired via spring contacts, and protected by color-coded gaskets--great repairability so far! Also hiding under those panels: the two upper ends of the device's single built-in cable--and a few of the magnetic bits that help adjust the fit.

After detaching the headband and inner faceplate, we have a better view of the eye-tracking IR emitters. We note they're all wired in series, rather than individually controlled. And finally, at our fingertips, the heart of the Magic Leap: the optics and display assemblies.

Lifting up one of the external sensor arrays, we find beneath: the optical system for injecting images into the waveguides. At the back, we find the actual display device: an OmniVision OP02222 field-sequential color (FSC) LCOS device. It is likely a customized variation of the OmniVision OP02220.

A cast magnesium block holds all the optics and sensors, and is surprisingly hefty for an HMD. The VR headsets we've taken apart all used lightweight plastic. But metal makes a better heat sink, and the electronics and IR illumination (likely VCSEL devices) all produce heat. Metal also offers a stiffer mounting place to keep the optics stable and focused after their rigorous calibration.

No longer perfectly placed, we may as well pop the covers off the sensors for a closer look. These twin sensor arrays sit at each of your temples, with the strobing IR depth sensor perched right in the middle.

A closer look at the nose-bridge depth sensor gives us the room-reading hardware in the form of:

* IR sensing camera

* IR dot projector

There's no need to set up receiver stations for this device--it does the projection and reading all on its own!

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A568058695