Electronics - Mobile Device Overview Home : www.sharetechnote.com
Since mobile technology has evolved so fast, only over 15 years I think I have experience almost all the mobile device from a brick like mobile phone supporting only voice and SMS to all the fancy smart phone we use these days. It is hard to find any detailed information on those first generation brick phone even from the internet. The detailed hardware information you can get relatively easily from the internet would be those over 5~6 years span.
If you go through the following links from the bottom to top, you would see several milestone devices for the past several years.
Everybody would realize that a mobile device has been providing more and more radio technologies and applications as it evolves. If you build all the radio technologies and application of a current smart phone in the same technology as you used in the first generation brick phone, the size of current smart phone would be as huge as back-pack or briefcase. But in reality, you would get smaller and smaller (at least thinner and thinner) devices as it evolves while you are getting more functions in it.
The technologies that has made this kind of evolution possible would be "Integration multiple functions into a single chip". Now (as of now, the year 2013), if you dismantle a mobile device you would only see a handful of chips and several small components around chips. The overall device architecturing showing the most common ICs can be illustrated as follows.
If you understand what's happening in each of these modules (or chips), you understand everything of the mobile device. (Of course, it is not a simple task to understand all the details of what's happening in each of the blocks. It is almost impossible. Hardware guys or chipset developers or protocol stack developers would be very angry if I say it is simple and easy to understand all of these -:). Even undertanding the part that is represented in a simple line in the diagram would require a lot of knowledge and experience. So your job is still secure -:)
However, I think it is worth trying to get at least the big picture of each of these components and how they interacts with each other and trying to get a system-level understanding.
The main purpose of this section is to provide you with 20,000 miles view of this architecture.