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The workstation class all-in-one machine has some serious horsepower.

The Apple iMac Pro debuted in late 2017. It is a workstation class all-in-one machine featuring an 8-core, 3.2GHz Intel Xeon W processor, with speed boosts up to 4.2GHz. RAM includes four SK Hynix 2.6 MHz DDR4 RAM sticks. The graphics chip is an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56 GPU BGA with 8Gb of HBM2 memory. Also on board are a 1Tb SSD (more on that in a moment) and a 27" display. The motherboard is an Asus X99-E-10G WS.

The double-sided SMT motherboard has on the topside the Intel Xeon microprocessor, the AMD GPU, a platform controller hub, Aquantia AQtion ethernet controller, Pericom Semiconductor multiplexer/demultiplexer switch, Apple/Universal Scientific Industrial Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module, Genesys Logic memory card controller, and TI LED backlight driver. The bottom side components include Cirrus Logic CS42L83 audio/DAC, four Primarion components, two Intel JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 controllers (connected via PCIe 3.0), International Rectifiers IOR 35217-01 C740P GSGK, Macronix MXIC MX25L4006EZNI CMOS serial flash memory, and an NXP L6524 I/O expander.

The machine sports a dual-fan cooler. The external RAM access hatch is no more.

Instead, there’s a new thermal design said by Apple to deliver 80% more cooling capacity and 75% more airflow. The two heat pipes are on top of the thermal block (FIGURE 1).

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Figure 1. The Apple iMac Pro showing the heat pipes (center) and RAM chipsets.

The RAM chipset is the aforementioned four SK Hynix DDR4 RAM sticks, each with five 8Gb chips. The SSD has two modules, designated Apple EMC 3197, 656-0061A. Inside each are four SanDisk SDRQF8DC8-128G chips, which add up to 1,024Gb (1Tb) of storage.

Finally, the onboard AcBel Polytech 500W power supply has three chips: STMicro 4NB0K 5 GK14X650, STMicro L6599AD B857725, and NCP13368G PFTJ38. The power supply is screwed to the logic board.

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Figure 2. Apple iMac Pro all-in-one PC.

The bill of materials cost is in the range of $4,500 to $4,700, not including software.

Mike Buetow is editor in chief of PCD&F/CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY; mbuetow@upmediagroup.com.

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